There’s no feeling like trying on your first pair of pole heels. When you first stand up, you feel a certain kind of empowerment – and perhaps a little wobbly uncertainty – but there’s no denying that there is a definite appeal to the way pole heels lengthen your lines and make you look taller.
Even if you’re already tall, learning how to dance in heels makes you feel like an empowered goddess, ready to take on the world one step at a time.
Whether you’re a pole beginner or a long-time pro, walking in your first pair of pole heels is an exhilarating and sometimes nerve-wracking experience. Suddenly, every exotic heel video you’ve seen looks that much more impressive.
Of course, how you feel can have a lot to do with how you choose your heels. Platform heels feel nothing like their single-sole cousins – in fact, they’re quite possibly one of the most comfortable heels to dance in.
If you’re just starting out with dancing in heels, we recommend opting for a 6” height. Keep in mind, the height you purchase is referring to the heel, not the platform.
If you want to learn more about buying your first pair of pole heels, check out our handy guide on Choosing Your Heels, where we talk about sizing, style, material, height, and much more.
Slow Walk Exercise
Before you learn how to dance in heels, it’s important to learn how to walk. Baby steps!
Dancing in heels is all about your posture and how you shift your body weight. Many of us have a tendency to look down when we first try on our heels. This helps us get a visual reference for the new feeling, but it doesn’t help your body stay upright.
Looking down will only throw off your balance, so keep those shoulders back and head up!
Try out this exercise:
- Align your body; head in line with the shoulders, shoulders in line with your hips, and your hips in line with your feet.
- Take hold of your pole, or a chair, or whatever you have around you that you can circle around.
- Take a firm step forward with one foot. As you do so, shift your hips to center your weight on your front foot.
- Using the front of your platform, drag your back foot along the ground at an even, slow pace and place it firmly in front of you. Again, as your foot comes forward, shift your hips to center your weight on your (now) front leg.
As you go through this exercise, you should feel your hips shifting from side to side as you shift your weight. Take the exercise at an even, slow pace until you feel comfortable letting go of the pole.
When you feel comfortable enough to let go of the pole, walk in a straight line from one end of the room to the other, continuing to practice the hip-sashay movements.
While this will help you ace your “sexy walk” in pole heels, it has a practical advantage as well, helping you attain the balance necessary to learn how to dance in heels.
Once you feel comfortable enough, you can try speeding up your pace until you are at a steady, brisk walk.
Learning How to Dance in Heels
If you’ve seen our Anatomy of a Pole Dance Heel article, then chances are, you already know the wonderful things a pole heel is great for.
Then you also know how wonderfully comfortable pole heels are, and how they are specifically built for pole dancing, while non-platform (single sole) non-pole heels are not ideal.
If you haven’t seen it, then take a moment to check it out!
Learning how to dance in heels is not a difficult hurdle to overcome, but it certainly is rewarding.
Below, we are going to walk through a few key points about learning how to dance in heels, and then we will take you through a few exercises to help you get used to several core motions you will venture into with your pole heels.
1. Your Center of Balance
You’ve added several inches of height to your own, which means your center of balance will be different. It can feel like you’re wearing stilts – and give you a new appreciation for people who wear stilts.
Keep your shoulders back and your weight firmly on the best anchor point, whether that anchor is the foot on the ground or the pole you are holding onto. This will help you keep your balance considerably.
2. Using Your Heels on the Pole
Pole work is entirely possible with heels!
Just be aware that the style and material of the pole heel you wear can affect how you pole. Your heels will see most of the pole contact on the shank – the hard, plastic piece between the platform and the heel so expect any decorations like glitter or pleather to wear away with use over time.
3. Patent is Your Friend
Patent is a shiny, plastic-like material that comes on many pole heels. This material will help you stick the pole without any trouble.
Depending on the type of pole heel you are wearing, this can give you more options when doing certain moves. For example, wearing sticky patent boots will help you accomplish Cupid – pressing the patent material side against the side of the pole and will help you stick.
Typically, the clear plastic material is less sticky than the shiny colored material.
In some cases, you may not want extra stick as it can make you too grippy on the pole, so take that into consideration when you are deciding which pair of heels you want to wear.
We recommend having a pole nearby for these exercises, but you can do them without one – just make sure to have a chair or something else nearby that you can hold onto.
Dancing in Heels – Exercise One: The Stand
- Wearing your heels, kneel down next to your pole on both knees. You should be slightly angled from the pole to give yourself room on one side as if you came down onto your knees from a basic spin.
- Shift your weight onto one leg. Lift your other leg up and set your foot down on one side of the pole.
- You can use your hand to brace yourself on the leg that is now up. Shift your weight into this leg and lift your other foot firmly onto the ground, on the opposite side of the pole.
- The hand that was on your knee can move to the pole for balance. Choose the side that gives your body the most room and bring your butt up as high as possible, dipping your head low.
- Arch your back and bring your head up, letting yourself rock gently onto the curved outsole of your heel as you shift your weight.
This should be one fluid motion from the floor to standing. Practicing this motion will help you get a better feeling of rocking onto the curved outsole while your balance is actively shifting from forward to back.
Dancing in Heels – Exercise Two: The Sweep
- Standing next to the pole with one hand firmly grasping it for balance.
- Walk around the pole a few times to get into the motion.
- When you feel comfortable, step with your inside foot and shift your weight onto that foot. Again, holding onto the pole, sweep your outside foot as far out as you can, dragging the platform along the floor, then sweep back in, allowing the momentum to carry you back into the pole.
Practice this motion a few times and get the hang of it. This will help you get used to the shift in balance as you extend one leg far from your body.
The lower you lunge as you sweep your leg out, the more extended you are, but the more momentum you can gather to carry you back in, making it an excellent move to add some flair to your routine and the prime time to transition into a pivot or another spin.
Practice Makes Perfect
While these exercises will surely help you feel comfortable in your new heels, there’s nothing better than practice.
Do some basic spins and try out some simple pole tricks in your heels every time you put them on – before you know it, you’ll be expertly wearing your new heels and dazzling your pole sisters with how quickly you took to them.
What is your favorite thing to do in heels? Let us know in the comments below!