At first glance, dancing in heels seems like an intimidating and somewhat dangerous activity, and it is. Not only are you contending with a complex range of movements, but you’re also taking the risk of slipping or rolling an ankle. No one wants to leave the dance floor in pain. But don’t be discouraged – with a few simple tips and precautions, you can safely and successfully rock your heel-dancing moves. In fact, there are some real benefits to dancing in heels. Heeled shoes can help you perform certain moves with more control, power, and precision than flats. Plus, it’s a great way to challenge yourself, hone your technique, and add some exciting new moves to your repertoire. If you’re considering signing up for a heels dance class, you’ll likely have some questions. We’ve compiled the most common heel-dancing FAQs below and provided expert answers to help you get your feet ready for the dance floor.
Q: What Exactly Is Heels Dance?
A: Heels dance is a style of dance that incorporates the use of high heels into the choreography. It can be performed to any genre of music, from hip-hop to contemporary, and incorporates all the elements of traditional dance moves.
Its origins lie in jazz dance, with the use of heels to add extra height and power to jumps, turns and isolations. Since its inception, it has evolved to include more hip-hop and contemporary influences.
Unlike other forms of dance that are social or group-oriented, heels dance is a solo style that’s more common among professional performers than among those dancing for recreation.
It requires strength, flexibility, and technical skill to create unique combinations of movements that flow together seamlessly.
Q: What Should I Know Before Taking A Heels Dance Class?
A: Before taking a heels dance class, you should know this:
- Heels dancing can be dangerous: Always dance with caution, as the risk of injury can be high (2).
- Wear supportive shoes and clothes: Choose quality heeled shoes that provide good ankle support, and dress in clothes that allow you to move freely.
- Warm up before class: Warming up is essential for any form of physical activity, and even more so when dancing in heels (4).
- Take your time: Heels dance combines complex movements that require precision and skill. Don’t rush yourself, as this can lead to injuries.
- Work with professionals who have experience teaching heels dance: Choose an instructor who understands the unique challenges that come with this style of dance.
- Be patient: Going into a heels dance class expecting overnight success is unrealistic. Allow yourself time to master the movements and become comfortable in your heels.
- Consider improving your overall fitness to improve your heels dancing: Building strength and increasing flexibility through muscle strengthening and stretching can help you become a better heels dancer (10).
Q: What Kind Of Heels Should I Wear For Heels Dance?
A: Supportive heels that fit properly and have a good grip with a manageable heel height are important when dancing in heels (12). More specifically, choose heels that have:
- Maximum support: Coverage for the ankle and arch is important for stabilizing your movement. Zippered or strapped sandals can provide extra support.
- Good grip: Choose shoes with a non-slip sole, or one that has an anti-skid sole.
- Stable heel: Look for shoes with a wide or relatively low heel to prevent you from falling over. If you’re just starting, a heel height of 3 inches or lower is a safe bet. Only go higher when you’ve mastered the basics.
- Good padding: Padded shoes can help to cushion your feet and help you stay comfortable while you’re dancing.
- Open-toe: Closed-toe shoes can make it harder to move your toes and could lead to fatigue. Look for open-toe designs that give you more freedom of movement.
- Sweat-resistant material: Choose shoes made from a breathable fabric that won’t trap sweat. Suede can be a good option, as it’s light and breathable. Avoid leather and synthetic materials that can cause your feet to overheat.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Heels Dance?
A: Heels dance offers multiple benefits, from improving your physical health to boosting self-confidence. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Improves balance and coordination: It takes practice to master the complex movements of heels dance, and repetition will help improve your balance and coordination (11).
- Strengthens and tones muscles: Heels dance is a full-body workout that requires you to use multiple muscle groups, helping to tone and strengthen them (3).
- Increases flexibility: The combination of movements involved in heels dance can help increase your flexibility over time (11).
- Improves posture: As you learn to move in your heels you’ll also develop good posture and body alignment.
- Boosts self-confidence: As you learn new movements and gain skill, your confidence in performing on stage will increase. You’ll also learn to appreciate your own body and have fun while doing it!
- Provides an enjoyable form of exercise: Heels dance is a great way to stay active and have fun at the same time. It’s also an excellent form of stress relief.
Q: Can Heels Dance Help Me Lose Weight?
As with any other form of exercise, however, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle in order to achieve and maintain weight loss.
To make heels dancing an effective weight loss tool, you should consider:
- Working your way up to more intense classes: Start with a beginner class, and then progress to more challenging classes that involve more complex movements. Intensity is key to burning calories.
- Increasing the duration of your classes: Aim for at least 45 minutes per class, or longer if you’re able.
- Including strength and stretching exercises: Strength and stretching exercises help to build muscle, burn calories, and increase flexibility (1) (9).
- Cutting out unhealthy habits: If you are serious about losing weight, make sure to limit your intake of processed and sugary foods (8). Exercise alone will not help you lose weight if you are eating unhealthy foods.
- Staying consistent: To get the best results, heels dance should be done regularly in order to burn calories and improve your overall fitness. Aim for at least three times a week for optimal results.
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Q: What Should I Bring To A Heels Dance Class?
A: To ensure that you have a successful and enjoyable class, make sure to bring:
- Appropriate clothes: Wear something comfortable and breathable, such as yoga pants or shorts.
Avoid restrictive clothing that could limit your movement. If you care for style, just remember to wear something that makes you feel confident and beautiful.
- Proper shoes: Supportive heels with good grip and a manageable heel height are important when dancing in heels.
- Water bottle: Stay hydrated throughout your class by bringing your water bottle. You can also ask the instructor if they provide water.
- Towel: Bring a towel to wipe away any sweat during your class.
- Snacks: Healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruits, and energy bars can help keep you energized during your class.
- Positive attitude: Come to class with a positive and open mind. Be prepared to work hard and have some fun!
Q: Is Heels Dancing Hard?
A: Heels dancing is a complex combination of movements that takes practice to master. It requires strength, flexibility, and coordination and can be challenging to learn at first. However, with consistent practice and the right attitude, you can eventually become an expert heels dancer!
Below are some tips to ease your way into heels dancing:
- Start slow: Don’t rush yourself. Take your time to learn the basic movements and gradually increase your skill level.
- Listen to your body: If something feels uncomfortable or painful, stop and take a break.
- Build ankle and foot strength: To prevent injury, it’s important to strengthen your feet and ankles through regular stretching.
- Take breaks: Allow yourself time to rest and recharge after each class. Rest on alternate days to prevent overtraining (6).
- Have fun: Heels dancing can be an enjoyable and empowering form of exercise, so make sure to enjoy it.
Q: Which Stretches Can I Do To Prepare For Heels Dancing?
A: Stretching before and after your classes, as well as on active rest days, is an important part of heels dancing. It helps to improve your flexibility and range of motion while also reducing the risk of injury. Some stretches to consider include:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then rotate each ankle 10 times in a clockwise direction and 10 times in a counter-clockwise direction.
- Stand with one foot in front of the other, then bend your front knee and press your back heel into the ground.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch feet.
- Lie on your back, then bring one leg up towards your chest while keeping the other leg flat.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Stand with one foot behind you, then grab the ankle of your back foot and pull it towards your buttocks.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch feet.
Hip Flexor Stretches
- Kneel on one knee and place the other foot in front of you, then lean your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your hip flexors.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch feet.
Yoga Inspired Stretches
Incorporate dynamic, yoga-inspired stretches like forward folds, lunges, and twists into your routine. These can help to improve your balance and coordination (5).
Read More: The Best Clothes For Hip Hop Dance
Q: Which Heels Dance Class Should I Choose?
A: Consider factors such as your skill level, goals, and available classes when deciding which heels dance class to take.
Beginner classes are typically more relaxed and focus on basic steps and fundamentals, while intermediate and advanced classes move at a faster pace and teach more complex movements.
You can also try group classes, private lessons, or workshops for different types of learning experiences. Note that everyone can benefit from a beginner class—beginners familiarize themselves with the basics, while experienced dancers can refine their technique.
It is also important to consider the instructor’s qualifications before signing up for a class. Look for an instructor who is experienced and knowledgeable in the style of dance you would like to learn.
Ultimately, the best class is the one that best suits your needs and goals. Have fun exploring different classes until you find the perfect fit!
Q: How Long Should I Practice Heels Dancing?
A: The amount of practice you need to master heels dancing depends on the individual. Beginners may want to start with 1-2 classes per week and gradually increase the frequency as they become more comfortable with the movements.
As you progress, you can add additional classes or sessions to your schedule. Just make sure that you’re allowing enough time for rest and recovery in between classes, as this will help prevent injury.
Q: Who Shouldn’t Take Heels Dancing Classes?
A: Certain medical conditions and injuries can hinder you from safely participating in high-impact activities like heels dancing. If you have any concerns, it is best to consult your doctor before enrolling in a class.
Additionally, pregnant women and those with pre-existing injuries should avoid participating in heels dancing classes.
Below is a non-cohesive list of situations in which heels dancing classes may be inappropriate:
- If you have a pre-existing injury or medical condition.
- If you are pregnant.
- If you have weak core muscles or poor balance/coordination.
- If you are new to dancing and/or have no previous experience with high-impact activities.
- If you are not physically fit.
- If you are recovering from a recent surgery or injury.
- If your doctor has advised against physical activity.
In any of these situations, it is best to consult your doctor before enrolling in a heels dancing class. Safety should always be your top priority.
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The Bottom Line
Heels dancing is a great way to get active and have fun. The benefits of heels dancing include improved cardio, strength, and coordination. However, certain medical conditions and injuries could hinder you from participating in high-impact activities like heels dancing.
Before enrolling in a class, consult your doctor to ensure safety and proper precautions have been taken. With the right instruction and determination, anyone can learn to dance in heels!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Acute Effects of Stretching on Flexibility and Performance: A Narrative Review (2019, researchgate.net)
- Does dancing in heels hurt your knees? This may be why. (2019, iadms.org)
- EFFECTS OF DANCE AEROBIC ON BODY COMPOSITION (2016, researchgate.net)
- Effects of Warming-up on Physical Performance: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis (2010, journals.lww.com)
- Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Injury Prevention and Rest (2020, researchgate.net)
- Low impact aerobic dance as a useful exercise mode for reducing body mass in mildly obese middle-aged women (1998, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Maintenance of lost weight and long-term management of obesity (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier (2021, mayoclinic.org)
- Strength Training versus Stretching for Improving Range of Motion: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2021, mdpi.com)
- Superior gait performance and balance ability in Latin dancers (2022, frontiersin.org)
- The Real Harm in High Heels (n.d., osteopathic.org)
- Weight‐Loss Outcomes from a Pilot Study of African Dance in Older African Americans (2018, onlinelibrary.wiley.com)