Ever wondered how Beyonce or other performers parade around the stage in their 7-inch heels?
All these come with practice.
Dancing in heels brings out the confidence and sensual side of us that we have hidden. As you begin your search of sourcing out for classes, you may be left wondering about one question. What should I prepare for a heels dance class?
Here are five pointers that you should take note of when preparing for a heels dance class.
- Choosing the right pair of heels
- Engaging in exercises that strengthen your ankles
- Take up basic ballet classes
- Online dance tutorials
- Get plenty of rest after a heels class
Given the options, I would probably begin with an online tutorial first as I am a slow learner. I am also not a frequent wearer of heels. In fact, walking on heels is the hardest thing to master as a beginner. There are definitely events that were required me to wear heels and I struggled with trying to prevent myself from twisting my ankles. Dancing in heels was something that I can never imagine to be achievable. Witnessing famous dancers like Yanis Marshall strutting in heels with sensual confidence sure piped my interest in heels classes. It is up to each and everyone’s preference to pick the mode of learning that they want their heels classes to be. However, online tutorials certainly provide me with a safe space to practice walking in heels without feeling embarrassed.
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Choosing the right kind of heels
That goes without saying. You can never do a heels dance class without the heels. Choosing the right heels is important in ensuring that you would not end up with an injury whilst engaging in twists and turns. The biggest question remains. What kind of heels should I wear?
There are a few points that dancers should take note of when choosing the right heels.
- Ankle support
Before you attend a session of dance class, make sure that the height of your heels is at a comfortable level for you to walk or twirl around. A heel dance class isn’t just about walking or trying to look sexy. There are many swift and difficult movements that you would engage in during the session. You probably wouldn’t want to hurt yourself and destroy the experience in the process. If you are a beginner, I would suggest that you begin your journey wearing heels and get comfortable with them. Try starting with something that is on the lower end. A two-inch heel would probably be the best height, to begin with. You could opt to go higher once you get familiar with walking in heels.
If you are someone that does not wear heels regularly, then you could probably prepare yourself by starting with the basics such as walking or doing a simple twist to get familiar. You have to learn to walk before flying. Don’t rush into the class thinking that you would be able to execute some dance moves without knowing how to wear a pair of heels. Put in some practice and rock them when it's time.
Ankle support is definitely important as you wouldn’t want to feel as if your feet might fall out while you are dancing. For safety, pick a shoe that comes all the way up to your ankles and be able to fit snugly around it. Finding a closed toe heel would be the preferred option for beginners, as open toe heels might allow your foot to slide forward and cause irritation to your feet. Another point would be to avoid heels with zippers at the back as it may prevent your legs from flexing to the maximum capacity. Heels with laces might be a good option to allow for adjustment when it stretches out.
You would not want to witness the disaster of a broken heel when gliding across the floor. Before attending a dance class, make sure the heels of your shoes are stable. If you are not a professional dancer, opting for a pair of heels with thick heels might provide you with more support. Higher heels definitely made dancing a whole lot easier but of course, comfort and stability is the first thing that you want for a heels dance class. It’s also important to choose a heel without platforms as you wouldn’t want it to weigh you down.
Of course, you have to keep in mind that heels are going to hurt slightly, especially for beginners strapping on your first pair. Be patient and slowly the heels would become more molded to your feet.
Do exercise that strengthens your ankle
Hours of wearing heels could be exhausting for the feet. A professional dancer would know that regular workouts should be a part of your routine every day. As such, engaging in exercise that strengthens your ankles and legs would do you some favor before strapping on your heels. Before every class, give your thighs, legs, and calves a stretch. When it comes to dancing, we would be channeling most of our strength to our legs.
Using a resistance band is one way of strengthening the muscles on your legs.
Please do not rush into the routines and take time to warm up your muscles. Doing it incorrectly might result in the ligament getting damaged in the ankles. Before proceeding for a dance, try walking around a few minutes to adapt to the feeling of wearing high heels.
Another movement that would be helpful is Relevé, which is often used in ballet. Dancers rise with the tip of their toes in ballet routines. Try doing them in multiple positions, starting from your legs being parallel with each other in the first position, parallel, and turn out in the second position. Always keep your weight on the balls of your feet. It is important to also engage your lower abdominals to align your body correctly.
Take Basic Ballet Class
Signing up for ballet class would actually help get you to dance better. I know, it may be tough to pick up ballet dancing. But did you know that ballet could actually teach you the right way to dance in heels? Ballet was actually done in heels in the past in the French Court. As mentioned before, revere is one of the moves that you have often see ballet dancers do on stage during the performance. Engaging in a ballet class before signing up for dance classes could potentially help with strengthening your calves and thighs, which would prevent you from hurting your ankles.
Ballet definitely gives you the advantage as it is meant to keep you on the balls of your feet. It is similar to dancing in heels, where the weight is always placed at the front of the foot and never the back. Placing your focus on this aspect of ballet would make transitioning to heels an easier task for you.
Online Dance Tutorials
Dance tutorials online could serve as a starting point for those who are too nervous or lacking the confidence to attend a physical session. The perks of starting online tutorials are the freedom to learn at your own pace and practice without any judgment. It could also provide you with a clear overview of what to expect in class. The only downside of online tutorials is the lack of professional instructors to correct your postures. Nevertheless, online tutorials could actually help prepare yourself especially if you are a beginner at wearing high heels.
Get plenty of rest after a heels class
While it is exciting to parade around in your heels, breaks are essential to ensure that your muscles recover from the strain that you experience during your heels lesson. Heels could tighten hamstrings and hip flexors, which put a strain on the lower back. Wearing heels could hinder the enjoyment of future classes, so why not take a good time to pamper yourself with some good feet massage? The first few months of dancing are often the most taxing on the body, especially if you are a beginner. It will be a shock to your system, especially when dancers who aren’t used to the routine of wearing heels. Instead of going straight into the next dance lesson, trying giving your calves a good stretch. Massaging your feet and arches might help ease the tension of your muscles after an intense class.
Dancing in heels could be an enjoyable form of hobby that will help you to increase your confidence level. The journey to finding the right pair of heels would definitely not be easy, but safety is of utmost importance. You wouldn’t want to end up with a twisted ankle by the end of a dance session. Dancing is all about having fun, hence try to relax and refrain from stressing over making mistakes. Don’t forget to drop in regular exercises to strengthen your calves and ankles. You wouldn’t want the pain to take away your fun, do you? So if you are aiming to strut confidently like Queen Bey in the future, remember the essential preparations and you are good to go.