Most dance studios will not allow high thin heels to be worn on their dance floors as they cause damage to wooden and synthetic floor surfaces. This may not make sense to you if you’ve watched ballroom dancers dancing in high heels as the protocols regarding ballroom and Latin dancing shoes are not known outside of dance circles.
The shoes worn for competitive and professional Ballroom and Latin dancing are indeed high and fairly thin heels, however dancers use transparent plastic caps (heel guards or heel protectors) attached to the heels that reduce the pressure of the heel on the dance floor and avoid damages. The heel guards are made expressly for this purpose and are used by all. Indeed, some competitions check competitor’s shoes before they are allowed on the dance floor and they are not allowed on the floor without them.
At the time of writing very high platforms with very high and thin heels are fashionable and are worn by at around 30% of bride’s. These shoes will cause damage on a wooden or vinyl floor just walking on it, let alone dancing.
If you are uncertain about your wedding shoes, measure the diameter of the bottom of the heel, if it is less than 20mm you can be fairly certain you will not be allowed to wear them for your dance lessons.
You may be allowed to wear them if you have plastic heel guards / heel protectors on them. These can be fairly easily purchased at most shoes stores nowadays and also readily obtainable online.
You should also note however that some dance studios may not allow your shoes on their dance floor even with the heel guards as high platforms and heels are not considered safe footwear for dancing and as such may be prohibited for public liability reasons.
Don’t let all of this deter you from asking though, but do understand that the above are quite valid reasons for any studio to refuse you.
So you should plan on practicing in your shoes at home so that you can get used to doing your dance whilst wearing them.
In the case where you are wearing flat shoes or wedge shoes for your wedding, or shoes that have a wide heel you will quite likely be allowed to wear them on the dance floor for your lessons however It is always a good idea to have a pair of flats with you for your first lesson so that you can be sure you have appropriate footwear to meet the studio’s footwear regulations.
The other issue that arises with wearing your actual wedding shoes for the dance lessons is getting black scuff marks on your shoes whilst dancing. Where they are made from leather or vinyl this is not a great problem as light scruff marks can be cleaned fairly easily, however satin shoes cannot be cleaned so easily and this needs to be taken into account.
Do think about how important pristine shoes are on your wedding day, a white or light coloured satin shoe will get scuff marks on them for sure within 5-10 minutes of dancing and quite noticeable black marks if worn for a whole lesson. To ensure satin shoes remain spotless for your wedding day it is more advisable to practice at home in your satin shoes, on freshly cleaned floors or on carpet and with the groom wearing socks.
Do show your shoes to your dance teacher, or at least describe them to them, so that they understand what you will be wearing on the day and can ensure the dance is appropriate for you.