Category Archives: Our Stories

Difference Between Salsa on1, On2 and Mambo

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Here is a quick breakdown of the different types of Salsa steps. The difference between Salsa on1, NY on2, and Mambo. DISCLOSURE*** This is in regard to Salsa that is danced in a line or Salsa en linea. There was already a Mambo in Cuba before NY. The video addresses what people in the U.S. call Salsa and Mambo. The original Mambo from Cuba looks NOTHING like what we see today and was danced a tiempo or on1. I am no expert, but I tend to delve deeper into things than the majority. For a more educated perspective, please see this interview with Josue – La Epoca and Franklin Diaz.…

Published on Sep 28, 2017


Young couple dancing latin music

Young couple dancing latin music

Boston Dance Alliance is Inclusion

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“Through their new referral service for dancers with disabilities, the Boston Dance Alliance strives to break down barriers to inclusion. I was thrilled to see their action become a reality when I received an interview for and then earned the position to teach a 5-week accessible youth flamenco class at the Cotting School in Lexington. This is a chance of a lifetime, affording me the opportunity to share my love of flamenco with this inclusive community. Thank you BDA for increasing cultural equity and access to dance for diverse communities!


~Eve Costarelli, owner and founder, Always Be Dancing Expressive Arts: Yoga and Flamenco for Every/body


Boston Dance Alliance is committed to opening doors to dance. Their  free referrals for dancers with disabilities and those who want to work with them are only possible because of your generous support.
Every donation of $50 or more gets you the benefits of membership! Share in the success of the organization honored this year as one of the four best small nonprofits in the state by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.


Donate here by clicking on this link!


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Capezio has made an incredible gesture of support to Boston Dance Alliance, which believes that no one should be unable to participate in dance activity just because they can’t afford the equipment.

BDA will distribute Capezio ballet slippers valued at more than $25,000 to financially disadvantaged dancers across our community.

Over the first two years of the BDA Dancewear Distribution Program, BDA was able to provide more than $36,000 worth of goods through our partnership with NorthEast Dance Retailers Association and individual retailers and companies including Dancing Arts Center of Holliston. The Capezio gift represents the first corporate recognition of this important program.

And there’s more! This ballet-themed giveaway also includes $10,000 worth of pointe shoes from a variety of manufacturers. This gift is made possible by Dance This Way of Concord, Mass, a founding partner in the BDA Dancewear Distribution program.


New Spanish Dance Suppliers

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Four months have passed since my recent trip to Barcelona and my wonderful vacation that turned into a very productive business trip. The fruits of my labor with two important new dance suppliers Happy Dance and Menkes have now been sewn.

We have received two shipments from Happy Dance with a third due in early August and at long last our delivery from Menkes. We just received three new styles of Flamenco shoes including an exquisite new black suede lace-up style called Cale, a cuban heel double strap style that comes in a wide width named Alegria and an economy option called Marta.

Click below to see all of the new Spanish dance products from Happy Dance and Menkes:

Teddy Shoes 60 Year Anniversary Celebration Continues

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Teddy Shoes opened its doors in April of 1957. Much has transpired throughout our 60 year history. My father Theodore ( AKA Teddy ) began the business after completing a mangement trainee program at Filene’s Basement in downtown Boston. With an $11,000 investment and an obligation from his parents to pay rent only if he was able to make money, the legacy of Teddy Shoes began. At one time in its existence, there were 16 different shoe stores that were competing with Teddy Shoes. What enabled the business to survive and actually thrive were the connections Ted had with the factories that would provide closeouts and seconds that provided the latest fashions to our clients at a fraction of the prices our competitors were charging.

In August of 1978, the business had three locations — Cambridge, Somerville and Watertown. His son, Steve had just finished his first year out of college working as an assistant food service manger at the Univeristy of Miami in Coral Gables, FL working 70 hours a week. Ted made his son a proposition to join the family business, and as they say, the rest is history.

In 1993, the nature of the business changed as factory seconds dried up, and competition became more keen. Steve decided to develop a niche business by focusing on dance shoes and apparel. The family-run business has morphed from a busy three store operation into a single location dance enterprise that serves the greater Boston metroplitan community.

As part of our celebration for our 60 year anniversary, this month we will be offering $6 shoes to our clients. All sales are final; only selected styles and styles are available. Layaways are exluded, cash is preferred and offer expires July 31.

TeddyShos$6AnniversarySale  TeddyShos$6AnniversarySale1  StoreCancellationsPic

Come celebrate Rumba y Timbal on their 10 Year Anniversary Party!

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Roberto Figueroa is the Artistic Director of Rumba y Timbal Dance Studio. He is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his dance school and is hosting a party on Saturday June 3 between 4 to 11 p.m. at 7 Temple St. Cambridge, MA. 02139. We have known Roberto for many years and are delighted to promote this great celebration. Please visit his Facebook page for more information —[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22page%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22main_list%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22page_id%5C%22%3A201043239915115%2C%5C%22tour_id%5C%22%3Anull%7D%22%7D]%2C%22has_source%22%3Atrue%7D

Below please find the interesting bio of Roberto and his development of his professional career:

Roberto Figueroa was born and raised in El Salvador. As a young child he was strongly influenced by his mother’s passion for Cumbia-a traditional El Salvadorian dance. Eventually Roberto’s growing passion for dance led him to be involved with several folkloric dance teams in El Salvador. In April of 2002, Roberto moved to Boston to pursue his engineering career. He began to explore the Boston Salsa scene and soon fell in love with the world of salsa, as it reminds him of his life and culture back in El Salvador. Shortly after, he was offered a position of Latin Artistic Director for Jam’nastics, a position he held for several years. He has now taken his passion for dance one step further with the start of his own company founded in the spring of 2007. As Artistic Director of Rumba y Timbal Dance Company, Roberto has the opportunity and great pleasure of sharing his culture and love of dance with the communities of the greater Boston area. As a professional dancer and teacher, he enjoys performing in and teaching at workshops and congresses all over the United States, Canada, and El Salvador.



5 Things to Consider when Buying Dance Shoes

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5 Things to Consider when Buying Dance Shoes

Athletes have specific shoes for their indiviudual sports. Similarly, dancer’s footwear are also different from regular shoes. Dance shoes are manufactured in compliance with a dancer’s body to help move freely on the dance floor. Specialized dance shoes can prevent you from potential injuries during their function and also provide stability for knees and ankles. Dance floors can be unpredictable due to their uneven surface, size, and shapes which makes it even more imperative to wear the proper dance shoe. Here are five things to keep in mind before buying a dancing shoe pair:

Choose your shoes with the right fit

The first and foremost step in choosing a dance shoe is to make sure it fits like a glove. Shoes that have too much space in the toe box can flop off after use; conversely, shoes that are crunched in the toe area can cause discomfort and become unusable. One cannot grow a short shoe. When first trying on shoes, make sure they fit comfortably without any stress. In that way, you will have better control and freedom of mobility when attempting turns and twists while dancing.

Sole and upper of the shoes

Sole of the shoes is another important consideration. Ballet dancers will need to decide between full or split sole. Beginners typically opt for the the full sole while intermediate or more advanced ballet dancers usually prefer split soles. For jazz dancing, a rubber patch is usually recommended; for practice ballroom or tango dancing, suede soles are usually advised because the suede grips the floor but also allows for the proper amount of slide. A leather sole is more slippery than suede and is preferred when more slide is desired and also can be used for outdoor use. However, if you have chosen suede sole, you will need to keep the sole clean by using a wire brush after every two or three uses. When not properly cared for, suede soles can become sticky and may not function as desired.

Shoe straps

A standard ankle strap that provides support is called a bootstrap. Delicate straps tend to get broken only after a precise wearing of the shoes. To avoid such mishaps, newly developed and modern straps are manufactured which offer additional comfort & protection to the feet. Some prominent types of dancing shoe straps include the following:

> T-strap

> Double X-strap

> Single X-strap

> Round arch X-strap

All of these come with distinct features and serve multiple purposes and need according to the consumers’ choice.

Heel type

As far as the heel is concerned, thickness and height are two important components to consider. Height for dancing shoes ranges from 0.5″ to 4″. Different sizes of heels serve different functions; for example, a 1.5” — 2” heel is advisable for beginners while advanced and professional dancers often wear 3” and higher. Shapes of heels – block, flared and slim are all a function of comfort, fashion and stability.


Dance shoes have different prices, depending on their comfort, quality, shape and size. Having the chance to be fitted for the right dance shoe and find a large selection at a reputable dance shop is recommended because buying the wrong shoe or an improper size can cost you alot more in the long run. If you decide to buy online, be aware that online stores often can sell poor quality shoes that may appear to be great but may not be that durable. Look for quality products that will serve you well on the dance floor! The decision to buy a pair of dance shoes is an important one – one that may ultimately help you become the confident and polished dancer that you would like to be.


12 Reasons to Shop at Teddy Shoes

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Spain Trip 3.229.17

Steve Adelson, Owner — Teddy Shoes, Inc. and Jacobo Menkes, Owner — Menkes, E.S. on a recent trip to Barcelona, Spain

12 Reasons to Shop at Teddy Shoes

1. Superb customer service.
2. Unparalleled, huge inventory.
3. Value-driven, competitive pricing.
4. Convenient Red Line T location!.
5. Open 7 days a week.
6. Family owned and operated since 1957.
7. 7 day cash/credit refund policy.
8. No time limit on unworn returns.
9. Free layaway plan.
10. Teddy Shoes Rewards program.
11. Informative e-commerce website.
12. Blog, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter feeds.

Shop online at
or drop by the store.

Please let us show you why we value each and every customer!

Highlights from my recent trip to Spain

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Highlights from my recent trip to Spain


One doesn’t often get a chance to take ten days off from work to visit Barcelona and Seville, Spain. I was fortunate enough to do this and thought I would share with you some of the highlights from this adventure.


Visiting my son had its advantages on this trip because the family he was staying with was extremely gracious to us. Our son’s hosts brought us out on a day trip to Girona where we had the chance to eat authentic Catalan food including delicacies like calcots ( grilled green onions served with romesco sauce ), grilled rabbit and roasted snails with aioli. This meal was memorable as was the rest of the day which included stops in the medieval town of Bealu and Figueres, home of the Dali museum.


While in Barcelona, I took the time to meet with a great new dance supplier, Happy Dance. After working with the local representative, I wrote several orders which included exciting new dance shoes and apparel. Most of these great products are made in Spain and will offer a wonderful selection not available anywhere in our area. Happy Dance will become a valued resource for the dance consumers shopping in the Boston area.


Also in Barcelona, I was able to meet with Jacobo Menkes, the owner of Menkes, ES., a worldwide manufacturer of high quality flamenco and other dance shoes. We will offering products from Menkes that are currently not available in New England. This well known brand will be a welcome addition to the broad selection of dance shoes now available at Teddy Shoes.


Experiencing Seville on a horse and buggy ride was a great way to begin our visit to Spain’s fourth largest city. Dining on inexpensive, tasty tapas, touring the amazing Alcazar castle, visiting the spectacular El Alhambra in Granada and ending our adventure with an authentic Flamenco dance show were all memorable highlights of our trip to Spain.


Having the opportunity to combine business with pleasure and family was a special time. As the owner of Teddy Shoes, I welcome your feedback about this email. If you are interested in learning more about my trip or have ideas how we can bring this wonderful experience to you, please share with me your thoughts. You can call the store at 617-354-2987 or email me at


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Meet the Owner — Steve Adelson

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Meet the Owner

Steve Adelson arrived at Teddy Shoes, Inc. on August 21, 1978. Having graduated from four years of college at Michigan State University with a degree in business and a minor in Hotel & Restaurant Management and one year as an assistant food manager working at Saga Food Service at the University of Miami, Steve got an offer from his dad Ted to join Teddy Shoes. Dad had three stores at the time ( Cambridge, Somerville and Watertown ) and could use the help running the operation. Steve always wanted to have the opportunity to be his own boss, but never thought he would end up in the family business.

So the partnership began! The store specialized in family footwear and factory seconds/cancellations during its inception in 1957 and through the 80’s. In 1985, the Davis Square Somerville location was lost because of higher lease costs. East Boston under the name Kushner’s was added to the store’s operations. In 1987, Steve began the process of buying the business, and Teddy Shoes became Teddy Shoes, Inc.

In 1993, a turning point came in the life of the business. Factory seconds and cancellations dried up, and the decision to add more dance lines to the store’s business began. First, Capezio had closed two of its operations near us, and customers were asking for the brand. So a $3000 opening order was written ( This seemed like an astronomical amount at the time ), and then brands like Bloch, Body Wrappers, Motionwear, Sansha and So Danca were added in the years that followed.

In May 2013, a new website was launched which brought many of the store’s products online. Last year a new logo and home page was developed. Further improvements will be forthcoming. Today Teddy Shoes, Inc. has become a mecca for dance beginners and aficionados, and 88% of the business comes from Dance!

As the store enters its 60th anniversary, Steve will be completing his 39th season. Large footsteps were left by the originator himself, Theodore Adelson, Mr. Teddy himself. Steve is proud to be carrying on the tradition of this valuable institution that serves the dance community and the greater Boston area. As is customary, Steve welcomes your comments, interaction and suggestions. He can be reached at the store at 617-354-2987 or via email at