Updated: Jul 18, 2018
Have you ever watched artists like Beyonce, Shakira, Janet Jackson or Rihanna up on stage performing their songs while ripping out some incredible dance moves, all the while wearing high heels, and wondering how? It's like some magical stage effects surely.
Have you ever wondered how it is that these women seem to have mastered the art of high heels as if they were born with them on their feet, while you step into a pair and inadvertantly morph into the hunchback of Notre Dame with a bizarre waddle and blisters all over your toes?
So whats the secret?
You must learn to walk in heels confidently before you can dance in them
The skill of walking in high heels is something that is learnt through practice, and lots of it. There are a number tips to help you perfect your technique. Here's our advice.
1. Correct Your Posture
Posture is the one most important technique you must master to look graceful and be balanced in your heels. Try to imagine a string line from the top of your head, right down to the centre of your feet making sure the string line is straight. By standing tall, with your chin up, and shoulders back, you will lift your weight up through your ankles taking the stress off your knee and ankles. This technique will make you feel lighter and walking will automatically feel easier.
2. Concentrate On Your Core Strength
Much like your posture, when you have a strong core and suck in those tummy muscles, you will be less likely to hunch over. All of your weight will be balanced in the centre of your body, meaning you are less likely to lean forward to far and become unbalanced.
3. Adjust Your Stride
When wearing heels it is a natural response to take smaller steps. Don't try and fight this by taking steps that are too long. You actually DO need to take smaller steps in heels.
4. Walk In A Straight Line
Practice walking in a straight line first. Place one step directly in front of the other, and do not look down. Look in the direction of which you are walking and this will in fact keep you upright. When you look down at your toes you are likely to lose sight of where you are going and will get the wobbles.
5. Heel First
The surefire way to look like a complete newby in high heels to clunk your foot down like you are flat foot. The secret to a natural looking walk is to always land on your heel first, roll through your foot and push off on the toe (just as you would when running). This method will make your walk look natural and elegant.
6. Wear Them In
So as I have mentioned, practice is going to be the key to mastering your heels, but try and do this over time. Shoes do need wearing in to shape to your foot properly. Ultimately when the shoe fits your foot correctly, walking will also become easier. Don't forget to try them out outside, and scuff the bottoms a little. This will help them be less slippery.
Once you have mastered walking its not much harder to dance in high heels
Dancing is really just a series of poses to music. The trick is to make those pose transitions fluid so it looks like movement
1. Posture (Again)
As per walking, posture is the single most important rule for dancing in heels. Stand straight, tall, chin up, shoulders back, engage your core muscles and straighten your legs. Chances are when you begin dancing it will be faster than a walk. If you are not balanced straight then you will fall faster.
It is always a good idea to stretch before exercise. Before dancing it is the same. You will use many muscles in your foot, ankle and legs that you don't ordinarily use so stretch and warm them up. Calf raises are one of the best exercises you can do to warm up and strengthen.
3. Lead With Your Hips
Automatically when wearing high heels your weight will shift forward on your toes. To counteract this inbalance, focus on your hips when dancing. Try to lead with your hips by pushing them forward slightly with every step you take. This subtle tip will make your movements appear more sassy without even trying.
The biggest giveaway when it comes to looking uncomfortable dancing in a pair of high heels is your face. If you looked pained, people will know you're not comfortable. Try to relax, and most importantly have fun. Channel your inner diva and everything will look natural.