Dancing in heels is a great way to keep your dancing routine on track and improve your coordination. It’s also an excellent way to add some excitement to your dancing.
Demanding steps, like those in a jig or waltz, can be difficult for the experienced dancer to manage independently. With some practice, you’ll be able to make these moves with ease and enjoy your dancing experience simultaneously.
It’s sexy, empowering, and oozes confidence, so it’s no wonder that so many want in on the action. Here, we’re going over how to start dance in heels to help take you from Bambi to Beyonce.
Picking the Right Shoes
First, you have to find the right shoes to dance in, and this usually takes a bit of trial and error to find what works for you. Heels that have laces and sit above the ankles are a great choice so that you can adjust them as necessary, and they will give you extra support.
For beginners, opt for a chunkier, lower heel when first learning how to dance in heels. But to give your legs a nice line, the goal is to eventually be able to dance in a four-inch stiletto heel.
We know it seems daunting – but with enough patience and practice, you’ll get there! That said, it’s important for you to feel secure and ready to groove confidently, so pick a heel that’s right for you!
Walking in Heels
Learning to walk in heels is the first step (get it?) toward learning how to dance in heels. Feeling sexy and powerful in your walk is essential – and it’s not as easy as it looks.
Let’s begin with a basic exercise: Starting on a slope, create an “S” shape with your body by sitting on your hips. Step forward onto a turned-out foot, toes pointing at a 30-degree angle. It’s normal to feel stiff when you first do this, so focus on relaxing and letting your hips and shoulders move naturally.
Stay grounded by dragging your toes through that bevel position after each step. Remember – you’re in heels! It’s ok if you’re doing the wobble at first.
Some Mistakes of Beginners
Not knowing what you’re doing
Failing to be patient
Focusing on the wrong things
Not being able to let go of success
Thinking they can do it all
Thinking only about themselves
Hitting a Pose
Few things make a dancer feel more powerful than a good pose. Heels choreography often has moments to pose built in to create pictures with clean, beautiful lines. It’s all about empowerment and confidence.
Our number one piece of freestyle dancing advice – don’t overthink it! The same goes for posing since the whole point is to strike a pose that feels right.
A good starting point is to consider whether you’ll keep your knees straight or bend them in plié. Just bumping your hips to one side on straight or bent knees can create a sexy pose.
Then, playfully add your arms and hands to the mix – crossed on the chest, draped overhead, or proudly on your hips – and you’ll soon find all kinds of poses that feel good in your body.
Dancing in heels is a lot more than just walking and posing (duh). Throughout both heels choreography and freestyle, more flowy, sensual movements get incorporated into the dance.
Try this exercise for size: Begin by swinging your hips from side to side and practicing your hip rolls, trying both with either bent or extended knees. Focus on how smoothly you can make this movement happen with no hard stops or cramps in your body.
Using your fingertips to touch your body is also a beautiful way to transition through movements, and body rolls are another classic move in heels classes. For more support, feel free to bend through those knees during your sensual moves!
Turning in Heels
Before we get into it, let’s talk about spotting. Focusing your eyes on the same spot in front of you keeps you from getting dizzy and allows you to reorient yourself quickly at the end of a turn.
To practice spot, keep your eyes facing forward during a turn until the very last moment before whipping your head around to once again focus on the same spot.
In a three-step turn (or a chain turn if you have dance training), you take three steps to turn yourself around while moving forward. Your arms can move naturally here but make sure to spot them!
Being confident walking in heels is handy when attempting three-step turns, so if you have difficulty turning, take more time to build up your walking first.
Another basic turn you might come across in a heels class is a drag turn or pencil turn. As you turn toward your standing leg, your free leg drags behind you on the floor. Imagine the toe of that free foot drawing a circle around your standing leg as you turn.
Since you’ll be rotating on one leg for your drag turn, activating your core is extra important. And again – don’t forget to spot it!
Whether you’re brand new to dance classes or coming back to basics to brush up on your skills, there’s always value in learning the fundamentals. When the time comes, a deep understanding of these beginner steps is the only way to nail more advanced choreography.
So, are you ready to put it all together?
Check out our online dance classes with Cat Rendic in her Beginner Heels Program for more on how to dance in heels. She’ll demonstrate all these moves (and more!) before taking you through your first heels combo.
Dancing in Heels can be fun and, if done correctly, can lead to improved footwork and coordination.
It is important to be mindful of the steps taken and to practice regularly so that you can improve your dance skills quickly.
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