Dancing should be comfortable -- loose clothing, weather not too hot or too humid (lots of variation in what's "too hot" or "too humid" between Northerners and Southerners, true colors really show). But it's all about the shoes. Remember learning to dance the shag? Sand on a concrete floor, or just sand, depending if you were under the covered pavilion or not, flip flops/zories/beach shoes or just barefoot. But dancing indoors during non-summer months required shoes. As kids, we always seemed to have clunky/chunky kind of shoes, probably because Momma wanted to make sure they could last through at least most of a school year. Not so good for dancing.
Spent many hours practicing dancing in the bedroom -- door knobs are great to practice! If you turn the knob enough to open the door, that's likely turning the girls hand too hard, no matter what move you're trying. Had to practice in socks, didn't want Momma and Daddy to hear those clunky/chunky shoes and know how much time I was not spending studying schoolwork. Had the little transistor radio on 'low' in my shirt pocket (when I got older and could afford the more deluxe model out of my allowance, I got one with an earplug) so I could hear the beat, if not all of the music, and slid around the floor in my slippery sock feet. Momma was always so pleased with how clean the floor was in my room.
Loafers were THE shoe in high school, college, and lot of life after that, except for the lace-up-tie-shoe-necessary-for-going-to-church-and-all-other-formal-occasions. Great shoe, the loafer. Took a loooooooong time to get the top broken in just right, usually about two heels and one sole replacement. Polished them every saturday morning so they'd be at their high sheen performing best for the dance floors on saturday nights. Then Life got busy and dancing became almost relegated to days/nights at the beach for those few vacation times (nobody up north knew what beach music was and it was dancing to Philadelphia Soul and Motown that enabled me to survive those years) with few exceptions. The well broken in loafers got pushed to the back of the closet and those lace-up-tie-shoes-necessary-for-going-to-church-and-all-other-formal-occasions became the everyday-seemed-like-all-the-time shoes.
Eventually, we moved back to the land of warm breezes, salt air and sand in my shoes. I moved those old loafers from the back to the front of the closet, excited at the prospect of dancing on saturday nights again........except they didn't fit anymore. Toes too cramped, rubbed the heel raw the first hour I wore 'em with no socks. They didn't have the dancing magic in 'em any longer. Couldn't make the feet work hardly more than an up-n-back basic. We were supposed to meet up with old friends that evening for some 'welcome back dancing'. Didn't want to admit I needed it, but I signed up for shag lessons, just a "refresher course" I told myself. Squeezed my feet into the loafers, and went. Instructor looked down at the shoes and smiled, asked me how many miles I'd danced in those? I told the instructor the story of my complaining feet and the dancin' magic having left the shoes when I put them on after moving recently. He quickly wrote out an address and told me to check it out as soon as possible. Thinking it must be a doctor's office, with the heel blisters screaming at me for being trapped in the loafers with no socks again, I set off immediately. Turns out to be a shoe store with nothing but dancing shoes, all kinds of dancing!
Seems today the shoe to dance in is not "just" a loafer, but a "dancing slipper", at least according to the older fella working the men's section. These loafers are not for walking down the street, and heaven forbid that sand touches the sole, it destroys the leather. Walking around the store, I could feel everything under my feet, every wrinkle in the well-worn carpet, every small pebble tracked in through the door of the store. The clerk told me there was a dance floor in the far corner, I followed his hand as he pointed in the direction of the corner that had a lot of mirrors on the walls. Tentatively at first, I did a little shuffle, then a full basic, then a step pivot --- hallelujah-YES-the dancin' magic was back ! Oh Happy Feet in my new dancing "Slippers" !