“I have learned to love my body in the state that it is in, to love my body through the process, and love my body with the results. When you work out with love for self, the process is easier and more rewarding.”
We’re crushing hard on pro dancer and celeb choreographer Kiira Harper whose work includes performances by peak artists like Beyonce, Lizzo and Drake. As the exclusive instructor of STEEZY Studio’s “Intro to Heels” program, Kiira has us toning up muscles we weren’t sure we had and has us energized beyond belief.
Kiira, What’s one of your favorite music videos/performances you’ve worked on?
I’ve truly enjoyed them all, but I would have to say: Homecoming with Beyoncé at Coachella is one of my all-time favorite performances.
You’ve worked with so many beloved artists. What’s your favorite part of that process?
I would have to say I have two: my first favorite part of the process is when we first get “The Treatment”. “The Treatment” basically tells me as a choreographer which creative direction to go in. Basically, it’s the idea that I get to elaborate on and bring to life. My second favorite part is definitely seeing the idea come to life in the performance/show. It’s really a beautiful feeling being able to witness something go from mere idea to an actual live performance for people to see with their eyes!
What have you learned through your choreography work that you think more women should incorporate into the way they work out?
I have learned to love my body in the state that it is in, to love my body through the process, and love my body with the results. When you work out with love for self, the process is easier and more rewarding.
Do you have a signature move in your pro choreography? What is it?
Talk to us about the new online class — why heels?
Why not heels? To be in heels is to be fearless and powerful. As a dancer, we would always get to showtime and the stylist would hand you a pair of heels that you’ve never seen before. Sometimes there are dancers who don’t even wear heels! I wanted to provide a platform for dancers to really learn how to slay the moves in their heels – all while remaining their true selves.
What results should we expect from working out in heels specifically?
Your butt sits higher, your posture improves, your legs look longer and stronger. But also expect those legs to get a true workout!
What are the best shoes for the “Intro To Heels” program? Have you tried multiple styles?
I’ve tried out countless heels and suffered so many blisters before finding the best shoe!
The main features I always look for are ankle support, a cushy foam interior, and lightweight design.
Ultimately, I decided to design my own shoe made specifically for the dancer who’s training and learning to dance in heels. The line is called the Burju Shoes x Kiira Harper Simply Stiletto collection. They have a double memory foam insole for extreme comfort and long term wear, an anti-bacterial inner lining for sweaty feet (which definitely happens when you dance!), vegan leather materials, and a fully customizable heel in varying heights – 3 inches for the beginner and 4.2 in for the advanced dancer. They’re SO comfortable, like a cloud! I wanted them to have an option for a “street sole” as well, so you can also wear them out in the real world.
your classes incorporate a few different dance styles – can you tell us about them?
As a dancer, I was brought up learning all styles – African, tap, jazz, hip hop, etc. My choreography is a melting pot of everything I know and have learned. To dance in heels is not a specific genre, but to be able to dance it ALL in your shoes.
These classes sound so FUN. Any tips for those of us who struggle to make working out positive or fun?
STEEZY classes are super fun to take! Dance should be a pleasure. I always tell my students to never take movement too seriously. Live in the moment, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself! I am a firm believer in letting yourself be in and enjoy the moment. Dancing is the one thing in the world that never makes you cry. So don’t let your insecurities and self doubt, or low self esteem take that joyous thing away from you. Don’t be your own worst enemy.
Can you share a powerful move or pose from the class that gets results?
Yesss!!! The over-the-shoulder, right hand on hip, booty-to-the-audience works like a charm for every photo, pose, and moment! Really makes you look and feel hot!