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How to Not Fall When Walking in Heels on the Runway

Savvy Shields walks the stage before being crowned Miss America at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall. Photo: Ben Fogletto/Press of Atlantic City
Savvy Shields walks the stage before being crowned Miss America at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall. Photo: Ben Fogletto/Press of Atlantic City

What happens when one of our greatest fears comes true on stage or while walking down the runway during a fashion show? Get back up! It’s all about how you recover.

Earlier this month during New York Fashion Week, Bella Hadid, one of Michael Kors’ models fell down during New York Fashion Week and she recovered perfectly. It happens; we are not perfect and mistakes like these can seem like the end of the world. Trust me, it’s not going to break you. However, here are some tips to avoid falling down at your next show.

bella hadid, michael kors,trips, runway
Bella Hadid trips during New York Fashion Week

3 Steps to Help You Avoid Falling On The Runway

1. Practice makes perfect

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Make sure you are completely comfortable in the shoes you are wearing that day. Break them in months ahead of your show. Practice walking on all types of floors including wood, carpet, tile, etc. Spend a day walking in your shoes as your run errands, go to work or go to school. Know the venue and try to find a similar stage to rehearse on.

According to Jesse Ladoue, Miss International 2013 and our Queen of Coaching, “If you’re not comfortable in platforms or haven’t had time to practice in your shoes, be conservative. It’s better to be safe and stick to the 3 or 4-inch heels, then to be sorry in those 6-inch shoes you have not broken in yet. Practice your presentation for the different phases of competition.” (Read: 4 MUST Know Workout Moves For Walking In Heels On Stage)

Practice your walk onto the stage all the way up to your exit. If you know the walking pattern, practice, practice, practice until you can walk that pattern in your sleep. It should become second nature so that when the day comes you can solely focus on connecting with the judges and audience. Know that the different phases of competition will differ the way you walk. Swimsuit is lighter and more fun, while evening gown comes with a slower pace and you want to appear like you are floating on stage (Read: What You Should Be Doing Right Before Walking Out Onstage For Swimsuit)

2. Visualization

Another way to make sure you are flawless on stage is seeing yourself making the perfect presentation on stage.

Visualization helps in all aspects of life and works well with meditation once you have your walking pattern down. Step off the stage and visualize the venue full and create a similar scenario to pageant day. Picture yourself walking on stage with the audience and judges watching. Often times when you visualize a great outcome, you will get an even better outcome, so do not be afraid to take a moment right before getting on stage and visualize yourself completing those turns and smiling as you sail down that runway.

Picture where you plan on placing your hands, how you are going to pose on the left side of the stage compared to the right. Practice how you are going to make eye contact with the judges and see yourself as the Queen you are made to be (Read: How to Use Visualization to Achieve Your Pageant Goals)

3. Don’t show it

“Get up, soak in the applause, and finish your presentation strongly. That includes not showing your emotions in the wings of the stage. The judges can still see you and I guarantee they are still watching,” said Ladoue.

So if you take a fall, get right back up and act like it was purposeful. Be confident in your fall. The judges and audience members notice everything. Depending on your recovery, you may even receive more points for presenting confidence.

If you are not finished competing or have to take another walk down the runway, Ladoue advised to remain calm once you return on stage.

“It’s also important to remember to not let it affect the remaining phases of competition if there are any,” said Ladoue. “It’s important to stay positive and focused in case you move forward in the competition.”

Remember, if you trip, it is not the end of the world. Rachel Smith, Miss USA 2007 fell at Miss Universe and still made it to the Top 5.

Do not skip out on practicing walking in your heels. Whether you are walking in a fashion show or during a pageant, you always want to over rehearse before you get on the stage. If you cannot walk in higher heels, this might not be the best time to do so. Keep the sky high heels for another time, when you become more comfortable and stick to the lower heels that will help you build your conference.

There are so many things running through our head during show time and worrying about your walk should not be one of them.

If you trip or fall down, what ever you do, pick yourself back up and smile through it!

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