Redefining a Heels Class


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Before I get classified as a grade A bitch, let me sing the praises of the benefits of “Heels Classes.” No matter your age, shape, gender, etc. Heels classes promote confidence, bottom line. I love that Yanis Marshall, one of the most famous heels choreographers in the business, is a man rockin’ heels and slaying. I love how most heels choreographers have a “enter the studio as you are and leave empowered” mentality. IT’S FANTASTIC, and I think we need more of that in this world.

I’m not about to completely disrespect heels classes because it does take a lot to dance in heels (don’t believe, try it yourself haha). I’m a former ballroom/latin student so as hard it is to walk in heels, I know first hand how hard it is to dance in them, let alone look good doing it.

There’s so much expression, creativity, soul, sass, and energy that goes into Heels choreography, but I am here to state that you can completely choreograph for Heels, but do it in a classy way where it doesn’t become overtly and excessively sexual.

This is Galen Hooks. Her resume is super impressive (hello, she was a prominent dancer for Ne-Yo!) SHE is a major Heels choreographer in the business and I love these two pieces. She’s able to capture a story, embody an exuding amount of confidence and nowhere in her choreography does it turn into “slutty” movement. Of course the adjective slutty could be subjective, but it’s also a topic of “ya know it when you see it.” Galen is extremely successful, teaches master classes all over the world, and strengthens women everywhere – all with a grace and dignity of a legitimate choreographer.

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Nichols in her post (which is so articulate and well spoken by the way) stated that the wardrobe is also a factor contributing to “Heels being synonymous with soft porn.” I couldn’t agree more. I’m not against anybody wearing whatever they want. Hell, when I was a west coast swing dancer, one late night social, my tank’s slit was so large you could see my entire bralette from the side. I ain’t gonna judge. What I am gonna judge you for, is contributing to a twisted and convoluted ideal of what sexy is, especially for our youth. I have no problem with a youngin’ taking heels. More power to her! But if she’s out there in an outfit that looks worthy of a nightclub, then yes I am going to judge. Why? because she’s still discovering how to be comfortable in her own skin. She’s already surrounded by a lot of noise on social media and societal ideas of what sexy is. Nichols is right. Sexy isn’t an outfit. It isn’t makeup, a giant ass, a thong, etc. IT. IS. YOU. Your ability to embrace confidently who you are. And again, heels does do that.

There are so many wonderful heels teachers out there. Every time I see Y’all killing the game I’m like, “YASSSSSSSS.” And Y’all I ain’t about to be no “egg” on Twitter troll calling out choreographers who are aiding and abetting to this topic of heels dancing being too sexual. That’s super petty and lacks the class that I’m trying to speak of in this post. However, I will challenge these choreographers to be conscientious of a) who they are choreographing for, and b) who’s watching on the other side of the screen. With dance videos becoming insanely popular these days online, you never know who is in your audience. I would hate for a young girl in the middle of nowhere USA to think, “sexy is putting my legs into the spread eagle and poppin’ my kitty (thanks, Fitness Marshall for the phrase!).” I’m one of those people who think sexiness is MOST sexy when it’s subtle, silent, and softly subtle. Call my argument invalid, thin, whatever. Let’s focus on storytelling of the music. Let’s not redefine sexy but finesse it.

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