Moving Comfort Bras

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I am still on a quest for the perfect dance bra. Those female dancers who are well endowed know what a pain it is to not have proper foundation garments that will hold everything in place for the athleticism of Lindy Hop, while trying to maintain a sense of style and not have to revert to support that’s the equivalent of a straight jacket for your chest.

I took a ballet class over the summer and looked for a leotard with proper support. After dredging through a number of ballet forums on this topic, the general conclusion was that you would have to wear a bra under your leotard if you wanted proper support. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t bought a sports bra since high school and my body is definitely different at this point in my life. I really had to dig on the internet to find specific information on what sports bras are best for certain cup sizes, but finally came across a review of Moving Comfort’s Fiona sports bra. It looked sturdy, smooth, and non-threatening. I liked that it dipped in the back, instead of having a racer back, and the straps were wider set so that it wouldn’t show under my boat neck leotard. It also hooked in the back like a regular bra, instead of stretching and sliding over your head, which gave an added element of support.

After using it for ballet class, it slowly became the only acceptable sports bra I owned. While I don’t think this is the perfect Lindy Hop bra, I do think it’s worth mentioning because it has kept the girls in place better than any other sports bra I have owned. I put it on and forget about my chest, which is a fantastic feeling when you are jumping up and down during a jazz routine, or navigating your way through a swingout.

The pros and cons are outlined on Moving Comfort’s very user-friendly website. I would agree with the reviews that the Fiona is comfortable, moisture-wicking, snug fitting, lightweight, and stylish (in the sense that I could actually wear this under a lot of dresses due to the shape of the bra, having the deep V in the back and a scoop front). The only con I agree with is the uni-boob feedback (“flattens bust”), but that’s to be expected with a bra that doesn’t have separate cups. I disagree with the review about poor craftsmanship, as this is the sturdiest bra I own and I found the materials to be quality and comfortable. My only personal con is that I can’t wear this under a dress with a V neckline in the front.

Now that I have found this bra, I’m even more willing to try other bras on the Moving Comfort website. You can shop for bras by cup size (A-E) or by style, and each bra is different, based on what cup sizes it is best suited and for the level of activity it for which it was designed (low, medium, and high impact). There are a few styles with separate cups that I may explore for wearing under dresses. If you have tried one of these bras for dancing, I’d love to hear your feedback, as well.

Dance Shoes for Wide or Narrow Feet

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

My most recent article for Yehoodi:

If there’s one thing we need to wear as dancers, it’s appropriate and comfortable footwear. Shoes that fit you well can make a positive difference in your dancing; conversely, shoes that are ill-fitting can negatively impact your dancing and potentially cause health problems. So what do you do when you can’t find a pair of shoes that fits because of the width or shape of your foot?

I’ve had a couple of requests about dance shoes for irregular feet widths, specifically dance Keds and Balboa shoes. While I wear a regular width shoe, I just barely missed the genetic gift of narrow feet from my father and paternal grandmother, who both have very narrow feet (Granny wears a AAAA). Finding narrow shoes in retail stores seems to be an extinct possibility for them, so both of them have had to order shoes from catalogs that offer narrow and wide width shoes. This can get pretty expensive, considering my dad had to wear a suit and dress shoes every day to work and my grandmother loves to dress up.

However, these shoes do exist! I’ll start with the Keds, because that is easy – Keds makes narrow and wide widths of their Champion Oxford, the quintessential Lindy Hop shoe of the past few years. Keds makes them in AAAA (super narrow), AA (narrow), B (medium), D (wide), and EE (extra wide) widths. You are a bit limited in the colors available, but the classic white and black are there, as well as navy, blue, red and tan.

The process to get them to dance shoes is the same – buy Keds and either glue the suede/leather sole them yourself or take them to a cobbler to be sueded/leathered.

You can buy the different widths from the Keds website, but I found that finding the different widths was easier and they were cheaper on the Maryland Square website (which is the catalog my Granny uses). Also, the EE width did not appear to be available on either website, but was available in the paper catalog, so if you are looking for this width you will probably need to place a phone order with Maryland Square.

Men, you can have these in two-tone or one color, with 13 different colors to choose from.

My suggestion for different widths of Balboa shoes and for men looking for an oxford for dancing is to buy a custom pair of tango shoes. Tango shoe makers tend to offer vintage-inspired styles of shoes and will create a custom pair for your feet using actual measurements of your feet. The cost is more than a pair of Aris Allens, but generally less than a pair of Re-Mix Vintage Shoes. I ordered a custom pair from Mr. Tango Shoes a few years ago and had a very positive experience. The fit of my custom shoes was unparalleled. On top of the width/shape, you can also customize the colors in both two-tone and mono-tone, the heel height and width/shape, the type of sole, the arch support, cushioning at the ball of the foot, and whether or not you want a platform. Another friend has had a good experience ordering custom shoes from Guaranteed Fit Tango Shoes.

Kind of digging this pair from Mr. Tango Shoes, maybe with a silver metallic and a wider, shorter heel

If you have narrow feet, the vintage shoe world is your oyster. I would encourage you to look for vintage shoes on eBay and in vintage stores. Always ask whoever is working in the vintage store if they have narrow shoes because they don’t always put them out, and ask your local vintage store to be on the lookout for your size – often, stores will turn down shoes that are narrow because they don’t believe they will sell. Let them know you are the person who will buy these shoes!

Also, if you have wide or narrow feet and have found something that works for you, please feel free to share your experience or source here – I know there are others who would like to have this information. 🙂