Jul 13 , 2021
Tags - How to Dance in Heels Longer
Dancing can be painful for your feet, but more so if you have to dance in heels.
The main reason being, is that wearing heels shifts your body weight to the balls of your feet, which means there is more pressure and the pain is heightened every time you take a step.
In addition, the shape of heels restricts movement in the toes - the more high they are, the narrow the shape tends to be.
As a result, it can cause the foot to deform and cause issues such as bunions, hammertoe or arthritis.
Wearing heels does not only affect the feet though, it also has an impact on your ankles, legs and back.
With that in mind, when wearing high heels for dance, the ankles and legs must be stable in order to maintain a good balance, as well as pushing your hips back and chest forward.
Although this gives a beautiful silhouette, it’s an unnatural posture and can cause the spine to misalign.
Luckily, there are a few ways you can ease pain from dancing in heels, which means you’ll be able to keep dancing for longer!
Let’s take a look at our top 3 tips in more detail.
1. Start with a Low Heel Height
When you first start out wearing heels, it may feel like you have to learn how to walk all over again.
At the beginning, it will no doubt cause pain as your body will not be used to the extra 22% of body weight added to the balls of your feet.
On the other hand, wearing dance heels that are 3 inches high will add 76% more body weight to your feet and every step will increase the stress that's placed.
Unfortunately, there’s no fast way to get used to dancing in heels comfortably and you must gradually build up muscle strength and your foot’s flexibility.
As such, it’s a good idea to start out with low heels if you’re not used to wearing high heels, and once you get used to that height, you can progress by a half an inch, or an inch, each time.
Keep doing this until you’re comfortable with the perfect heel height for you.
2. Heels with Extra Padding
Typically, dance heels will have extra padding, which is important if you’re going to be dancing for longer periods of time; extra padding means extra cushioning, which means extra support.
As mentioned earlier, dancing in heels increases the pressure placed on your feet which is why it can be painful.
Therefore, always look at the padding as this will help to distribute your body weight evenly and absorb more of the impact from the ground every time you take a step.
However, if there are a pair of heels you simply can’t resist and that have no padding, it would be a good idea to buy padded insoles to insert into the heels to add comfort.
3. Stretch Exercises
As dancing in heels affects your feet and legs, it’s important to flex and strengthen these muscles so that dancing becomes easier.
For instance, when wearing heels it creates an unnatural arch in the foot, which can often be painful and means you won’t be able to dance for very long.
So, before you start dancing, it’s wise to warm up and stretch the areas where you feel the most pain.
Regarding painful arches, try relieving pain by placing a round object on the floor, such as a tennis ball, sit on a chair and roll the ball under the arch of your foot.
Doing so will massage your arches and loosen stiff muscles - do for two minutes then repeat on the other foot.
In regards to stiff calves, heel raises are effective at strengthening this muscle and will relieve pain after dancing in heels.
Simply stand up, rest your hands on something like a chair or table for support and lift your heels from the ground, hold, then lower yourself down.
All in all, to perfect the art of dancing in heels will take some time, but with a lot of practice you will get there!
Always remember to work your way up slowly and build on heel height - don’t just dive into 5 inch high heels straightaway, and ensure there is adequate padding to provide cushioning and support.
Lastly, always remember to stretch before and after you dance which will make for happy muscles and less pain, meaning you will be able to dance in heels for longer.
Please get in touch to find out more.
In the meantime, check our extended range of Dance Heels.
You may also like: