The most important thing is to wear comfortable clothing that is easy to move in. The lindy scene is very casual, and there’s a wide range of clothing from jeans and t-shirts to nice dresses and suits (especially on band nights). Some people choose to come in vintage clothing or hair styles, which can be a very fun way to get into the mood! When wearing skirts, be careful that fast spins or jumps will not reveal more than you intend, and that they are loose enough to allow you to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Whatever the temperature outside, remember that you’ll get warm after dancing for a while. Light layers that can be removed will help keep you comfortable so you’re not sweltering all night long.
For both men and women, it is much easier to dance, spin, and generally impress your partner with your fancy moves in smooth-soled shoes. Shoes that have a really grippy sole can cause injuries to knees and ankles when you try to spin or turn quickly. The most important thing is to wear comfortable shoes, and you may want to experiment with different types to find which you prefer. Make sure that the shoes you wear have a back to them and will not fall off your foot when you kick or drag on the floor when you pick up your heel. If you need to “doctor” your shoes, you can do something as simple as putting a strip of duct tape on the sole of the shoe to give it more slip or, for a more permanent solution, you can take them to a cobbler to add a suede or smooth leather sole.
For Lindy, flat shoes or shoes with very low heels are easiest to dance in. It’s also recommended to wear closed-toed shoes (to protect your toes!). Unlike some partner/ballroom dances, high heels (especially stilettos and platform shoes) are not a good choice and can be dangerous if they are unstable.
For Balboa, we recommend that followers wear shoes that have a short heel and a smooth sole which will not drag on the floor when you’re standing on the balls of your feet.
You can find links to online dance shoe stores on our links page.