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Heel Taming: Learn to Walk Before You Pole

Heels are a great way to enhance a performance. They catch attention, your legs appear to go on forever, and – especially for exotic numbers – heels are a fabulous way to accentuate your assets. Heels are powerful. However, beware! When wielded inappropriately, heels are disastrously distracting. The audience came to watch you, not your feet. Don’t let your shoes steal the show. Tame those sexy stilettos and harness their power for yourself.

Runaway Shoes!

Inevitably at every pole performance/competition/showcase, there is a 6-inch heel novice. You know the signs. From the first shaky step on stage, something is not quite right: the performer’s balance is off; microbends pop out everywhere; simple spins and tricks aren’t clean. As a result, you spend the entire performance worrying about the performer’s ankles, too anxious to notice their killer Butterfly. Whatever spell the performer tried to weave fell apart before it even started. Those upstaging stilettos are the only memorable part of the show.

Graceful not Gangling

Heels are tools. Think of them as leg extensions designed to make your already superb limbs that much more glorious. Furthermore, like any other tool, you want to make using them look effortless. Moving in heels should feel as natural as walking barefoot. If you’re not comfortable in your shoes, the audience will notice. Grace cannot be faked. Relying on the pole to hold you up robs you of finesse and your routine will end up looking awkward and clunky. So before hitting the stage, take things back to the basics.


Learn to walk before you pole. Wear your heels around your house: pace your living room; walk up and down the stairs; keep them on while mopping the floor. Once you’re strutting around comfortably – without assistance – start sporting those stilettos during pole classes and practices. Get accustomed to their extra weight on your feet while moving through your tricks. An extra pound may not seem like much, but it’s enough to throw off your inverts.

When you’re unaccustomed to lifting those gorgeous shoes over your head, microbends are inevitable. The added extension and weight throw off your equilibrium. It’s like learning the trick for the first time all over again. You’re not worried about microbends, you’re concentrating on simply completing the move. Practice is the best way to clean up your lines – from head to toe.

Remember to Point Your Toes

Yes, toes. The audience can spot a flexed or relaxed foot through even the most enticing footwear. In fact, the more your heels draw the eye, the more people will notice your unflattering foot poses. Point your toes. It’s prettier to watch and helps get rid of those pesky microbends.

Whether you decide to share your pole dancing skills with one person or thousands, the fact that you are up on that stage is impressive. You are confident and powerful. It is physically taxing to do what you do. So if you decide to wear heels, make them work for you. Use them to highlight your strength, not overshadow it. Tame those sexy stilettos!

Kimberly P
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