Heels, which is sometimes to referred to as Burlesque, is a style of dance that focuses on building confidence and embracing your sensual side all while dancing in heels! It can sound intimidating and can be particularly nerve wrecking for many to step outside their comfort zones and try such a unique style of dance, but it is worth every risk.
I took my very first Heels class during my time at Wilfrid Laurier University dancing in their recreational dance program. Growing up as a trained competitive dancer this was a style that was completely outside my genre of dance experience and way out of my comfort zone. As a quiet and reserved individual the idea of: 1. Dancing in heels when I could barely walk in them and 2. Performing a risqué routine in front of strangers was absolutely terrifying. Nonetheless I was convinced to give it a try and I am beyond thankful that I did.
Within the first ten minutes of my very first class, as we practiced our struts down the room with fellow dancers cheering us on, all of my worries instantly vanished. I felt confident, empowered and was in my own little bubble of sass. The instructor at the time, DeAnna Butt, had created such a positive and welcoming class environment where we all felt safe and supported dancing together every single week. It was amazing to watch everyone’s confidence and sass grow and develop and it was clear that everyone was feeling like the hottest person in the room. It was a truly life changing experience and I went on to take heels classes for the remainder of my time at Laurier. After my chapter at Laurier had ended, I knew I wanted to continue to spread and share the power and environment that heels classes foster and I began teaching Heels classes at Arizona State University while completing my Masters degree. Now as a Heels instructor, one of the most rewarding and heart-warming moments is watching my dancers gain confidence every class and leaving with their head held a little higher (even over Zoom!).
Although stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new can be scary, intimidating and a whole wide range of other emotions, it can also be incredibly rewarding. If you have ever thought about trying a heels class, Nike said it best, ‘just do it’! You will be sure to leave the class feeling better than when you came in and at the very least will have the satisfaction of achieving something new.
Heels is so much more than dance. Heels is confidence, it is community, it is empowerment, and it is fun! It is a way to express yourself in new ways and helps you learn to embrace your body and your sexuality. There is just something special about putting on a pair of heels and whipping your hair around with some Beyonce or Pussycat Dolls blasting in the background. It is like for a moment you are the star of your own music video, and nothing beats that feeling.
Always reach for the clouds,