If I could give 0 stars, I would. Background: I have been dancing a long time. Many years, in fact. I have lived in Seattle for 10+ years, shopped at Experience for dance shoes in the past, and have had the same creepy experience as previous posters here. I shrug it off because I need dance shoes.
I have held off on giving a negative review, again, in favor of just buying my freaking shoes and getting out. I have shopped here MANY times, have had interactions with Jim (aka ""the owner"") many times out in the dance community, but yet he still does not even acknowledge me when I walk into the store. Infuriating. But, I need shoes. ugh.
This week I called ahead and asked if he sold tango shoes. ""Yes, of course"" was the answer. I asked for his hours, which were stated plainly, so I didn't ask any more questions. I drove down to the waterfront - under construction, hell to find parking - and went in, only to be ignored. Again. Too busy kissing ass of another customer who was sent by a dance instructor friend (who I won't name, but I also know to be a jerk) to buy shoes, because, you know ""(Dance instructor guy) has bought DOZENS of pairs of shoes from me."" BFD.
I asked for a tango shoe with a stiletto, which I was corrected to call a ""skinny heel."" Really? So we can't have a conversation about a proper ladies tango shoe unless I call it a skinny heel? Jeezbus Christo. Ask the little old shoemakers in Buenos Aires what they call it, but OK. Yes, a skinny heel, please, and I'd like at least 3.5"". I was given ONE shoe as an example - red, about 2"" heel, while he went to the back to look for what I wanted in my size, black, gold or silver (not red). When he was unable to produce what I wanted, he became even more rude and condescending. Kinda crazy, since he claims to make custom shoes, but apparently only for people he likes (which seems to be no one I know). Jim asked me if I knew other women that danced in ""skinny heels that tall"" and when I answered ""yes, every woman I know who isn't really tall"" his pissy retort was ""So that makes them better dancers?"" I looked him straight in the eye, and said ""Oh come on already"" while shaking my head. He said nothing. I told him that was incredibly rude, and I left.
I have never ever written a review this negative, but after several years of dealing with this crap, I rather take my chances and order my dance shoes online. Or better yet, take a trip to BA and buy them myself, where dance is respected, dance shoes are a work of art, and the customer is treated as a benefactor of the arts.
And Jim, if you're reading this, pay attention to your customers. Smile. Be interested in meeting their needs. You don't know who you are talking to. They may be a professional dancer from out of town. Don't pass judgment on their dance ability, because it really isn't about that. We want to buy shoes that are good quality, from a good establishment that cares about its customers. If you want to be a fashion photographer, then you should go back to doing that and get out of the shoe biz. It doesn't fit your 'personality.'