I grew up with technical dance training, but when it comes to commercial dance styles, I absolutely love dancing in heels and I teach heels dance workshops and classes through my dance brand. But when it comes to dancing in heels, it is so important to choose the right type of shoe to supplement your dancing. I’ve not yet come across a dance shoe brand in the UK that has specifically designed a heel for dancing (believe me I’ve searched!). So here are a few tips for choosing dance high heels…
Tip #1 Ankle support
When you’re dancing in heels, you’ll be changing your weight, turning, pivoting and moving quickly, so having ankle support is key in order to support your ankles and provide stability. Pick a shoe that has fabric around the ankle for optimum ankle support.
Tip #2 Avoid thick soles
Ok so let’s get real here – I can dance in heels with thick rubber soles and spend most of the winter months in these type of shoe boots. But I wouldn’t recommend dancing in them and I most definitely dance better in heels that don’t have thick soles. You should choose a pair of dance high heels that have a thinner sole as this will allow you to feel the floor, thus having more control. It is also more preferable to go for shoes with a smoother sole so that you can spin in your heels with ease.
Tip #3 Avoid platforms
This is similar to the previous tip, but just a reminder to avoid platform boots or shoes! Again, some dancers can dance in platforms with ease (I have), but it isn’t preferable and by wearing platforms you’re at more risk of potentially twisting your ankle because you have less control of the floor. You’ll want your feet to feel the floor through your shoe, so a smooth, thin sole is recommended.
A thin, flexible sole also helps to create nice alignment, as opposed to wearing a chunky platform boot that doesn’t show the shape of your feet – meaning you break the alignment as we can’t see your pointe.
Tip #4 Stick to stilettos
Once again avoid chunky shoes. A chunky shoe is more likely to pull your weight back onto the heels rather than the balls of feet. And when you’re dancing in heels, you’ll definitely want your weight to be on the balls of your feet for optimum placement and control over your dancing.
Tip #5 Check your size
You might think you know your shoe size, but do you really? The size you wear on the street or in trainers might not be the size you should be wearing to dance in. Remember that the fabric of our dance high heels will soften and stretch over time as we move in them, so it might be that you need to go for a whole size or half size smaller. Also if you go for an open-toe heel, your feet may shift forward causing your toes to go over the edge of the shoe, which isn’t ideal. Try the shoes out and make sure you pick the right size for your feet.
I hope this helps you to choose the right type of dance high heels for class! Wearing the right shoes for dancing and feeling comfortable in them will really help to supplement your dancing.