How To Dance Confidently In Heels

Training Tips

How To Dance Confidently In Heels

Charise Roberts
January 23, 2024
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There’s a massive difference between being able to move in heels, and being able to slay in heels.

Knowing how to work your body, carry yourself with confidence, and connect with your audience is absolutely vital if you wanna perform Heels choreography like a pro.

Unfortunately – these things aren’t always taught in traditional Heels classes!

So, in this guide, I’m gonna give you all the tips and techniques you’ll need to learn the sexy Heels routines you’ve seen online or simply kill it at the club. 

1. What to wear for Heels dance – basic outfit ideas

Since Heels choreography is all about the shoes, let’s get dressed from bottom to top!

For your heels, choose a bootie with a shorter heel – preferably something that laces up the foot.

As a beginner dancer, comfort will be key to the learning process, so consider lace-up booties your go-to shoe.

They mold nicely to the foot and shouldn’t give you room to slide around.

Watch this video for more tips on shoe choices:

Next, the fit!

When you’re dancing in Heels, you usually want to look sexy to some extent, but again, comfort is key.

Skirts and dresses can work, but if you’re worried about flashing, throw on a pair of bike shorts underneath.

Otherwise, pants, cute little shorts, or leggings are great.

If your knees are exposed, consider wearing knee pads so that you can slide around on the floor comfortably.

If you have a full chest, be sure to wear a top that won’t lead to wardrobe malfunctions (body tape can also be your friend).

Lastly, hair!

Heels is a unique dance style in that it involves a lot of hair choreography. 

It’s common that you’ll be tossing your head around a lot in Heels class, so you’re welcome to wear your hair down to give your movement more drama.

But, if you’re totally new to Heels and you’re not confident with your routine, practice with your hair in a ponytail so you don’t have to worry about hair in your face just yet.

2. Important steps to take before you dance in heels

Before you even lace up those booties, you need to set yourself up for total success.

You should always stretch before a class or performance so that you can avoid injury and feel more loose and relaxed in general.

For Heels, you should obviously focus on stretching your toes, ankles, calves, and thighs – but don’t skimp out on the rest of your body!

Stretch your neck, back, shoulders and stomach muscles too.

You also want to strengthen your lower body and core before you start attempting those sexy routines you’ve probably seen on YouTube.

A great way to build up the muscles in your legs is to take some beginner Ballet or Barre classes!

The stronger your legs are, the less stress you’ll put on your ankles.

3. Posture & balance

When you wear heels, your center of gravity is pushed forward, making it hard to balance your body and maintain good posture.

To counteract this effect, it’ll be important to roll your shoulders back and keep your chest up the entire time you’re dancing. 

You’re also going to find that certain ways of standing are repeatedly used in Heels routines as a way of centering your body and balance.

Ever notice how great Heels dancers’ bodies seem to create an “s” shaped curve from head-to-toe when they’re both moving and standing still?

This all comes from a “Bevel” – aka the 1st position of Heels dance.

When you stand in a Bevel, you place all your weight on one base foot, and the other foot points at your base ankle.

To do it, squeeze your thigh muscles and ensure there are no gaps between your legs!

This will keep you securely balanced and strong.

Practice this Bevel stance in the mirror before you go to your first Heels class.

You’ll be returning to it a lot, so locking this posture into your muscle memory will make you feel a lot more confident when you eventually dance in front of others.

You can also learn more about posture, balancing, and beveling by clicking here.

4. Four poses to practice

Whether you’re on the dance floor or learning beginner Heels choreography, consider poses your best friend.

When you pause to pose, you not only give your audience something delicious to take in, you also give yourself a hot second to think about your next move/center your balance.

Here are a few go-to Heels poses to try:

  1. Looking over the shoulder – Stand with your feet apart, but pointed in one direction. Your back should be facing the audience. Place one hand on the small of your back. Then, look over your shoulder at the audience. Be sure to keep your shoulders down, not up by your ears!
  2. Big “S” – Remember that curvy shape we talked about? Here’s how to serve it. Stand with your feet apart, pointed forward. Push one hip out to the side. If your left hip is out, put your right arm straight up in the air (or vice versa). Take your other arm up and behind your head to grab the elbow of your straight arm. Allow your torso to lean slightly away from the outwardly pointed hip.
  3. That thing right there – Similarly to the Big “S”, you’re gonna stand with your feet apart, pointing in one direction, and lean one hip to the side. On whichever side your hip is popped out, you’re gonna take your arm straight out to the side and point at the floor with your index finger, as if there’s something beside you on the ground that you’re pointing at. The other hand should rest on your hip.
  4. Sideways glance – Stand sideways with one foot out in front of the other. Focus your weight entirely on the back foot and point the front foot so only your toes touch the floor. Place both hands on your hips and turn your head to look at your audience.

Wanna see more poses in action?

This posing tutorial will give you some ideas to practice!

5. Moving fast & slow

Now that you’ve mastered a few ways of standing still, I wanna teach you how to move with confidence.

In Heels class, you’ll often be prompted to move very slowly.

These slow movements will be important for giving your audience something to connect with – like when you’re listening to a great song and the singer slows down at the bridge.

When you want to move slowly, imagine that you’re doing each move in a pool of thick liquid, like syrup.

You want to pretend that there’s resistance on all of your limbs that’s forcing you to move in slow motion.

When you wanna move fast, focus on energy and momentum.

Don’t sit back on the actual heel of your shoe at any point. 

As you go from step to step, push off the ball of your back foot to make it to your next move.

When you’re dancing quickly, you can also use your arms to help you stay stable.

Allow them to stay relaxed and loose when you’re walking on the dance floor so that they can swing naturally!

6. How to connect with your audience

The best Heels choreographers often spend more time perfecting their performance skills than coming up with crazy moves.

This is because Heels dance is all about seducing the person watching.

HOWEVER – a lot of people think being sexy/seductive means you have to be serious.

It’s actually the opposite. 

If you ask most people what they want to see in the bedroom, it’s enthusiasm, joy, and comfort.

So that’s exactly what you wanna bring to your Heels performance!

Approach dancing in heels as a fun, playful experience where you get the opportunity to express yourself – not a challenge to be conquered.

This sense of enthusiasm will read on your face and body when you’re dancing, and that’s how you become that person that nobody can stop watching.

Once you’ve got your mindset in the right place, you can focus on the story you’re telling as you dance.

When you’re learning a Heels routine, think of it like you’re practicing a poem or script that you plan to recite on stage.

If you simply try to memorize the words one-by-one, you won’t remember the overall text when it’s time to perform it. 

Plus, your recitation will sound robotic and “rehearsed.”

Instead, you want to read through your script for comprehension.

You need to grasp what the story is saying as a whole so that when you recite the text, it won’t matter if you know it word for word.

Instead of remembering the singular words, you can focus your attention on changing the sound of your voice at certain moments, pausing for emphasis, and making eye contact as you speak.

Learn a dance the same way!

Listen to the lyrics and the sounds of the instruments, and figure out what the story is saying, not just what the singular moves should look like.

Then, when you dance, you can focus on executing your Heels choreography in a way that feels powerfully emotional – not robotic.

Hope these tips helped you on your Heels dance journey!

If you’d like to learn more techniques with step-by-step guidance, you should check out the Beginner Heels program on STEEZY Studio. 

That’s where we’ll walk you through everything from body rolls to floorwork exercises to super sexy turns.