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About Aris Allen

We have been manufacturing specialty footwear and dancewear since 1996 and specialize in items that are difficult for dancers to find. Vintage and classic styling with soft footbeds, comfortable uppers and the types of soles needed for the rigors of swing dancing.

Gay Santelmann and Andrew Kontola have both been swing dancing for over a decade. They met on the dance floor at Glen Echo Ballroom in Washington D.C. in 2003. Shortly after that they teamed up and created the Aris Allen brand in response to the needs of today's swing dancers.

They consistently offer the best in both style and comfort by regularly consulting with hundreds of dancers in the DC/Baltimore area in focus groups and try-on sessions. By listening to their constant feedback they are able to bring you the finest swing dance shoes made.

"THE HELP". Directed by Tate Taylor and starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer. Minny (Octavia Spencer) is seen wearing the Aris Allen White Mesh Peep-Toe Oxfords. Aibileen (Viola Davis) is seen throughout the movie wearing the Aris Allen Black Mesh Peep-Toe Oxfords. Photo by Dale Robinette.
"DANCING WITH THE STARS". Aris Allen's are often featured on this show's swing dance routines, most notably Season 7 as shown above.
"SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE". Our swing dance shoes are also featured on this Fox dance show. Above are a few pictures featuring Aris Allen's from seasons 2 and 3.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC - July 2006. Aris Allen Classic Canvas Sneakers and Black Captoes made an appearance in a National Geographic article shot at Glen Echo Ballroom in DC (NatGeo).  

WALL STREET JOURNAL BLOG - 2009. Most of the dancers in the Wall Street Journal's article on Lindy Hop were wearing Aris Allens. (The trained eye can spot 6 different pairs in the video frame above).

Click here to see the story and video 

The New York Times - July 2014. "Thinking on Their Feet: At Midsummer Night Swing, Shoes Speak Volumes"
Longtime Lindy Hopper and Aris Allen friend, Voon Chew wears the Aris Allen 1950s Two-Tone Black and White Saddle Shoe. Click here to see the story.

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