Anyone who’s seen Kiira Harper dance in heels will know that she’s the epitome of empowered.
And if you haven’t?
Yeah. NOW YOU KNOW.
We're so excited to announce that this talented choreographer behind popular artists like Lizzo and Beyoncé is stepping into her stilettos to teach on STEEZY Studio!
In her new “Intro to Heels” program, Kiira dives into the basics of walking, moving, and posing like a pro. It’s the perfect introduction for anyone who dreams of dancing in heels, but never had the confidence to take an in-person class (or even dust off the booties in the back of their closet).
For Kiira, building confidence is always the most important part of any Heels training. You have to get comfortable with being vulnerable or even create a bad*ss alter ego for yourself!
We caught up with Kiira to talk confidence-building tips, the process behind her program, and her recommendations for heels beginners.
I'm formally trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, African dance, Contemporary, Modern, and Commercial Heels. I started dancing at 7 years old in Long island, NY at The Venettes Cultural Workshop in Wyandanch, New York. Then, I went to college at Hampton University and danced for four years on the Terpsichorean Dance company. Once I started working professionally, I started booking jobs with artists such as Victoria Monet, Janelle Monae, and Lizzo. I also had the opportunity to dance at the BET Awards, MTV Movie Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and the GRAMMYs!
I mean why not heels?! To be in heels is to be fearless and powerful. And once you get the moves down, you can really focus on channeling your truest, most confident self. When someone dances in heels, you see their sexy side, their sultry side, their happy side… you get to see every layer!
Being a teacher since 2013, I’ve learned a lot by watching my students in my class. I’ve seen exactly what they need, and that’s how I based the design of this program on STEEZY Studio. I tried to pay attention to each piece of the dancer’s body and break down the learning process so they can focus on one thing at a time. Then, we pull all the parts together at the end! I think the greatest benefit of learning my Heels program on STEEZY Studio is that the students have the chance to get really in depth. You have different ways to view my body and my assistants… it’s just a really thorough way to learn!
For a beginner shoe, start with a pair of booties for solid ankle support, and an open toe that lets your toes distribute your weight evenly inside your shoe. I also look for heels with reasonable laces that won't hang and trip me up while I dance. Finally, it's important to choose something lightweight and without a platform! You want a heel that moves with you – not weighs you down.
The best type of heel is the Burju Shoes x Kiira Harper Simply Stiletto collection! A style I specifically designed for the dancer who is training and learning to dance in heels. These shoes have a double memory foam insole for extreme comfort and long term wear. Anti bacterial inner lining for sweaty feet, vegan leather materials, and a fully customizable heel in heights 3 inches (for the beginner) to 4.2 inches for the advanced dancer.
If you're able to, get your shoes customized at a shoe maker! They can add rubber soles to the bottoms of your heels so you have more grip. You can also take your heels outside and scratch them on the ground a bit! This will create enough texture on the bottom of the shoe to give you more stability.
Keep in mind that breaking in your Heels is ALWAYS going to hurt a bit. Be patient as they become more molded to your feet!
I always tell my students to never take movement too seriously. Live in the moment, and don't put so much pressure on yourself! I am a firm believer in letting yourself be as is and enjoy the moment. Dancing is the one thing in the world that never makes you cry. So, don't let your insecurities and self doubt, or low self esteem take that joyous thing away from you. Don't be your own worst enemy!
When people feel self-conscious, it’s usually because they're worried about how other people might perceive them. So to feel more confident, I block out what other people might think and just focus on how I feel about myself! I think of the people that inspire me, like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and my mom. I think about what I admire in them, and I recognize those qualities in myself. Basically, I make it so that I’m not worried about anyone else and I focus on that moment and what I need to give in that moment!
✨ 👠 Start learning how to dance confidently in Heels yourself with Kiira’s new program on STEEZY Studio! 👠 ✨
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