"We, at LaDuca, believe that no matter what type of dance you prefer, Character, Broadway jazz, or Tap, you should always be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of a versatile, flexible, all purpose dance shoe. Be it taking a simple jazz class, auditioning for a musical on Broadway, participating in a dance competition, or practicing the waltz in ballroom class there is a perfect LaDuca shoe for you; to be the best you must perform at your best, so wear the best, wear LaDuca."
— Phil LaDuca, Founder
Drama Desk Award Winner 2017
Internationally acclaimed Shoe Designer, Broadway Performer/Choreographer/Master Class Dance Teacher
Phil has performed with, choreographed, sang, danced with, or designed for every major star in the industry for over the last forty years.
The most recognized name in dance shoes is LaDuca. But before the shoes, there was Phil LaDuca, the performer, who went from classical ballet and contemporary dance, onto Broadway as a song and dance man, to ‘hoofing’ with the biggest stars onstage, offstage and the big screen.
Phil began his early stage career singing in rock bands in Chicago before switching gears to a dance career studying classical ballet with the premier ballet masters, Bentley Stone and Walter Camryn, jazz with Lou Conte founder of Hubbard Street Dance Company, and contemporary with the Joel Hall Dancers.
On Broadway he appeared in “Brigadoon” for Agnes DeMille as a lead sword dancer (along side Jerry Mitchell), the “Pirates of Penzance” with Kevin Kline for Graciela Daniele and was the original understudy for the Gene Kelly role in “Singin’ In the Rain”for Twyla Tharp. Phil also toured in “Camelot” with Richard Harris, along with staring on tour in the lead role, of Bill Snibson in “Me and My Girl”.
While in New York Phil first performed with American Dance Machine under the legendary Lee Theodore, working with such greats as Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Ona White, Danny Daniels, Patricia Birch, Anne Reinking, Wayne Cilento and Chita Rivera.
Later he began choreographing, directing and teaching master classes ‘around the world” –; choreographing jazz pieces in Amsterdam (with Mia Michaels), in Russia where he was dubbed the ‘Godfather of Jazz’ - the first American jazz dance teacher in St. Petersburg, Russia *where in his honor they have opened up the “Phil LaDuca Broadway Dance Center”, as well as choreographing several pieces in Vienna for the Wien Opern Haus.
Fulfilling another creative side, Phil created the international acclaimed LaDuca Shoes, crowned the “Shoemaker to the Stars”; designing shoes for the likes of Katy Perry, Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, Emma Thompson, Hugh Jackman, Catherine Zeta Jones, Lea Salonga, Pink, Shania Twain, Penelope Cruz, Selena Gomez , Christina Aguilera, and most of the shows on Broadway and tour; Moulin Rouge, The Music Man, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Frozen, King Kong, The Cher Musical, Bandstand, An American in Paris, Kinky Boots, Matilda, Pippin, Sister Act, Annie, Anastasia, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Aladdin; TV – Fosse/Verdon, Hairspray Live, So You Think You Can Dance, SMASH; Movies – The Eternals, The Prom, The Greatest Showman, La La Land, Chicago, Burlesque, NINE, Mamma Mia, Julie/Julia, Hail Caesar, working with such stars as Meryl Streep, Catherine Zeta Jones, Liza Minnelli, Cher, Arianna Grande, Antonio Banderas, Bette Midler, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Hudson, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judith Dench, Glen Close, and Tatum Channing to name a few.
Along with being the first, “Shoe commentator’ for Miss America in 2015, Phil is most proud of being bestowed a Drama Desk Award 2017 for, “Proving that character comes from the ground up, the designer’s innovative flexible dance shoes ensures that hoofers on any stage remain on point”.
Mr. LaDuca continues to design but still finds time to teach Master Theatre Jazz Dance classes.
“I believe in not only giving back to this great community of dance but I also feel obligated to ‘pass the baton’ to future generations, all the knowledge I was gifted by the greats who taught and influenced me to achieve my goals and dreams”.
LaDuca shoes are fit off standard US street shoe sizing. When someone first puts the shoe on you want a snug fit in the width and toes to lie flat and reach the end of the shoe. The shoes loosen up as they are worn. Creasing across the toe box indicates the need for a wider width in the shoe. The shoes should be snug but not tight, LaDuca shoes should never start off painful but there should be no additional length in the shoe.
Learn more about fitting LaDuca shoes and boots by watching our Fitting Videos here.