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Mon-Wed, 11am-7pm; Thu-Sat, 11am-8pm; Sun, noon-6pm
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1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S at Times Sq.-42nd St.
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What originated as a folk music store in 1969 is now a bicoastal dance-shoe distributor that outfits Broadway casts and the contestants on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” The family-owned shop was founded by Kenneth Spear, who taught folk dance in New York public schools. Shortly after opening, he phased out the assortment of instruments to focus solely on footwear, eventually opening a second location in Los Angeles. The flagship’s in-house and custom shoe selection furnishes almost every facet of the dance world: tango, salsa, swing, theatrical, Broadway, rhythm, and tap. With an inconspicuous storefront and simple décor—posters of “Dancing With the Stars” members adorn the walls—Worldtone relies mostly on word-of-mouth referrals and its long-standing reputation within the industry. Broadway stars from Liza Minelli to Patti Lupone schedule in-store fittings, and the casts of Gypsy, Jersey Boys, and The Phantom of the Opera browse tall stacks of rehearsal shoes and various competitive styles. A small selection of children’s sizes and dance clothing is available, as well as arch supports, inserts, soles, laces, and polish.
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