2016 will be the year of the dancer. It’s fun, healthy, social and a great way to spend your free time. Put down your remote and put on your dance shoes!

For the month of January we will have a new way to get the most out of your dance every week. So check back for some tips on how to become the best dancer possible.

You’ve started learning a new activity that’s not only social, romantic, creative and fun – it’s a sport.

And every sport has its own equipment to help the athletes work better and more easily. Soccer players have cleats; dancers have dance shoes. Sure, you can dance in your everyday street shoes, but in one way or another, they’re preventing you from dancing to your full potential.

So how are dance shoes better? They have suede on the bottom to allow for better movement. Leather is too slippery and painful to a lady’s stepped-on toes. Rubber grips too much and can be bad for your knees. Suede gives the perfect balance of grip and slide to dance well and comfortably.

They also stay on your feet! All dance shoes have laces or straps that in some way prevent them from flying off your feet while dancing. There are no open backs or slip ons to preoccupy your mind. You can focus on taking bigger steps with a wider range of motion. Your Waltz will never be the same.

So when you’re thinking of being the best dancer possible this year, put away the flip flops, Jimmy Choos and nice dress shoes. Every shoe has its place. The dance studio is not one of them.

As you plan your best dance experience for 2016, always ask your teachers for ideas like these to get more out of your program