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Buying Flamenco Shoes at the Freed of London Showroom

by Robert Abrams
November 18, 2005
Freed of London
44-01 21st Street, Suite 302
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 729-7061

Buying Flamenco Shoes at the Freed of London Showroom

Robert Abrams
November 18, 2005

I own nine pairs of dance shoes. One pair of imitation patent leather jazz shoes that dates from high school. A plain black Freed ballroom shoe. A patent leather Freed ballroom shoe. A half patent leather and half suede Freed ballroom shoe that I bought because I thought it looked cool, even though it is slightly too small for my feet. I have to tape my feet up with athletic tape to avoid the edges of the uppers from ripping my feet to shreds. The price we pay for fashion. Two pairs of Bloch dance sneakers, one in black and one in blue - one of which I bought because one day I needed to take a dance class to relieve stress and I didn't have my shoes with me. A pair of Sansha dance sneakers that I bought because that was the brand my former dance teacher, Michelle Officer, wore. It took a long time to acquire the Sanshas because they didn't normally stock a large enough size. A pair of black LaDucas, the kind that bend in the middle and that are worn by a lot of dancers on Broadway. For a long time I had to make sure to wear thick socks with this pair of shoes, until I discovered that if I put an insert into the shoe, it fit better. A two-toned tan pair of LaDucas that I bought to match a Goldfinger outfit I put together for the New York City Ballet's Dance with the Dancers. LaDuca made two pair of shoes specifically for Movin' Out, and the pair I have is the one they didn't take.

Reasonably enough, I thought I was done buying dance shoes.

Wrong.

I have started to take Flamenco classes. In Flamenco the shoes need to make noise. I have now taken two classes and I figured it was time to get the right equipment. I headed out to Freed of London's showroom at 44-01 21st Street in Long Island City, Queens, New York. It was very easy to get to. I took the E train to Ely/23rd Street in Queens. It is the first stop after going through the tunnel leaving Manhattan (Lexington Avenue stop). You get out at the back of the train, take the stairs up, turn right past the chicken place on 21st street and walk a couple of blocks until you are between 44th Road and 44th Avenue. The showroom is on the third floor.

Freed's space begins with a pleasantly lit reception area staffed by Angela. A display of shoes, Spanish fans, books and other items is behind her. After the reception area is the showroom. One wall is lined with many shoes. There are several racks of clothing, a small wooden floor on which to test shoes out, and a changing area.

Carmen, the salesperson, showed me the three styles of men's Flamenco shoes Freed carries. I tried on all three in various sizes. The shoes have a phalanx of nails pounded into the toe and heel, and are made to fit tight without laces such that you need the loops that are sewn on to the top of the boot to pull them on. After making Carmen run back to the store room several times, and putting the different shoes on and off, and walking back and forth trying to get comfortable with the high Cuban heel, I decided that the Gallardos fit the best. They cost $220, which isn't unreasonable for a hand-made shoe.

All in all, I was very pleased with the service I received at Freed's. Now I have to take more Flamenco classes to justify my purchase.


The Freed reception area
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Shoes and fans on display
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Shoes and books on display
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Check out those red shoes!
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Many styles to choose from
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



A pink tutu and matching top
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Skirts both long and short
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



A cute bag
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Perfect for Flamenco
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Ballet shoes
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Another cute bag
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



A wooden floor and a ballet barre to try out the shoes
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Gallardo Flamenco Dance boots
Photo courtesy of Carmen - the helpful Freed sales person



Robert Abrams in his Flamenco shoes - now I have no choice but to take more Flamenco lessons
Photo courtesy of Carmen - the helpful Freed sales person



The show room - plenty of space to jump around
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams




Freed of London

The beauty of Ballet. The rhythm of Rumba. The flash of Flamenco. The sensation of Swing. For every kind of dance, there's a Freed of London shoe to make it happen.
1-866-MY-FREED (1-866-693-7333)
718-729-7061
Fax 718-729-8086
44-01 21st Street, Suite 302
Long Island City, New York 11101-8086
info@freedusa.com
www.freedusa.com
www.freedoflondon.com

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