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#70 Gloria Zmolek, Art Teacher / Salsa Dancer

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Gloria Zmolek,
Art and Art History Teacher / Salsa Dancer

I don’t really like shoes simply for the reason that I have wide feet and it is always hard for me to find a pair of shoes that I can comfortably squeeze my feet into. That being said, the shoes that have the strongest memories for me are the dozens of shoes that I have danced in through the years. I have danced on and off through my life...ballet, tap, the twist, the monster mash, free style and more. But for about the last twenty years, salsa dancing has been my passion. While I admire all the glamorous women parading onto the dance floor with tall spiked glittery heels, I don’t follow suit. Part of me would like to look like they do, but a much bigger part of me wants to dance nonstop through the night. If the music is playing, I want to be on the floor. The higher the heel, the sooner my legs will ache and cut short the amount of time I can dance.

Looking through my 9 pairs of dance shoes that I currently have in my closet, I chose the pair that were the most beat up. Covered with dust bunnies, they’ve clearly been around for a long time. They were worn out some time ago. They’ve danced in so many cities and countries, with so many friends and acquaintances. They’ve danced on floors sticky from spilled mixed drinks. They’ve run home after a dance through the rain. I’ve used super glue to attach the sole to the insole....or one time when there was no glue to be had, I resorted to gum.  And here they are: scuffed all over, torn and un-stitched, with rhinestones and a heel cap missing. Why on earth do I still have them? Maybe I held onto them just in case one of my newer pair failed me? But now I think I can let them go. Goodbye dear friends. We had so much fun.