HIGH HEELS & SASSY PANTS

BY ASHLEY TOKARUK

I threw on my sassy pants, leather booties and what I could muster up of a badass babe attitude, and walked into a heels class at the Stiletto Studio. I sat in the chatter-filled waiting area with other women ready to take the class. They were all friendly with one another and I could right away sense the communal, friendly vibe of my classmates. One of the instructors, Liz, made her way over as soon as she saw my unfamiliar face and introduced herself. Her welcoming demeanour put my nerves at ease.

  Photographed by Ashley Tokaruk

Photographed by Ashley Tokaruk

I’ve been known to bust a move and break it down at ridiculous and sometimes inappropriate times, I’ve trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and danced competitively from ages 7 to 20. Because of my experience I knew I would have the coordination part down. It was the fact that I’m slightly out of shape and sometimes lacking in the self-esteem department that had me a little weary. 

The class instructor and CEO of Stiletto Studio, Dani, (who is a total sweetheart by the way) introduced me to all of the women in the class, this made me feel even more included and comfortable.  We started warming up with hip movements, squats, and arm circles. I could feel the burn and it hurt so good. We moved into deeper stretching with lunges, reaching for our toes, and twisting to stretch out our backs. After about a half hour of warm-up, we grabbed a sip of water and lined up at the back of the room in front of the barre. 

It was time to turn up our sultry sides and work on our walk. If you snicker when I say “work on walk” because you think walking is easy, give your head a shake and listen to this. We were told to sit into our left hip with all of our weight on our left foot and our right foot popped and beveled in while keeping our legs pressed in. “Keep your legs and thighs squeezed together tight, like, no access!" Dani said to the class. Everyone burst into laughter and cheers. Girl power *muscle emoji*. 

The idea is to keep the legs pressed together as closely as possible while walking. Step forward and across your other foot but keep the stepping foot turned out, sink into your hip with each step you take, press your shoulders back and pull up tall, move your arms naturally (but not flopping along your sides like noodles), and stare at your sexy self dead in the eyes in the mirror. Oh and remember, you’re doing all of this in heels. This is surprisingly tough to do and I dare you to go try it.

She put on a slow song and in two groups we walked back and forth. I haven’t needed to have my dancer brain on in a long time, but staring in the mirror and forcing myself to walk through the motions felt great. We picked up the pace and our sultry steps turned into struts. Dani wanted to see strong, powerful steps, she wanted our bodies to shake with each movement. She stomped the floor and pointed at her thigh shaking: “That’s what I want to see, that jiggle.” How empowering, I thought, to focus on and thrive for something like a thigh jiggle that many people are self-conscious about. 

  Photographed by Ashley Tokaruk

Photographed by Ashley Tokaruk

Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" pumped through the speakers and the girls were feeling it. We did these fast paced walks in groups of two across the floor, the beat of the music fuelled our energy and attitudes. After a couple times across the floor, we added onto our walks by stepping one leg out and melting our bodies down our leg before body rolling back up. We did this new rendition of the walks in groups of three across the floor with a brave, sexy vibe in the room. Girls laughed and sang. I caught myself smiling and feeling really good about the whole experience. 

To finish off the class, the ladies practiced their showcase routine and absolutely rocked it. There was hair flipping, back arching, legs-for-days strutting, booty popping, and everyone looked confident and hot as hell.

A fun way to tone your muscles in an empowering atmosphere and an opportunity to bond with a bunch of sassy, sweet babes – what more could you want? These classes are killer for anyone who wants to: Work out without actually going to the gym, women who are in need of a little confidence boost, and to any ex-performers who miss being in studio or on stage. They offer classes for all skill levels. If you want to try it out you can attend drop-ins in mid-March or register for their Spring Session beginning April 1st! You can sashay over to their website for information on dates and pricing. Strengthen your body and spirit at Stiletto Studio.

 
  Photo courtesy of Stiletto Studio  

Photo courtesy of Stiletto Studio