On August 15th I made my way through the crowds of Times Square to the W Hotel. I found my way to our room on the fifth floor and almost collapsed in amazement…There were shoes everywhere!
Let me give you a little background info. I applied for a job on Casting Networks (an AMAZING casting website, especially for little gigs as “extras” on TV shows and such) for a webseries by Nine West where girls would learn how to walk in high heels. Runway maestro Mac Folkes and “America’s Next Top Model” judge Kelly Cutrone were our instructors and gave us (myself and 12 other young women) tips and tricks to walk like pros.
Oh, and did I mention..
- We were in the MIDDLE of Times Square.
- We weren’t just walking down the sidewalk. Oh, no! We had to master 4 different surfaces: wet wooden floor, grass, sand, and cobblestone!
- It started pouring rain in the middle of our shoot! (But we just had to keep walking!)
- We got to keep a pair of shoes!
Mac and Kelly were tough but great coaches. Here are some of the tips they gave us:
- Kelly showed cameras how wearing stilettos can make your body look totally different (you looked longer, leaner, and more toned without having to hit the gym!).
- Mac said to walk as if you have strings attached to your body: 1) The crown of your head lifting up 2) your shoulder blades squeezing together 3) and your hip bones leaning a bit forward.
- When walking on slick, wooden surfaces, Kelly told us to scuff up the soles of our heels with scissors or a knife. She said, “You should only land on your back by invitation, not by accident!”
- When walking on wet surfaces, Mac instructed us to take each step confidently, placing your full weight (heel-toe) on each slow step.
- In grass and sand, stay on the balls of your feet or your stilettos will end up sinking.
- And for cobblestone? Well, BE CAREFUL! Kelly told us about how she landed in the hospital when she wore wedges in the Meatpacking District. Don’t be afraid to take it slow – but despite your speed, keep your body poised and confident!
Now, I realize that this post isn’t directly dance-related. However, most gigs for female dancers nowadays REQUIRE that you dance in high heels – Rockettes, Broadway, music videos, tours, you name it! Last summer I even performed in a flash mob in Times Square that was in high heels. But, if you can’t get Mac Folkes and Kelly Cutrone to teach you the basics, be sure to drop in for BDC’s Stiletto Heels classes, taught by Dana Foglia on Monday and Wednesday nights.