Heels is an urban style of dance that was born out of the three main foundation styles of dance which are ballet, jazz and hip hop. Heels started as a commercial style of dance for females. In the past few decades you can find most female dancers in music videos, on tour and in commercials wearing heels. Heels dance has become quite mainstream in the last 5-10 years, but some still do not recognize it as it’s own style as it is considered to be derivative of hip hop and jazz, all depending on the teacher/choreographer’s background.
Thanks to Instagram and Youtube heels dance has started to become quite trendy. With teachers like Yanis Marshall, Aisha Francis and Danielle Polanco, who are fondly referred to as “Heels Royalty”, who really started to put this style on the map. Now, many more studios around the world are offering heels classes.
With an increasing focus on body confidence, self care practices and feminist behaviour in the media, Heels is a great way to connect with your feminine side, explore your sensuality and become more comfortable in your body.
Wear what you feel comfortable in. Something form fitting that you can work out in. Tights and a sports bra is a great base, then you can layer with a tank top or a wrap-around depending on the coverage that you feel most comfortable in.
It’s also a good practice to bring kneepads in case we get down on the floor. Soft knee pads can be found at Sportchek.
The keyword for your heels is SUPPORT. You need to have proper support so that you can feel comfortable and safe in your choice of heels. The heel should feel like an extension of your foot, therefore it should support you in two main places: your ankle, and the base of your foot. Meaning your foot isn’t sliding out of the shoe. For your first few classes you might want to stick to a shorter and chunkier heel before you move towards a stiletto.
If you are looking to invest in a quality dance heel, I recommend checking out Burju Shoes. The company was started by Burju Perez, a professional latin ballroom teacher. Now she designs shoes and heels for dancers. What’s amazing about Burju Shoes is that they are very customizable; you get to choose the type of sole you want on the shoe, you decide the height of the heel and they come in half sizes. They have amazing customer support, a perks program and they feature all their tags on instagram. Plus their shoes are very fashionable. Even celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera have performed in custom Burju Shoes. I am not affiliated with them, but I do highly recommend them.
If you would prefer to shop in person for your shoes I’ve put together a Pinterest Board of some great examples of shoe styles for class.