Barefoot dancing is great. It's all about being connected to the earth, being in full contact with the dance surface, using the natural strength in your feet to manage turns, power shimmies, and create your lines.
Not for me!
The second-most-fucked-up parts of my body are my feet (you don't want to know what the first is). My mother used to have a saying... "Italian shoes do not agree with my German feet!" I inherited her width, but I also got my father's inverted arches, and I have my own problems with callouses. YAY! Couple that with plantar fasciitis and a propensity towards plantar's warts, and there will be no dancing barefoot for me. Bad, bad plan.
I am stupidly jealous of ballerinas in their pointe shoes. I know for a fact that the feet IN those shoes are fucked, but the shoes make their feet look so elegant and delicate. The same cannot be said for me, sadly. I dance in a pair of Leo's jazz sandals. They are... not cute. In fact, they look downright geriatric.
Fortunately, I dance ATS. As our dear Grace says, "You're wearing two skirts and a pair of pantaloons. Nobody's going to be looking at your feet." Thank goodness, because the friggin' sandals make my feet look like duck flippers. Long, wide, and really dorky.
However, as aesthetically challenged as these poor shoes are, GODDAMN do they work great for me! The heel keeps me elevated off of my crappy arches, but not so much that exacerbates the plantar fasc. The elastic gore stretches to accommodate the wideness. Even the little elastic tab connecting sole to heel has a purpose for me... it hits me in the exact spot where the adductor muscle bulges out, so it gets to chill out in open air and not be constricted.
(For those of you who are wondering what the last bit means... basically, where most people have the arch of their foot, my feet are completely flush to the ground. I make bigass footprints. And the part where you all have arches? My muscle bulges outward. I've told them that feet don't go like that. They haven't listened.)
I wish I could reliably wear a pair of shoes that felt great and looked fierce, but I've always had to choose between style and substance. I'm finally at a point in my life that substance is starting to feel a fuckton better than style, and as long as nobody can see them, I'm not embarrassed to wear grandma jazz shoes instead of a pair of bedazzled foot panties. And so long as they make yoga socks, nobody else has to see them either.