Competition Stage Walking Basics – Izabela IDFA

Competition Stage Walking Basics

by Izabela Minnes – IDFA and FEFA Judge

Now that you have your beautiful, well-fitting stage shoes, it’s time to start practicing the walk.  Remember, once you are on stage, you are going to have only a few moments to impress the judges.  The best way to do this is with your stage entry.  Of course, you are being judged on your physique, but you need to command attention before you do your required quarter turns.

You want to walk onto the stage looking confident, gracious and in control of your shoes.  Yes, I know it sounds funny, but have you ever seen a competitor walking as if her shoes had a mind of their own?  I have, and it’s not a pretty sight!

The moment you put those shoes on, you must envision you are a top stage model. Forget that you might be a tomboy or your life of “living” in your flip-flops or running shoes.  You must walk with a purpose to impress, not to get from one place to another in a hurry. Being nervous may trigger an automatic response of wanting to hurry so be aware and resist that urge! Take your time as you only have precious moments to do it right and make the best impression possible.


Your steps should be short and controlled; it doesn’t mean fast nor slow like a tortoise.  By controlled steps, I mean that you transfer your body weight from the back leg onto the front leg without appearing as if you were trying to jump across a crack in the floor. 

As you practice, observe your head in the mirror, it should appear as if it is floating across without bobbing up and down. “Kick” one foot in front of the other only as far as the heal length will allow you to do so (see the photo stance below) and avoid your body dipping down. As you do that, keep your front leg relatively straight and as the foot touches the floor, transfer your body weight onto it.

In the meantime, you should maintain perfect posture: you are leading with your chest lifted (‘boobs’ on a platter is also a cue that can help you visualize), the back is slightly flexed and the shoulders slightly popped, do not shrug or pull the shoulders up, and be sure to keep your abdominals contracted inward and pulled in tight; known as the ‘vacuum.’ The booty is popped so you have that perfect glute/hamstring tie and the perfect “shelf”.  The arms are loosely/naturally swinging with every step and not looking robotic.  While you appear to float gracefully across the stage, your body should constantly be “at attention”.  The analogy I always make is; imagine it’s a hot day at the beach and suddenly someone splashes you with cold water, your body tenses up… this is how your body should feel; never fully relaxed.

Invest time, patience and lots of practice into your walking until it feels ‘natural,’ as a result.

Izabela Minnes

Izabela creates glamorous competition suits and is available for posing, contest prep, and coaching. Read Izabela’s bio to learn more about her. 

For inquiries, write to Izabela here at or: