Ever wondered how Beyoncé pulled off those sick dance moves while wearing high heels? Well, she isn't called "Queen B" for nothing.
But beyond her obvious oozing talents, Beyonce could sashay in those 6-inch heels because she actually trained how to do it. It means she practiced it many times and took proper measures so she won't get injured.
Yes, it is not a physical impossibility to slay the dance floor while wearing your favorite pair of spikes. And we will give you tips on how to dance in heels.
Why Wear High Heels?
There are many reasons ladies love their pair of heels.
One, it is sexy. The extra 5 inches can make your legs appear longer. The calf muscles get worked up when you wear heels, so their shapes get more pronounced. The toes appear pointed, which adds more sensual looks when you walk. You also have better posture when wearing heels.
Heels give you a sense of a power. It must be the added height to your frame; standing tall makes you feel stronger and more proud of your femininity.
Last, top brands of high heels look and feel nice. The color and design can complete any fashionable outfit. Quality heels are not only well-crafted, but are also comfortable to wear.
How High Heels Affect Your Body
But those stilettos aren't named after a dagger because they're harmless. Wearing high heels has profound effects on your body - and we don't just mean the beauty aspect.
Spine / Back
Try standing on your toes. It is hard to maintain your balance, right? That's what happens when you wear heels.
To correct your balance, you push your chest and lower back forward, and your hips back. This improper posture takes your spine out of its proper alignment, which may cause injuries in the long term.
Heels / Toes / Feet
When you wear heels, you put almost 70% of your weight on the balls of your feet. This uneven weight distribution can put so much strain on your toes, which can cause swollen and painful toes (metatarsalgia).
There's also a strong connection between high heels and plantar fasciitis, or the inflammation of the tissue that connects your heel bone to the toe muscles (plantar fascia). It feels painful when you walk fast or land hard on your stilettos because your heels don't lay squarely on the ground, which causes the shock to be unevenly distributed. Achilles tendon strain is also a common high heels-related injury.
Wearing high heels also puts you at a greater risk of rolling your ankles. Because your whole feet isn't square with the ground, a wrong step can cause your ankles to buckle and roll sideways.
Calf Muscles / Knees
If you are not comfortable wearing heels, you tend to stand in an awkward, non-relaxed way. This means you "hold your weight", or you don't put it all on your feet. Instead, your calf muscles contract to absorb this extra stress (like lifting weights). This is why regular wearing of high heels can sculpt those sexy calves. However, prolonged contraction in a given period can cause calf injuries.
This awkward standing position also puts some unnecessary pressure on your knees. Besides absorbing shocks when you walk, your knees now gets pressure from your weight. And we all know what too much pressure on the knees isn't a good thing.
Wearing high heels causes you to shift your posture to maintain your balance when you stand and move. An improper posture can cause undue strain on your hip muscles, which don't normally get it when you are flat on the ground.
How to Dance in Heels – without Injury
Having mentioned all the caveats, wearing high heels isn't always a bad thing.
The key thing to remember: proper preparations.
You can still make the audience swoon when you perform killer salsa or modern hip-hop moves provided you follow these tips.
Stretch before Dancing
Warm-up stretching is a must before doing any physical activity like dancing, but it still merits a friendly reminder in case you forget.
Before you slide your sexy feet inside those spikes, stretch your legs first, especially the calves. Do some runner's stretches to warm up those calf muscles.
Once you strap those sexy pairs, walk around for a few minutes to make your body get used to the feeling of wearing high heels.
Any self-respecting dancer knows versatility of style is a must to be called a true artist or performer. So if you haven't yet, add ballet to your repertoire of moves.
Ballet gives you an advantage when you dance on heels because as we all know, those pirouettes and arabesques launch from a tip-toe position. Ballet dancers train using pointe shoes, which require them to practically stand and move on their toes during the whole routine.
Exercise Leg, Core and Back Muscles
If you are a true dancer, then you know that regular workouts should be part of your everyday routine.
If you plan to dance more often on heels, spend more time strengthening your legs (calves), core and back muscles. Working out these muscles enables them to survive the stress of high-impact dancing on heels.
Lead with Your Hips
When you lead with your hips, you distribute your weight more evenly (unlike when you lead with your feet or chest). Engaging your hips also puts your thigh muscles at work, which is better at absorbing stress. This takes the unnecessary pressure off your knees and calves.
Get a Good Pair
Of course, everything boils down to your very own high heels. If you want to dance on high heels for a long time - and maintain an injury-free career - invest on a good pair of high heels.
Expensive brands don't always equate to performance. Most lack the proper heel support and toe cushioning. Some are made of materials that feel uncomfortable when worn for a long time.
Get high heels that are designed especially for dancing, like these sexy and high-performance pairs from Burju.