Leave it up to my fellow dancer friends to think up something that’s equally entertaining and potentially useful.
To my non-Lindy-Hop reader friends… one thing you should know: In general, it’s a major faux pas to wear high heels when swing dancing. The follow’s balance tends to be off, the guys are afraid of getting stabbed when doing charlestons, and so on. In fact, a running joke is that you can identify (and avoid) the total newbies by seeing which women are wearing high heels. Same thing for blues dancing and blues dancers.
But this creates a bit of a conflict. Often times blues dancers are avid tango’ers… and occasionally, there are hybrid events which combine the worlds of blues and tango dancing. In tango, it’s apparently quite customary, even desireable for the follows to be decked out in high heels.
So what to do, other than trudging a very large purse or backpack along with you for a second pair of shoes, not to mention having to miss out on a song just to change shoes?
Well, this is where one of my fellow dancers’ brilliance comes into play. Embarrassingly, I can’t remember the specific person to suggest this over 2am Thai food post-dancing (it all tends to become a blur, you know), but I have to give props to the fella who came up with the idea of hydraulic shoes.
A woman is blues dancing… in nice, comfortable flats. Then she pushes a button (perhaps even via a discreet remote-control switch on her belt or whatnot), and ffffffvoom! Her shoes immediately transform into high-heels for an impromptu bit of tango’ing.
Hmm… uh oh… Creepy Guy(tm) is approaching her after the song ends and she has to make a quick getaway. pfffffffsssss! Instant flats again… enabling her to deftly escape her social-graces-challenged pursuer!
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Of course, given the high percentage of my fellow dancers who are geeks (and thus unsurprisingly the analytical sort), we then debated how this might work practically. Specifically… where and how would the heels retract? Hmm.