2024-03-02
Home Essentials Heels Dance: sensuality and well-being in every movement
Essentials

Heels Dance: sensuality and well-being in every movement

From Argentine Tango to Heels Dance. A journey into the different forms of body expression and the choice of heeled shoes.

Heels Dance: sensuality and well-being in every movement
Photo credit: Kris Atomic | Unsplash

Dance frees from the heaviness of things, through the expression of mind and heart. It’s not just fun, but it’s also healthy for our mind and body.

It keeps the body in shape and guides it harmoniously on the symphony of music, communicating its inner strength. Dance, therefore, is a discipline that produces numerous beneficial effects both physically and psychologically. There are many types of dance that can be divided into countless categories and genres. Indeed, the cultural richness of each region of the world is also expressed through different types of dance.

In any form of dance, the use of appropriate footwear is essential to optimize performance, affecting technical factors such as speed and balance. In addition, another important feature for the dancers’ foot should not be forgotten: comfort. For example, for ballet or modern dance, pointe or ballet shoes are indispensable. While for more rhythmic styles such as jazz or hip-hop, sneakers with flexible and cushioned soles are recommended to ensure comfort and freedom of movement. For other types of dances, on the other hand, shoes with smooth, flexible soles are required.

The choice of materials also  plays a key role in overall durability and comfort. That’s why it’s important to know how to choose the right shoes. Today we want to explore with you some dance styles, such as  the Argentine tango and the new trend of “heels dance“, which require the use of a particular footwear: heeled shoes.

But let’s go step by step.

What is Argentine Tango?

It is a dance characterized by elegance and sensuality whose main foundations are the embrace and the walk. Being an improvised dance, it does not follow pre-established sequences, requiring the man, who directs the dance couple, to be able to build it step by step and to chain the movements of the tango in an ever-changing way. 

Argentine tango, originating in the Rio de la Plata region, has its roots in Argentina and Uruguay and incorporates elements of music, dance and poetry.

Born in the late 1800s, it was influenced by popular musical genres of the time such as the Habanera and the Milonga. International success came around 1910, when it began to be danced in salons and theaters in large cities. Initially accompanied by a trio of violin, guitar and flute, during the twentieth century music also began to be played by piano, violin and bandoneon, an instrument similar to the accordion.

Over time, tango also spread to Europe giving rise to a faster, sharper and more rhythmic version that is nowadays included in competition dances as a ballroom dance.

To dance the tango, women use heeled shoes. But to stay comfortable, you have to choose the right ones.

What features should tango shoes have to ensure maximum comfort?

Let’s start by explaining that heel height greatly affects weight balance and fluidity of movement.

If you are a beginner, it is advisable to opt for a lower heel, with an ideal height usually around 9 cm. However, the comfort and stability of the shoes depend not only on the height of the heel, but also on their internal structure. It is essential to find shoes that fit like a second skin, considering the shape of the foot. For example, in the presence of problems such as hallux valgus, wide-fit shoes are recommended.

heels dance | shoestechnologies
Tango Heels
A31CL Red Patent Soft Heel 9 cm
Photo Credit: tangolerashoes website

The choice of sole is equally important. A leather sole is preferable since it offers optimal grip on floors such as parquet or tiles. As well as on less uniform surfaces, such as those of milongas, the typical rooms where tango is danced. Rubber soles, on the other hand, should be avoided as they are uncomfortable and slippery.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that the shoes have a proper lacing system to ensure a firm fit at the ankle during the dance. T-lacing is often the best choice. Neither too loose nor too narrow.

Is it better to wear a closed shoe or an open shoe?

We refer especially to the rear. When choosing between closed-toe or open-toe shoes, the former offer more control of the foot, making them ideal for beginners. While the latter allow greater freedom of the fingers and, consequently, greater stability.

The lining of the shoe is also very important. Care must be taken that the upper does not scratch and provides adequate anti-slip support. Sequin coatings are therefore not recommended. But lacquer should also be avoided: two shoes with this coating, in fact, risk sticking together. If your partner also wears a lacquered shoe, there is a risk of causing accidents on the track.

heels dance | shoestechnologies
Closed tango heels
INES black leather, 8.5 cm heel
Photo credit: Lenora shoes website

Choosing the right shoes requires a lot of attention. But sometimes all it takes is a careful fitting to verify the perfect fit. And there you have it!

Heels Dance: A New Discipline

At the beginning of the article we mentioned a new discipline: heels dance. For some time now, social media has been full of videos of celebrities from the entertainment world, such as the singer Elodie, who offer dance performances on heels. Although it may seem like just a viral phenomenon, it is instead a real discipline, but what are its origins?

Heels Dande: The Dance of Stiletto Heels

Also called “Stiletto dance“, this particular dance technique was born after the sixties, from some video clips in which great music stars began to perform with this type of footwear. In the Seventies we saw Raffaella Carrà competing with Mina in the choreography of Milleluci. Finally, in the early years of the twenty-first century, there was a global boom, thanks to video clips that conquered the charts. Let’s talk about Beyoncé’s “Single Ladiesin 2008. But also Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and Lady Gaga, undisputed queens of international pop music, who introduced heels in their live performances.

Contrary to what one might think, however, it is not a discipline practiced only by women. Men can also practice it and this is confirmed by the video clip “Love” by Kazaky from 2012 where a group of men danced on heels defying every stereotype.

The benefits of the Heels Dance

Dancing in high heels offers new possibilities of movement. It completely shifts the center, balance, and dynamic capabilities of the body. Heels dancing is a real challenge that forces you to explore your possibilities and find new ways to move using heels and we are talking about: balance; posture control; respiratory capacity; Toning of the muscles of the lower limbs such as legs and buttocks.

Like Argentine tango, this discipline also requires special shoes.

What to wear to practice Heel Dance

This discipline can be practiced by anyone, men and women. Initially, it can also be done without heels or with low heels. This allows you to slowly learn to walk sensually by moving your hips and establish a balance between the various movements. Then we move on to higher heels, which must have special characteristics to avoid muscle fatigue and possible ankle sprains.

This is one of the reasons why it is very important to start with simple lessons, adapted to your level and under the supervision of a teacher. Don’t try your hand at this discipline alone, please.

Let’s see together what the heel of the shoes must look like to practice this discipline.

For beginners, the right size to start and not get hurt is 6-7 cm. The shoe should be snug at the instep and have a soft sole. A bit like we have already seen for the Argentine tango.

heels dance | shoestechnologies
Ankle boots with zipper on the back, 10 cm heel
Photo credit: eshopdancin website

For those who have been practicing this discipline for a while, you could opt for  a 10 cm heel, in the shape of a boot with a zipper on the back in order to adjust the closure of the shoe at will. This model is very comfortable because being ankle-high gives greater stability and protects against incorrect movements that could cause problems. 

Then there are the shoes with a platform and a 12 cm heel for experts in this discipline and who have a greater knowledge of the movements. These shoes, unlike those with only heels, allow you to move more safely, adjusting the weight depending on the position. This is because the shape of the heel is used to stabilize the posture and to create movements that a heel without a platform does not allow you to do.

Basically, the choice of heeled shoes for this type of discipline depends on the years of practice, the specific performance and your routine. The important thing is to always be comfortable with this type of footwear.

Did you know these disciplines? Have you ever thought you could dance sensually on a twelve-inch heel? Well, you just have to try, right?

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