#MumbaiList: Where To Find That Perfect Pair Of Dance Shoes In Mumbai

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Mumbai’s a city on interesting contradictions and extremes. Some of the world’s most expensive real-estate is just meters away from unimaginable poverty. There are people who drive Bentleys on roads full of potholes. We have so many beautiful beaches, yet no water clean enough to swim in. There are so many dancers and dance schools, yet finding a decent pair of dancing shoes is almost impossible! Being a dancer, this is a problem I face myself.

Almost every neighbourhood in Mumbai, Nalasopara and Vasai included, boasts of salsa and hip-hop classes at the very least. But buying or customizing shoes certainly isn’t as easy as one would expect. After a lot of digging I have some leads, which hopefully will help fellow dancers dress up their nibble feet!

Dance shoes at Besos
Dance shoes at Besos

Quite a few Mumbaikars I know believe that shopping in Mumbai begins and ends in Bandra. Well then, this list is about to prove them right (damn it!). Because the first couple of stores to make it to this list all happen to be in Bandra. Shoebiz and Besos both retail a small range of Latin American and Ballroom dance shoes. Neither is exclusively a dance store, so you may need to dig a little with help from the staff. You should be able to find a stylish pair or two, especially for your social dance needs.

Ballet shoes at Zingrin
Ballet shoes at Zingrin

Zingrin is an apparel & fashion store with branches Bandra West and Kurla Market city, where you will find a small section dedicated to dance. They retail only jazz and ballet shoes in a variety of sizes, along with other dance accessories. Stock is always limited, but they can order a design in your size if it isn’t available.

Jameel with a shoe he made, image courtesy The Globe and Mail
Jameel with a shoe he made, image courtesy The Globe and Mail

When it comes to customization, any ballroom dancer worth their salt will know of and vouch for Jameel Shah. This enterprising shoe-maker and his brother Jahid, together run a small workshop out of Dharavi. They learnt how to make dance shoes by trial and error, using old foreign pairs as reference. Over the last decade, they’ve perfected their craft & cater to dancing celebrities like Sandeep Soparkar and Anand Majumdar. Finding their tiny shop, which is also their home, in Dharavi can be challenging. But making the effort will definitely be worth it. The duo are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. When I visited, they were very clearly able to explain to me the difference between salsa shoes and tango shoes, which had me impressed.

Tango shoes for men, image courtesy India Mart
Tango shoes for men, image courtesy India Mart

They make ballroom, jazz, tap, ballet and flamenco shoes for men and women. You can browse through their catalogues, show them reference pictures and select the colours and materials you want, to create customized designs for yourself. In about a week, and with a little following up, your shoes will be ready to take on the dance floor. Call them on 9004363636 or 9594692786 to set up a meeting.

If you’re looking for classical point shoes for ballet or good dance sneakers, then you will have to visit Dance Essentials, which is perhaps one of the only stores completely dedicated to dance. They were also featured on our Fashionably Fit list. Their collection of shoes is small, but they stay true to their name and deliver on all the essentials. You won’t get many choices of colour or style, but the quality of their shoes is indisputable. Most are imported and made by reputed brands. To make a purchase you can visit their store of Churchgate or shop online. UPDATE: Dipna tells us they also rent out dance DVDs and a good collection of ballets.

It’s only when you begin to dance that you realize the importance of good dance shoes. Ballroom dance academy, Baile -de- Salón also does that bit to ensure that dancers have appropriate footwear. They retail ballet, jazz, latin ballroom & tap shoes, as well as dance sneakers. You can place orders online or at their dance studios in Powai or Colaba.

Hopefully in the years to come, us dancers will have a wider choice. For now, getting shoes takes a little effort. But then again, everything worth having does!

Post By Salonee Gadgil (86 Posts)

I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.

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Salonee Gadgil

Salonee Gadgil
I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.