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United States Patent Application 20180007998
Kind Code A1
Johnson; Fiona January 11, 2018

AN OVER-THE-SHOE DANCING APPARATUS

Abstract

An over-the-shoe dancing apparatus enables improved positioning and secure placement of taps. The apparatus comprises an elastomeric slipper for receiving a shoe wherein the slipper includes a longitudinal axis, an underside, a toe portion and a heel portion; at least two taps attached to the underside of the slipper; and an intermediate layer positioned between at least one of the at least two taps and the underside of the slipper; wherein a first tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a forward most point along the longitudinal axis of the toe portion of the slipper and a second tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a rearward most point along the longitudinal axis of the heel portion of the slipper.


Inventors: Johnson; Fiona; (Queensland, AU)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

JQ4 PTY. LTD.

BRISBANE, QLD

AU
Family ID: 1000002924635
Appl. No.: 15/547632
Filed: February 1, 2016
PCT Filed: February 1, 2016
PCT NO: PCT/AU2016/050055
371 Date: July 31, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A43B 5/18 20130101; A43B 5/12 20130101; A43B 1/14 20130101; A43B 13/10 20130101
International Class: A43B 5/18 20060101 A43B005/18; A43B 1/14 20060101 A43B001/14; A43B 5/12 20060101 A43B005/12; A43B 13/10 20060101 A43B013/10

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Jan 30, 2015AU2015900289

Claims



1. An over-the-shoe dancing apparatus comprising: an elastomeric slipper that receives a shoe wherein the slipper includes a longitudinal axis, an underside, a toe portion and a heel portion; at least two taps; an intermediate layer positioned between at least one of the at least two taps and the underside of the slipper; and removable fasteners that removably fastens each of the taps to the underside of the slipper; wherein a first tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a forward most point along the longitudinal axis of the toe portion of the slipper and a second tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a rearward most point along the longitudinal axis of the heel portion of the slipper.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a gripping means projecting from the underside of the slipper that prevents slipping.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the slipper comprises cut-out regions.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the intermediate layer comprises polyurethane.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the slipper comprises silicon.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the taps comprise metal.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the removable fasteners are threaded screws.

8. An over-the-shoe dancing apparatus comprising: an elastomeric slipper that receives a shoe wherein the slipper includes a longitudinal axis, an underside, a toe portion and a heel portion; at least two taps attached to the underside of the slipper; and an intermediate layer positioned between at least one of the at least two taps and the underside of the slipper; wherein a first tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a forward most point along the longitudinal axis of the toe portion of the slipper and a second tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a rearward most point along the longitudinal axis of the heel portion of the slipper.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, further comprising removable fasteners that removably fastens each of the taps to the underside of the slipper.

10. The apparatus of claim 8, further comprising a gripping means projecting from the underside of the slipper that prevents slipping.

11. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the slipper comprises cut-out regions.

12. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the intermediate layer comprises polyurethane.

13. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the slipper comprises silicon.

14. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the taps comprise metal.

15. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the removable fasteners are threaded screws.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus. In particular, although not exclusively, the invention relates to an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus including attached taps for tap dancing.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0002] Similar to other styles of dancing, tap dancing has many recognized moves or steps that combine to create a dance routine. These dance steps vary from being basic (shuffle, ball dog, heel drop), to more advanced moves that combine elements of basic and intermediate moves in quick succession. These moves require the dancer to make specific movements of the dancer's body, particularly using their legs and feet. Tap dancing differs in at least one essential aspect from most other forms of dancing, namely the tap sound. The principal object of tap dancing is to create sound with the action of the tap on the dancer's shoe against the dance floor as the dancer creates the visual aspect of the performance. Tap dancing can be compared to musical sound, where the dancer utilizes his or her shoes as the instrument to create the sound against the dance floor, similar to a drummer's drum sticks or a guitar player's guitar strings. How a tap dancer utilizes their shoes is an essential element to the way the dancer creates the "music" of tap dancing. For experienced tap dancers, the combination of their impact strength and speed of impact against the floor, as well as the location of the impact point on the shoe against the dance floor affects the type and intensity of sound created by the dancer's movement. Although there are many types of tap dance shoes currently available, all tap shoes share the same general configuration, that being a shoe portion worn on the dancer's foot and a pair of taps on the bottom side of the shoe, one positioned at or near the toe section of the shoe and one at or near the heel section of the shoe.

[0003] Tap dancing shoes are traditionally made of rigid soles so that the taps can be screwed into place on the sole of the shoe. This provides little shock absorption for the dancer who is performing high impact physical activity. The rigid sole also limits the range of movements that the dancer can undertake. Typically the taps are metal plates that are attached to the bottom of the shoe with screws, rivets, adhesives or other types of connectors. A disadvantage to this design is that the screws often wear with time, and soles often have to be replaced to enable the screws to fit securely into the base of the hard shoe without loosening.

[0004] Additionally, dedicated tap shoes are manufactured in conventionally fixed sizes. Due to this, tap dancers with feet of intermediate size or of abnormal shape such as thin or wide feet are required to wear ill-fitting shoes that may potentially cause minor injury or aggravation to their feet or impact the quality of their tap dancing performance or their learning experience. Additionally, tap dancers requiring devices such as orthotic support are generally unable to wear these in their conventional tap shoe, and conventional tap shoes offer little additional support such as ankle or arch support for dancers with varying degrees of pronation.

[0005] It is therefore concluded that there is a significant need in the market for an over the shoe attachment that allows the user to wear their properly fitting and supportive shoe such as a running or gym shoe, which can accommodate their foot shape comfortably, provide varying levels of ankle and arch support, and allow orthotic inserts if required.

[0006] Conventional dedicated tap shoes are often slippery, especially for beginner dancers who not only require a floor grip component but also shoe cushioning to assist with stability to limit the ankle's natural swivel. Dedicated tap shoes are often expensive and prone to wear after repeated use, making tap dancing an expensive undertaking for beginners, parents of children who may take only a single introductory tap dancing class, and those wishing to participate only occasionally and primarily for the associated cardiovascular benefits.

[0007] An over the shoe attachment is a significantly more cost effective solution, and also eliminates unnecessary economic wastage by removing the potential need for ill-fitting tap shoes to need to be exchanged, which may or may not be possible after the user has already worn the shoes.

[0008] To provide a less expensive tap shoe option, various tap shoe developments have been made with regard to over-the-shoe type shoe accessories with attachable taps, but these accessories tend to produce a less rich, reduced spectrum of sound from the taps due to poor positioning of the taps. Further, these previous accessories have not been able to adequately provide for both the heel and toe taps being positioned to the full extent of the foot, reducing the number of tap movements that can be performed and adversely impacting the tap dancing experience and quality of the performance. These previous accessories have also not been able to adequately fix the accessory to the shoe or help provide floor grip support for the tap dancer whilst wearing the accessory.

[0009] Accordingly, based on all of the above, there is a clear need for an improved over-the-shoe tap dancing apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] According to one aspect, the present invention is an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus comprising:

[0011] an elastomeric slipper for receiving a shoe wherein the slipper includes a longitudinal axis, an underside, a toe portion and a heel portion;

[0012] at least two taps;

[0013] an intermediate layer positioned between at least one of the at least two taps and the underside of the slipper; and

[0014] removable fasteners for removably fastening each of the taps to the underside of the slipper;

[0015] wherein a first tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a forward most point along the longitudinal axis of the toe portion of the slipper and a second tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a rearward most point along the longitudinal axis of the heel portion of the slipper.

[0016] Preferably, the apparatus includes a gripping means projecting from the underside of the slipper for preventing slipping.

[0017] Preferably, the slipper comprises cut-out regions.

[0018] Preferably, the intermediate layer comprises polyurethane.

[0019] Preferably, the slipper comprises silicon.

[0020] Preferably, the taps comprise metal.

[0021] Preferably, the removable fasteners are threaded screws.

[0022] According to another aspect, the present invention is an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus, comprising:

[0023] an elastomeric slipper for receiving a shoe wherein the slipper includes a longitudinal axis, an underside, a toe portion and a heel portion;

[0024] at least two taps attached to the underside of the slipper; and

[0025] an intermediate layer positioned between at least one of the at least two taps and the underside of the slipper;

[0026] wherein a first tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a forward most point along the longitudinal axis of the toe portion of the slipper and a second tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a rearward most point along the longitudinal axis of the heel portion of the slipper.

[0027] Preferably, the apparatus further includes removable fasteners for removably fastening each of the taps to the underside of the slipper.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0028] To assist in understanding the invention and to enable a person skilled in the art to put the invention into practical effect, preferred embodiments of the invention are described below by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0029] FIG. 1 is a side view of one embodiment of an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus in accordance with the invention;

[0030] FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the over-the-shoe dancing apparatus of FIG. 1 in accordance with the invention;

[0031] FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of the over-the-shoe dancing apparatus of FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0032] FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of the over-the-shoe dancing apparatus of FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0033] FIG. 5 illustrates a back view of the over-the-shoe dancing apparatus of FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0034] FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of the over-the-shoe dancing apparatus of FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0035] FIG. 7 illustrates an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention when fitted over a running shoe.

[0036] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that minor deviations from the symmetrical layout of components as illustrated in the drawings will not detract from the proper functioning of the disclosed embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0037] One embodiment of the present invention comprises an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus comprising an elastomeric slipper as defined and described hereinbelow and tap dancing taps which are attached to the underside of the slipper. Elements of the invention are illustrated in concise outline form in the drawings and photographic images, showing only those specific details that are necessary to understanding the embodiments of the present invention, but so as not to clutter the disclosure with excessive detail that will be obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art in light of the present description.

[0038] According to one aspect, the present invention is defined as an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus. The apparatus comprises an elastomeric slipper for receiving a shoe. The slipper includes a longitudinal axis, an underside, a toe portion and a heel portion and at least two taps. Furthermore, the apparatus includes an intermediate layer positioned between at least one of the at least two taps and the underside of the slipper, and removable fasteners for removably fastening each of the taps to the underside of the slipper. A first tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a forward most point along the longitudinal axis of the toe portion of the slipper and a second tap of the at least two taps extends at least equal to a rearward most point along the longitudinal axis of the heel portion of the slipper.

[0039] Advantageously, embodiments of the present invention provide an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus which, in use, more closely resembles a professional tap shoe and produces a richer, better spectrum of sound than other commercially available over-the-shoe dancing apparatus.

[0040] Advantageously, embodiments of the present invention are strapless providing a lightweight design that is easy to slip on and off of a user's shoe. The user can use the attachment on shoes which have cushioning and shock absorbing features, such as running or sports shoes.

[0041] Advantageously, embodiments of the present invention provide for an elastomeric property and cut-out regions to the extent that the present invention can be made in few sizes in order to adequately accommodate all user foot sizes and shapes.

[0042] Advantageously, embodiments of the present invention provide a gripping means projecting from the underside of the slipper for preventing slipping and enriching the learning experience for a beginner dancer.

[0043] In this patent specification, adjectives such as first and second, left and right, front and back, top and bottom, etc., are used solely to define one element or method step from another element or method step without necessarily requiring a specific relative position or sequence that is described by the adjectives. Words such as "comprises" or "includes" are not used to define an exclusive set of elements or method steps. Rather, such words merely define a minimum set of elements or method steps included in a particular embodiment of the present invention.

[0044] Referring to FIG. 1, a diagram illustrates a side view of an over-the-shoe dancing apparatus comprising an elastomeric slipper 100 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The slipper 100 includes a first tap 101 which extends to at least a forward most point 105 of a toe portion 109 along a longitudinal axis of the slipper 100. A second tap 102 extends to at least a rearward most point 106 of a heel portion 110 along the longitudinal axis. The longitudinal axis extends along a line (not shown) connecting the forward most point 105 of a toe portion 109 and the rearward most point 106 of a heel portion 110.

[0045] Between the underside of the slipper 100 and the second tap 102, there is an intermediate layer 103 that is compressed between the slipper 100 and the second tap 102 by removable fasteners 108. Some embodiments of the invention also provide a gripping device 107 projecting from the underside of the slipper 100, which assists to prevent a dancer from slipping while using the apparatus. Some embodiments of the invention also include defined cut-out regions 111 in the slipper 100 for improving ventilation and stretch of the slipper 100. The intermediate layer 103 may comprise polyurethane or elastomeric materials. Advantageously, the additional polyurethane layer assists in providing a broader range of tap sounds and produces better sound resonance.

[0046] FIG. 2 illustrates a bottom view of the elastomeric slipper 100.

[0047] FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of the elastomeric slipper 100. As shown, the slipper 100 may further include tabs 112 for securely gripping a shoe (not shown) of a tap dancer.

[0048] FIGS. 4-6 illustrate front, back and perspective views, respectively, of the elastomeric slipper 100.

[0049] FIG. 7 illustrates the elastomeric slipper 100 when fitted over a standard running shoe. The forward most point 105 and the rearward most point 106 are clearly shown.

[0050] In summary, advantages of some embodiments of the present invention include a strapless, lightweight design of an over-the-shoe apparatus that is substantially less expensive than conventional tap shoes and that is easily placed on and removed from a user's shoes. Other advantages include improved positioning and secure placement of the taps, which enables the taps to produce a more rich sound over a broad spectrum of sound. Further, some embodiments of the present invention include cut-out regions that improve ventilation and enable the apparatus to stretch significantly over shoes. The underfoot-textured grip pad provides the dancer with enhanced foot control to prevent slipping. Further, the ability to place the attachment on more supportive footwear provides the dancer with a range of enhancements for balance, stability and absorption. The flexible nature of the attachments allows the dancer to place the attachment on a flexible shoe which provides a broader range of foot movements.

[0051] The above description of various embodiments of the present invention is provided for purposes of description to one of ordinary skill in the related art. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to a single disclosed embodiment. Numerous alternatives and variations to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art of the above teaching. Accordingly, while some alternative embodiments have been discussed specifically, other embodiments will be apparent or relatively easily developed by those of ordinary skill in the art. Accordingly, this patent specification is intended to embrace all alternatives, modifications and variations of the present invention that have been discussed herein, and other embodiments that fall within the spirit and scope of the above described invention.

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