• Five Dancing Tips and One Stylish Sandal for your Latin Dancing Routine

    By Nick on Wednesday, August 06, 2014

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    ​From San Francisco to Philadelphia, summer nights present the perfect opportunity to leave the house and experience the warm outdoors. Neighborhood walks, outdoor meals and evening hikes often fill our agendas, though a new summer phenomenon has started to surface: outdoor Latin dancing. Towns and cities nationwide have caught on to the craze, encouraging dancers to “move and groove” under the stars.

    At Dansko, we’re always looking for an excuse to show off our best moves. This got us thinking: which Dansko style would we choose for a night of dancing?

    With a striking cross-strap design, gorgeous full-grain leather upper and on-trend wedge heel with stud detailing, our Frida sandal effortlessly fits the bill. But Frida offers more than just style: a memory foam insert and breathable leather socklining will keep you moving from the first dance, to the last dance, to dinner and dessert, all in one stylish pair of sandals. So, what are you waiting for? Strap up those sandals and hit the dance floor. We’ll see you there.

    Before you embark on your night of swinging and rumbaing, we’d love to share a few tips for your next performance. Time to practice—summer won’t last forever!

    • Five Dancing Tips and One Stylish Sandal for your Latin Dancing Routine  -

      1. Pick a style—and stick to it! Whether you choose the Cha Cha, Danza or ever-popular Salsa, we recommend learning one style before attempting another. If you try too many styles at once, you may confuse your steps! 

      2. Focus on your feet. Before you think about your hips, or even your arms, you will want to master the most important element of Latin dance—your footwork. Develop your dance steps, incorporate your hips and arms, and dance away.
       
      3. Learn the intricacies of leading and following. For Latin dances to work cohesively, leaders must know when to lead and followers must know when to follow. Picture yourself in a conversation with your partner; always tune into his or her moves, and anticipate when to respond.
    • Five Dancing Tips and One Stylish Sandal for your Latin Dancing Routine  -

      4. Stay positive (and confident). Once you learn the ins and outs of basic Latin dance, the steps (and spins) will become second nature. Stay confident, and let your feet guide you from start to finish. As soon as you begin to second-guess yourself, the rhythm will become harder to follow!

      5. Dance with people of all abilities. Virtually every Latin dance requires a partner. So why not test your skills with a pro—and perfect your moves with a beginner? By practicing with a wide range of partners, you will learn all the intricacies of rhythmic dance.
       
      We hope you practice your skills this summer—and use our tips to become a Latin dance pro! Get outside and enjoy a free-spirited night of dancing in comfort and style.
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  • Retailer Spotlight: Vintage and Modern Shoe Care Tips from Simons Shoes

    By Meghan on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

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    ​Located just west of Boston, Massachusetts in historic Coolidge Corner, Dansko retailer Simons Shoes has developed a rich history of serving local (and faraway) shoppers. The acclaimed shoe store has sold “luxurious comfort shoes” and delivered exceptional customer service for 122 years, offering style and value in every pair sold. Over the past century, the business has changed drastically, though owner Michael Kerstein holds tightly to Simons’ core value:

    “It’s all about doing the little things correctly,” he said. “Customers walk in with expectations, and we must meet or exceed them in every way possible.”

    For Michael and the Simons team, personalized, neighborly service has launched the store into one of Boston’s favorite local boutiques. Sales associates hit the floor equipped to answer questions about styles, trends and shoe care, and never let customers leave without double-checking shoe fit and comfort.

    Of course, this wealth of shoe knowledge didn’t develop overnight: Michael and Simons’ previous owners have stayed on top of industry trends since the store opened in 1892. In Michael’s words, Simons employs “shoe history buffs.”

    Recently, the store discovered a non-traditional list of shoe care tips, dating back to their first year of business. Surprised (and amused), Michael shared the list with us—and added his own modern-day interpretation. Interested in stretching your shoes in the freezer? You may want to think again!  

    Four Vintage Shoe Care Tips (and their Modern-Day Alternatives)
    From Simons Shoes

    • Retailer Spotlight: Vintage and Modern Shoe Care Tips from Simons Shoes  -

      1892: To clean dirt off suede, remove the crust from a piece of bread and allow the bread to become stale. Gently rub dirt and stains with the edge of the stale bread.

      2014: No one likes stale bread, including your gorgeous new suede heels! Simons Says: Clean shoes with a suede bar and brush.
    • Retailer Spotlight: Vintage and Modern Shoe Care Tips from Simons Shoes  -

      1915: Break in stiff or too-snug shoes by slipping them on with socks and blow-drying your feet with a hot hairdryer.

      2014: Using a hairdryer will only cause your feet to sweat and swell! Simons Says: Treat those shoes with an oil leather softener and conditioner.

    • Retailer Spotlight: Vintage and Modern Shoe Care Tips from Simons Shoes  -

      1922: To stretch tight shoes, fill two freezer bags with water and place one bag into each shoe. Let the bags freeze overnight. As the water freezes, your shoes will gently expand.

      2014: It seems cruel and unusual to punish those new wedges by making them spend a night in the freezer. Simons Says: A shoe stretch spray will do the trick. Or, you can always bring your shoes into Simons Boston-based store to have them carefully stretched.

    • Retailer Spotlight: Vintage and Modern Shoe Care Tips from Simons Shoes  -

      1933: Glass cleaner restores the glossy sheen on patent leather without damaging the material.

      2014: Though glass cleaner may not harm your pretty patent shoes, you don't want that lovely aroma following you around, do you? Simons Says: Try a patent cleaner for an odorless shine.

      In this case, what’s old is not new again! For more information about Simons Shoes, visit their website at SimonsShoes.com.
       

      Dansko does not endorse or suggest the use of bread (stale or fresh), blow dryers or glass cleaner on your shoes. But we do have our very own list of shoe care tips! Learn more by visiting the Material Care section of Dansko.com.

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  • Shop the Trend: Refreshingly Cobalt

    By Meghan on Monday, July 28, 2014

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    ​From terra cotta tiles to nubuck leather shoes, we have the cobalt trend covered. Check out our favorite items below:

    Strand Necklace: Let this elegant, single-strand necklace add a Mediterranean-inspired pop to your favorite outfit. Complete with a gold-plated chain and intricate brass beads, this crisp and clean necklace deserves a spot in every summer wardrobe.
    From: That’s Mine Boutique

    Suede Clutch: Grab hold of this handmade suede clutch, stash your cards and cash, and hit the town. A metal stud closure and roomy interior pocket present a flawless blend of function and style.
    From: Disco Lemonade Designs

    Talavera Clay Tiles: Ready for countless summer DIY projects, these terra cotta tiles feature a white glaze finish and a natural distressed look. From coasters, to garden crafts, to playful mosaics, add a bright-blue hue to your next home project.
    From: Joyride Vintage

    Dansko Lulu: Turn up the style quotient with Lulu, a soft and smooth ankle-strap shoe. Wrapped in cobalt nubuck uppers, and featuring a beautiful crepe-textured rubber outsole, Lulu offers modern style for every day of the week.
    From: Dansko

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  • The "Idiosyncratic Fashionistas" Weigh In: How Do You Form a Style Identity?

    By Nick on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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    ​Forever aiming to achieve fabulous style identities, New York City fashionistas Valerie and Jean take pride in standing out in a crowd. But instead of targeting specific styles, or adopting the newest trends, the pair focuses on allowing their personalities to shape the way they look. 

    “A desire to enjoy life inspires my individual sense of style,” said Jean, who, along with Valerie, co-writes a blog entitled Idiosyncratic Fashionistas. “I look up to personal style icons like Nancy Cunard and Georgia O’Keefe—but I admire their strength of character more than their personal looks.” 

    For Valerie, who conveys a “graphic, textural and architectural” style, fashion represents an opportunity to express individuality: “Wearing clothes is like inhaling a bouquet of flowers,” she responded. “When people react to what we’re wearing, they look like they’re inhaling the same bouquet.”

    In late 2013, a celebrity editor for prominent fashion website Stylecaster noticed Valerie and Jean’s unconventional sense of style. He later listed the dynamic duo in his annual “50 Most Stylish New Yorkers” feature (see slide 45), describing Valerie and Jean as “two of the most fashionable women he’d ever met.” In Valerie’s words, Cain smelled their bouquet.

    But for the stylish pair, achieving an identity in the “fashion capital of the world” requires a strong sense of self-awareness. Jean believes aspiring fashionistas must know who they are and what they want to look like—and then, they need to laugh. “When people look at me, I hope they see confidence with a sense of humor,” she continued. “After all, dressing should be fun.”

    Valerie encourages women to practice patience from start to finish: “Start simply and make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself” she said. “Just like cooking, you should slowly add to your style. But remember—nobody gets it overnight!”

    Jean and Valerie navigate New York’s busy streets on a daily basis, all the while donning their fabulous outfits. But admittedly, they couldn’t do so without supportive, comfortable shoes. 

    “Details count!” said Valerie, offering final words of advice. “You CAN find shoes that are both stylish and comfortable. Take the time—you’ll be glad you did.”

    Jean, who prefers to paint, sticker and add platform heels to her Dansko clogs, also believes in the power of comfort and style: “I have worn Dansko for decades,” she began. “I do a lot of walking and my feet never, ever hurt!” 

    We love the confidence, sense of style and personalities of these remarkable women.

    “Cunard and O’Keefe were not interested in looking like everybody else,” Jean concluded. “They looked like who THEY were, and that worked for them.” 

    [Photo Credit: The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas]


     

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  • A Moment for Mindfulness: Practice in Posture, A Seated Guide to Meditation

    By Mindful Magazine on Friday, July 11, 2014

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    Meditation is not all in your mind. In fact, it begins and ends in the body.

    When we think about meditating, we often get distracted by our own thoughts. So in this post, we are going to do something about what’s happening in our heads.
     
    Meditation involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body. That very act can be calming, since our body has internal rhythms that help it relax—if we give it a chance.
     
    Here’s a posture practice that can be used to begin a longer meditation practice, or perhaps a practice to help stabilize and relax before carrying on with the rest of your day.
     
    TIME: 3 to 5 minutes
     
    1. Take your seat. Whatever you’re sitting on—a chair, meditation cushion, or park bench—find a spot that gives you a stable, solid seat, not perching or hanging back.
     
    2. If on a cushion or on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you (If you already do some kind of seated yoga posture, go ahead). If on a chair, make sure the bottoms of your feet are touching the floor.
     
    3. Straighten—but don’t stiffen—your upper body. The spine has a natural curvature. Let it be there. Your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae.
     
    4. Situate your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Then let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs. With your upper arms at your sides, your hands will land in the right spot. Too far forward will make you hunch. Too far back will make you stiff. You’re tuning the strings of your body—not too tight and not too loose.
     
    5. Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward. You may let your eyelids lower. If you feel the need, you may lower them completely, but it’s not necessary to close your eyes when meditating. You can simply let what appears before your eyes be there without focusing on it.
     
    6. Stay there for a few moments. Relax. Now get up and go about your day.
     
    - Barry Boyce, Mindful Magazine Editor-in-Chief
     
    Mindful will return in August with their third guest post. In the meantime, visit mindful.org for feature articles or to subscribe to the magazine in print or digital format.

     

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Archive Vault

  1. 2014 (57)
    1. September (6)
      1. September 18 2014 Kickstart Your Daily Routine With Airman Annelise Rowe
      2. September 17 2014 Dansko Voted Best for Workers
      3. September 12 2014 The Birth of a Comfort Generation
      4. September 11 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Tuning Into Your Taste Buds
      5. September 05 2014 Staff Picks: Our Favorite Fall Styles
      6. September 04 2014 Get to Know Tamara: Our Go-To-Work or Go-Out Shoe
    2. August (10)
      1. August 29 2014 Four Nursing Lessons and One Big Giveaway
      2. August 27 2014 Allison and the Country’s Top Food Markets
      3. August 25 2014 Recognizing our Footwear Family with Five Anniversaries
      4. August 21 2014 Shop the Trend: On Active Duty
      5. August 19 2014 Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine
      6. August 14 2014 Touring Dansko Headquarters: Our Five Favorite Spots
      7. August 12 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Three Ways to Focus the Wandering Mind
      8. August 08 2014 The “Art” of Mneme Therapy: How Kim Ingwaldson Makes A Difference Every Day
      9. August 06 2014 Five Dancing Tips and One Stylish Sandal for your Latin Dancing Routine
      10. August 05 2014 Retailer Spotlight: Vintage and Modern Shoe Care Tips from Simons Shoes
    3. July (10)
      1. July 30 2014 Summer Days at Dansko: A Dip & Dessert BBQ Spectacular
      2. July 28 2014 Shop the Trend: Refreshingly Cobalt
      3. July 23 2014 A Passion for Fashion: Q&A With Marcus Allen
      4. July 21 2014 Dansko and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Team Up to "Save the Bay"
      5. July 15 2014 The "Idiosyncratic Fashionistas" Weigh In: How Do You Form a Style Identity?
      6. July 11 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Practice in Posture, A Seated Guide to Meditation
      7. July 10 2014 Fran’s Four Fabulous and Functional Summer Hairstyles
      8. July 08 2014 10 Summer Adventures for 10 Dansko Shoes
      9. July 03 2014 Retailer Spotlight: 10 Paddlesport Tips from Route 96 Power and Paddle
      10. July 01 2014 The Essential Guide to your Fourth of July Tablescape
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      1. June 30 2014 In the News: Dansko Co-Founder and CEO Mandy Cabot
      2. June 27 2014 Food, Farms and Comfortable Clogs: Q&A With Cooking Light Executive Chef Anna Bullett
      3. June 24 2014 Summer Days at Dansko: Team Day 2014
      4. June 20 2014 Cabot Creamery Makes a Difference in Local Communities
      5. June 17 2014 Shop the Trend: Rooted in Vintage
      6. June 12 2014 A Moment For Mindfulness: Introducing Guest Bloggers Mindful Magazine
      7. June 10 2014 Kickstart Your Art Collection with these Five Artsy Tips
      8. June 05 2014 A Woman of Many Titles: Q&A with Image Consultant Michele Gustafson
      9. June 02 2014 Trend Alert: Your Complete Guide to Normcore
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      1. May 30 2014 Shop the Trend: Fresh and Fabulous Florals
      2. May 28 2014 10 Summer Suitcase Essentials for your Next Adventure
      3. May 22 2014 Brooklyn Chef Justin Warner Shares Three Kitchen Essentials (Hint: He wears Dansko shoes!)
      4. May 20 2014 Let Your Garden Grow: An Early June Planting Guide
      5. May 16 2014 A Month of Celebrations: Dansko Recognizes Teachers and Nurses
      6. May 14 2014 A Mixologist’s Journey: Q&A with Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler (And a Cocktail Recipe, too!)
      7. May 13 2014 Dansko Volunteers Hit the Road During "Footwear Cares" Month of Service
      8. May 08 2014 Mother's Day 2014: Why Do We Celebrate Mom?
      9. May 07 2014 Lace up Your Sneakers and Visit Our Top Walking Cities
      10. May 01 2014 Six Stretches for your Workday
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      1. April 29 2014 "America's Best Cook" Contestant Presses Onward – In Dansko Clogs!
      2. April 25 2014 A Step-By-Step Guide to Planting your Arbor Day Tree
      3. April 23 2014 Shop the Trend: Bright, Bold, Beautiful Tangerine
      4. April 21 2014 Earth Day 2014: Five Steps for Conserving Water at Home
      5. April 17 2014 Q&A with Street Style Blogger Dana Landon
      6. April 14 2014 Recipe Time: A Sweet Spring Treat from King Arthur Flour
      7. April 01 2014 10 Spring Adventures for 10 Dansko Shoes
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      1. March 28 2014 Volunteers Leave a SPLASHing Impact
      2. March 26 2014 Spotted in Dansko: Acclaimed Chef Suzanne Goin
      3. March 24 2014 Celebrating Employee Ownership with a Little Competition (And a LOT of Laughter!)
      4. March 21 2014 Suits, Sweaters and Dansko: Q&A with New York Designer Drew Villani
      5. March 20 2014 Now Introducing: Word of Foot!
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