Last night dance classes began again for my DD. I hadn't gotten around to trying on her ballet slippers, jazz shoes, or tap shoes from last year but thought that all should still fit (considering we had purchased all a bit big). It's a good thing she tried them on before we left the house! The ballet slippers and jazz shoes fit wonderfully ~ the tap shoes were another story. For those of you that haven't been graced by a dancer in your home, dance shoes run differently than regular shoes. You absolutely can't guess what size to purchase ~ you need to have the dancer try them on. For instance, DD's ballet slippers are a size 8, jazz shoes are a size 5.5, and the tap shoes were a 2.5. I could have been in a panic ~ we needed to leave the house in 10 minutes to make it to class and the closest dance supply store is over an hour away. That's when my thrifty shopping came to to the rescue.
Last year while shopping at Goodwill, I came upon a tub overflowing with brand-new tap shoes. The excitement was almost overwhelming! However, after inspecting the top few shoes it became clear why these shoes had been donated. There were no taps. Tap shoes and taps can be purchased separately ~ I'm not sure why a person would because it is a costly option. So I began to walk away, but something made me investigate that tub further. I started to remove the un-tapped shoes and about half way through the tub found a shoe with taps. My excitement began to grow once again. After removing one more shoe, there they were. Pairs and pairs of shoes with taps! Not only tap shoes, but jazz shoes as well. It took time to sort and find the correct pairs ~ about half were missing the mate. When I was finished, I had before me 6-almost new pairs of tap shoes and 2 pairs of jazz shoes. The taps were size 4, 2-size 5, size 6, size 7.5, and size 8. The jazz were size 6 and size 7. I purchased every pair, plus 2 leotards that I had found. The total bill was $15. If I had purchased everything new, the bill would have been $316.72.
I came home, disinfected the shoes, washed the leos, and put them away in a tote. I thought that these shoes would last for several years of dance ~ not so lucky. Discovering that DD's tap shoes were too small, I pulled out the tote and took out the size 4 tap shoes. After all, that would be the next logical shoe to fit. They weren't even close. So onto the size 5 shoes we went. Once again, these weren't fitting. We even tried the other pair of size 5 thinking that a different brand may run bigger ~ couldn't even get her whole foot in. Out came the size 6. Finally we had a winner. In 4 minutes, DD had went through 3 pairs of tap shoes that I had planned would last her at least 2 years. Was I ever thankful that I had purchased all 6 pairs that day!
Thanks to Goodwill, DD was able to tap away at class last night. Added bonuses are we won't be making the hour long trip to the dance store this week, I still have 2 pairs of tap shoes and 2 pairs of jazz shoes in storage, I can re-sell the shoes that don't fit, the money I paid to Goodwill goes to a good cause, and I have $301.72 still in the bank. All this for the few minutes it took me to sort through an overflowing tub of shoes.