When I started out learning pole, our lessons were all done in high-heeled shoes. We would do the warm-up in bare feet, then we would put on our heels for the rest of the lesson, before removing them again for cool down. In the first two beginners’ courses, we learned how to do spins, holds, pole sits and climbs in heels, and complete a choreographed routine in heels, before progressing to the next levels. In the intermediate levels (levels 3 and 4), where we began learning to invert, and learnt more inverted tricks (e.g. leg hangs), we would learn the tricks bare feet, and the goal was to complete the respective choreographed routines in heels before progressing to the next level. However, in the upper levels (level 5 and above), the courses are focused entirely on tricks, and there is no routine as part of the courses, and so everyone trains exclusively in bare feet.

Because my pole education was a bit patchy due to work, I never formally completed the level 3 and 4 at my school. So in fact, I have never inverted in heels. I tried inverting with heels several times in class when I was still in level 3, but at that time, my inversions (without heels) were weak and I could just about get myself up. So my heeled attempts were dismal: I would knock the heel of my shoes loudly into the pole, and once, my shoes (which were open-toed mules) flew off and almost hit someone in the head! The additional weight (even though they were non-platformed heels) and necessary balance adjustments overwhelmed my inconsistent inversions. And all too soon, I was progressing to learning more advanced tricks in bare feet, and in my constant push to achieve the next pole trick, I’ve never actually gone back to trying to nail my heeled inversion.

With the progression of time, as I’ve continued learning more difficult tricks, I’m also increasingly finding that I’m missing the grace and beauty of dancing, and, more importantly, I’m missing the grace, cheekiness, and sexiness that heels bring to a pole routine. So I’ve decided that I’d like to start dancing in heels and again, and eventually put together a little routine in high-heels.

To start this off, I’m going to try inverting in heels next week: first, a baby step with a pair of lower, lighter mules (the same ones that previously flew off my feet! But this time I’ll wear clear plastic straps to keep them on me!), then, if that goes well, with my bad-ass 6-inch platform shoes! Fingers crossed…!