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Dance Shoes For Pedalling

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I always use socks myself. Anyone much over 6' tall will have difficulty moving his feet sideways over the pedals and the idea of heels of any sort is a non starter.

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I always use socks myself. Anyone much over 6' tall will have difficulty moving his feet sideways over the pedals and the idea of heels of any sort is a non starter.

Well, I decided on Colin's suggestion and bought a pair of Supadance 9000's. Lightweight, comfortable, reasonably slim (even for my big feet) and the heels are OK without being obstructive.

 

Nazard, I'm 6'5 and have played in socks and flat shoes before with awful results. The heels I have now (as above) aren't a problem - knees against the underside of the keydesk and leg muscle tension are the troublesome areas :blink:

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Glad to hear the news.

 

Personally, I find socks uncomfortable. It might be to do with the pedalboard on my organ, which has very narrow sticks and is quite heavy as it is mechanical action. The pedalboard is also made to an historic pattern so the ends of the sharps aren't rounded as you would find on a modern pedalboard or toaster and this can make things quite uncomfortable.

 

I'm also not fond of sweaty socks on pedalboards - it looks undignified and very casual for some reason. But then, I'm the sort of person who's banned an organist from playing at my church because of personal hyigene issues...

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Of course the downside is the loss of a built-up heel making some pedallings rather difficult (e.g. bridging thirds etc.)

So the Dupré G minor Prelude's a no-no then... :blink:

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On Colin's recommendation, having bought a pair of Supadance 9000's (even at £70), my initial experience has been good. The heels are perfectly adequate for bridging thirds without getting in the way elsewhere, and the soles slide when you want them to slide and don't when you don't! I soon forgot I was wearing them, in fact. I used to wear Organmasters (which were always a little tight, even though I sent them my foot dimensions) but the soft sole of the dance shoes gives more feeling of control - IMHO - than the solid soles of the Organmasters (I seem to remember reading something about a steel shank in the base of the shoe or similar). Even with my great big feet, they're slim enough to allow the possibility of real accuracy - now it's down to practice and hard work!

 

To all who contributed their opinion - thank you. Although there were various 'models' of ballroom dance shoe recommended, they all looked very similar to the Supadance pair, so the advice was very valuable. I'll let you all know when I've got the Thalben-Ball variations sorted :rolleyes:

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I thought all my problems would be over!! :lol: I've just got Supadance 9000 shoes from their shop in Essex!! - nice shop, lots of sizes, nice sales girl... :blink:

But when I got home and tried them out, I realised :o I should have thought more about this previous post-

 

Whether you would get on with Organmaster shoes depends, I think, on how you pedal. I couldn't at all. They have suede soles and leather heels, which means that the soles have a measure of "grip" on the keys and the heels none at all. This is exactly the wrong way round for me since I am used to anchoring my heel and sliding my toes. With the leather heel I just could not keep a heel on a note at all. In the end I took the shoes to a cobbler and had the heels replaced with smooth rubber (having first asked him to put suede ones on and been advised against it since they would rub off). The suede soles I don't mind, but I think I would have been happier with leather.

 

The Supadance shoes have suede soles and heels. :lol::o While the Supadance shoes are light, flexible and minimise ones foot size, compared to my self modified Clarks shoes with leather soles and heels they feel like they have glue on the soles. OK for toes only Bach players, but in general I think they will take some getting used to. But, importantly, Vox Humana's note shows that there is no point in me trying Organmaster shoes as a last resort, as they will have the just the same problem. :huh:

 

Hmm... more practice or back to the High Street? :(

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Could be the comparison between your previous shoes and the new ones. I'm using the same Supadance shoes without any problems, but that's compared to socks or undesirable pairs of street shoes. They'll probably feel better in a month or two...

 

I thought all my problems would be over!! :lol: I've just got Supadance 9000 shoes from their shop in Essex!! - nice shop, lots of sizes, nice sales girl... :blink:

But when I got home and tried them out, I realised :o I should have thought more about this previous post-

The Supadance shoes have suede soles and heels. :lol::o While the Supadance shoes are light, flexible and minimise ones foot size, compared to my self modified Clarks shoes with leather soles and heels they feel like they have glue on the soles. OK for toes only Bach players, but in general I think they will take some getting used to. But, importantly, Vox Humana's note shows that there is no point in me trying Organmaster shoes as a last resort, as they will have the just the same problem. :huh:

 

Hmm... more practice or back to the High Street? :(

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On the subject of pedalling, I am working on the F major T&F by JSB and I am just about being driven crazy! First of all my Clarkes extra-wide fitting tread-air shoes are just hopeless because of their almost flat and clod-hopping sole - but just about the only shoes I can stand to walk in. I have terribly flat feet and require the extra-wide fitting Clarkes (things were never the same after that steam roller ran over my feet) :huh: Fairly recently I bought another pair of extra-wide Clarkes (not tread-air and with a regular heel which I had built up by about 3/5 of an inch, but they were so darned uncomfortable that I decided that I'd have to wear them "out and about". The sensation is weird - it feels as if I'm walking downhill all the time! But they are just a bit more comfortable for it.

 

The poor workman always blames the tools. Is it me, or is there something weird about pedal boards made by Content organs? I was just in Brighton practising on a pretty darned good Makin Toaster, and I was amazed.... clean pedal passages where there had been splodges all the way at home! Now I'm back at home we're back with the endless splodges again. Does anyone have experience with these pedal-boards? :blink:

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"Is it me, or is there something weird about pedal boards made by Content organs? I was just in Brighton practising on a pretty darned good Makin Toaster, and I was amazed.... clean pedal passages where there had been splodges all the way at home! Now I'm back at home we're back with the endless splodges again. Does anyone have experience with these pedal-boards?"

 

Yes. My Wyvern Sonata (Content D4300 re-badge) has pedals which I'm sure are smaller than the norm, the sharps are only about an inch and a half above the naturals and they are quite short too and the whole pedal experience is rather narrow. If I am playing slow (read 'simple') then I can play in socks with no pain or problem, it is mainly with faster Bach style passages that I need to use the dance shoes I bought.

Oliver.

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Yes. My Wyvern Sonata (Content D4300 re-badge) has pedals which I'm sure are smaller than the norm, the sharps are only about an inch and a half above the naturals and they are quite short too and the whole pedal experience is rather narrow. If I am playing slow (read 'simple') then I can play in socks with no pain or problem, it is mainly with faster Bach style passages that I need to use the dance shoes I bought.

Oliver.

 

I am about to buy a toaster for home practice. I was considering a Wyvern so the above worries me. Can anyone suggest a good (but cheap) organ? I've been considering Wyvern Sonata, Viscount Vivace 40 and Allen CF2. Since this is a pipe organ site, please PM me if you have any useful advice. Apologies to Manders - I do play a proper organ on Sundays (a 1917 Harrison)!

 

Stephen Barber

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I am about to buy a toaster for home practice. I was considering a Wyvern so the above worries me. Can anyone suggest a good (but cheap) organ? I've been considering Wyvern Sonata, Viscount Vivace 40 and Allen CF2. Since this is a pipe organ site, please PM me if you have any useful advice. Apologies to Manders - I do play a proper organ on Sundays (a 1917 Harrison)!

 

Stephen Barber

 

Reply by PM

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I use ballet shoes and have found them great - bought from a local ballet store. They're by Freed and are called "Rhythm Collection". They are similar to these:

http://www.movedancewear.co.uk/product_inf...products_id=363

 

Stephen Barber

 

I'm not sure these are ballet shoes, strictly speaking - you couldn't do 'points' on them, for example.

 

I once turned pages for German virtuoso Matthias Eisenberg who wore true ballet shoes, the elasticated variety, though without the cork inserts in the toes.

 

It always amazes me how many organists manage a perfectly clean pedal techinque - or at least good enough for routine service playing - whilst wearing near-clodhoppers - that is heavy outdoor shoes with thick rubber soles.

 

JS

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I'm not sure these are ballet shoes, strictly speaking - you couldn't do 'points' on them, for example.

 

JS

 

Sorry, you're quite right. They're dance shoes, not ballet shoes, and I can't do "points" in them: I either need to buy new shoes or stick to playing the organ.

 

Stephen Barber

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I have two pairs of Bloch's ballroom dancing shoes. They use leather for both the sole and the heel. The one pair that is 25+ years old are more flexible and transmit more of the feel of the pedals through the sole than the pair I bought this year. Perhaps I've worn through the soles somewhat with all my years of playing trio sonatas, or the shoes are now made with thicker leather. Not sure. Whatever, they certainly are a snug fit, important for an organist with my size feet.

 

http://latinodanceshoes.com/store/index.ph...;products_id=59

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