True to form, Angela at the academy has decided to rewrite the rulebook at the last minute, and now we all have to come up with a new footwear solution just three days out from the competition. It’s absurd, I tell you. Unfortunately, this kind of thing has been par for the course ever since Angela was made acting president. First it was a ban on heels higher than the longest side of a matchbox, then it was no beads. Now it’s a moratorium on competing in shoes that don’t meet Angela’s exacting standards of arch support.
Under other circumstances, I’d understand this – prevention of painful foot and heel conditions is nothing to be sniffed at, nor is the risk of slipping on a stray bead. But this is a ballroom dance competition, for crying out loud. Lose the impractical footwear and sparkles and you’re left with… well, dancing. Maybe there’s something to be said for that, in fairness. But the shoes are a key part of the dance style, and what’s more they’re built for the purpose, with perfectly adequate arch supports by the standards of the sport.
They might be less than ideal for optimal foot health if worn all day and every day, sure, and we dancers are probably guilty of that. But that’s why we warm our feet up and down, and bathe them in ice water and are best buddies with all the podiatrists local to Cheltenham. There’s more of them than you’d think, possibly due to that area being the national capital of ballroom dance. That’s a little known fact. Most people don’t realise that the International Academy of Ballroom Arts (IABA) is located in little old Cheltenham, but there you have it.
It was always kept under wraps, that fact, but now that Angela’s in charge the word is starting to leak out. With that in motion, Angela is determined to present an image of upholding unimpeachable standards of safety. Why? Who knows? I mean, there was that sensationalist piece that came about that guy in Norway meeting a tragic demise slipping on a stray sequin, but I thought that had all blown over.