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Dancers Need Glute Strength Susan Haines

Butt Seriously; Dancers Need Glutes! Part I with Susan Haines, MFA, NKT, FMT, IASTM

Written by
Susan Haines
Date
August 19, 2020

Butt Seriously; Dancers Need Glutes! Part I

by Susan Haines, MFA, NKT, FMT, IASTM

My tween daughter is pretty embarrassed that her mom’s favorite research subject is the butt. She’s shaking her head at me as I type this. Embarrassing or not, the dance field needs to deal with all this “junk that has accumulated in the trunk” from training myths, media pressure that we either have too much or too little back there, and Insta images of the so-called #perfectbooty. Can a focus on proper muscle function overtake our society’s obsession with form and shape?  Let’s examine the training myths that may be preventing dancers from understanding how to find functional strength and honor the butt as a site of power, literally and figuratively.

No Butts About It: What I hear most frequently from dance students is that they have been told to “Never use the butt”. They say, “My teacher told me to never, ever use my butt, I should keep it off!”  When I ask them for more details about this cue, they seem to believe that something bad will happen if they activate the muscles in their butt and they should try to “relax everything back there”. The majority of these students are dealing with lumbopelvic instability, struggle to find balance on one leg, and lack the power to push off efficiently in jumps and leaps. They are eager to discover a new solution.

Jan Erkert states, “Dance teachers argue about the role of the butt” and compares two points of view. “Squeeze the butt, show me the dimple” to “let the butt go, let it all hang out” (Erkert 2003).  And I’ll add a third option that is popular in ballet classes, where students hear repeatedly, “use your turnout muscles!" This usually results in dancers re-cranking their turnout from feet, or knees, holding on fiercely with their quads so they don’t fall over and hoping that the burning sensation in the hip region is proof that something must be working “back there.” I have been pleased to see more teachers using anatomy images in class to show what the deep external rotators look like, but we’re still a long way from truly finding activation and proper use of the gluteal region.

So, what are dancers to do? To start, let’s acknowledge that asking dancers to purposely “not use or relax” any muscle or region of the body just isn’t possible! The motor control center in the brain doesn’t work that way. This is one of the dance training myths that should be corrected. And, while we’re at it—let’s give dancers back their power, by helping them find strong, functional glutes that come in all shapes and sizes!

Relaxing the butt and letting it all hang out most likely came from a dance teacher trying to help their students stop intentionally squeezing the butt muscles at full force, as this can interfere with neurological coordination, and won’t allow for the quick weight shifts needed for dancing. This “relax” cue may have also developed around the idea that dancers need to find the deeper layer of muscles for external rotation, and the belief that squeezing the glute max interferes with this. The truth is a little more complicated. The glute max and deep rotators are all involved in external rotation: the fascial layers are gliding and tensioning, and the muscle fibers are shortening to move the femur (thigh bone) into external rotation. They all work together. The “squeeze” may have been passed down by teachers who were hypermobile and needed the additional stability, or from students trying to fulfill their teachers’ instructions of “use the glutes”. I find a lot of dancers try to overachieve with corrections, so if they are told they need glutes—well, they will give you some glutes with a 120% squeeze!

Test “the squeeze” for yourself: stand with your feet in parallel, or a position used in your dance style and squeeze or activate your butt tightly. Except for very hypermobile folks, you will probably find it challenging to bend your knees or move through space while keeping the glutes at this level of activation. Now try the squeeze and balance on one leg. You might find that this makes balancing easier, with full gluteal activation. This could be why some dance teachers insist that squeezing the butt muscles is the way to go, it does add stability! But hang on, we’re not quite done yet!

Now try the “relax and let it all go”: stand with your feet in parallel or a position used in your dance style and notice if you can sense any gluteal activation. If you instinctively activated your glutes in a squeeze, let this externally imposed activation go. Bend your knees and shift your weight, it should feel quite easy as it allows hip and knee and ankle joints to crease and move the body through space. Now try the balance on one leg, this may not feel as stable without any support from the gluteals. (Each dancers’ activation patterns may take over and you may find the glutes firing for support in the balance, and as discussed earlier, we can’t just tell a muscle to turn off if it is being activated by the central nervous system to support a joint or movement).

OK, so now what? Is there a middle ground between squeezing and totally relaxed? Yes, we want to find proper neurological activation of the glutes, as well as requisite strength. We want glutes that activate WHEN we need them, when the hip goes into extension, recruited by the central nervous system, not because we stop and squeeze! And we want to train the appropriate level of muscle activation for the movement we are performing and that requires neurological coordination as well as building strength.

 Alignment! Of Course!

To find this, we need to go back to something that dance teachers all agree on—proper pelvic alignment! A common misalignment for dancers is working in an anterior pelvic tilt (APT) Dancers with this alignment issue usually have tightness in the front of the hips, hamstrings, and the low back. I see a lot of ballet dancers working in an APT because it allows them to crank a little more turnout due to range of motion in hip socket ligaments, or because they are using the shortened hip flexors to stabilize their standing position (because they don’t have functional glutes!)  Sitting for long periods of time, or working in an anterior pelvic tilt, where the glutes are in a stretched position, and the hip flexors shortened, sets up a habitual patterning that results in the front of the hips (hip flexors, psoas, iliacus) staying short and tight, while the back (gluteal muscles) are lengthened and unable to fire or activate. Even when we stand up or move, the body has set its neurological pattern in this position and gluteal amnesia, where the glutes “forget how to fire” is the result. (Page, Franjk, Lardner, 2010)  Jeff Gaudette, a master trainer, explains the ramifications of this: “Soon the body “forgets” how to use the gluteal muscles because it’s more efficient in the short-term to divert the neural signal intended for them to a stronger muscle close by to do the job instead. This means the hamstrings, lower back, piriformis and even your knees and feet have to handle more of the load and force generating power... The result? Overuse injuries and inefficient mechanics.” (Gaudette, 2018)

For dancers that always feel tightness in their hip flexors, and hamstrings that don’t response to stretching or rolling out, you may need to wake up your glutes and check your pelvic alignment. But instead of feeling like you have been doing something wrong, remember that our bodies are doing the best they can to make movement happen for us. Give your body credit for trying to find you stability and let’s add to your knowledge base with a new approach! Madeline Black has a great image for pelvic alignment, “floating the pelvis over the femurs like a gearshift in neutral—ready to move in any direction”. (Black, 2015) Try this cue after completing the exercises below that address the neurological coordination of the glutes and hip flexors:

  1. Rolling Out: Start by rolling out the front of the right side: hip flexors, and upper quadriceps fibers. A soft 4” inch ball works well for this area. You can also wrap a tennis ball in a towel to soften the pressure. You should use light to medium pressure, moving slowly, for about 90 seconds as we are aiming to down-regulate the hip flexors, and then up-regulate and activate the glutes. Go directly to step 2 and activate the right-side glute.
  2. Glute Activation in Single Leg Bridge: Lying on your back, bring the right foot flat on the floor by your sitzbone. Let the left leg stay extended in a neutral position. Start with pushing through the heel of the right foot—but don’t lift the pelvis yet. Begin by finding the firing of the right glute region when you push through the right foot. This is a subtle sensation, it can be challenging to feel, so go slowly and “listen”. Once you can feel the activation of the right-side glute, you can start to slowly lift the pelvis off the floor, leaving the left leg on the ground. Repeat 15x, slowly lifting the pelvis, ensuring gluteal activation is occurring. Some dancers may need more time rolling out the hip flexors if finding glute activation is challenging. Repeat for the left side.
  3. Watch this video for exercises to integrate neurological coordination of the glutes in standing:

Link: https://vimeo.com/444779357/7778ecaa8f

Gluteal Activation with Susan Haines from susan haines on Vimeo.

  1. Try a balance on one leg or lifting the leg behind you. You should feel more activation from the gluteal region with the hips moving toward extension in movement, and more stability in standing and balancing. I recommend that dancers try to build a change in pelvic alignment from a kinesthetic awareness because these are very subtle changes in positioning.

 And the mystery of the squeeze versus relax? Our new #goals are about training the glutes neurologically like a dimmer switch or volume knob— one that can be turned up or activated to full intensity based on the needs of the movement and each dancer’s individual structure. We want the brain to send the proper message to the muscles as an automatic neurological response and not an externally imposed action like an intentional squeeze or relaxing. Here’s to reprogramming our glute activation and our understanding that the #perfectbooty is one that offers stability, mobility, and power for humans of all shapes and sizes!

Bio: Susan Haines is a Dance Kinesiologist based in Bellingham, WA bridging the latest research in fascia, biomechanics, and neuroscience into dance training. Susan is a Level III NeuroKinetic Therapy practitioner; a sophisticated treatment modality that addresses the causes of dysfunctional movement in the motor control center. This work led her to create Dance Conditioning Technique, a unique training system that focuses on foundational strength. She has worked with dancers from American Ballet Theatre, American Repertory Ballet, Ballet Austin, and Oregon Balle Theatre to create conditioning programs for greater ease in turnout, pointe work, and partnering. She has an MFA from UNCG-Greesnboro where she studied with leaders in the field of Somatics and Kinesiology: Dr. Jill Green and B.J. Sullivan. She is a certified Pilates instructor who studied under Carolyn Watson, MS, LaC, Karen Clippinger, and Franklin Method with Eric Franklin and Tom McCook. She is trained in functional movement patterning and taping with Dr. Perry Nickelston and is a certified FMT Mobility Specialist. She is on faculty at Western Washington University teaching contemporary, ballet, jazz, and kinesiology in her Apolla Shocks. She has presented her dance conditioning research at conferences nationwide.

www.danceconditioningtechnique.com

@danceconditioningtechnique

References:
Black, Madeline, Centered: Organizing the Body through Kinesiology, Movement Theory and Pilates Techniques. 2015, Handspring Publishing, Scotland.
Biel, Andrew, Trail Guide to the Body 2015, Books of Discovery Publishing, Boulder, CO.
Bond, Mary, The New Rules of Posture, 2007, Healing Arts Press, Rochester
Clippinger, Karen, “Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology” 2007, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL
Contreras, Brett, https://bretcontreras.com/how-to-fix-glute-imbalances/ accessed July 20, 2020.
Dicharry, Jay, Anatomy for Runners, 2012, Skyhorse Publishing, New York
Erkert, Jan. Harnessing the Wind, the Art of Teaching Modern Dance, 2003, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
Fisher, Beth. et al,  Evidence of altered corticomotor excitability following targeted activation of gluteus maximus training in healthy individuals,” Neuroreport”,  (2016) Apr 13;27(6):415-21.
Gaudette, Jeff,https://www.podiumrunner.com/training/why-strength-work-isnt-enough/
July 25, 2018, accessed July 2020.
Myers Thomas, Anatomy Trains 2009, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Edinburgh.
Macgill, Stuart https://www.backfitpro.com/pdf/selecting_back_exercises.pdf accessed July 25, 2020.
Page, P, Franjk, C, Lardner, R, “Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance The Janda Approach, 2010, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
Russel, J. Preventing Dance Injuries, Current Perspectives, Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013, Dover Press Journal
McGill, Stuart. ‪Low Back Disorders: Evidence-based Prevention and Rehabilitation, 2007, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL
Van Merkensteijn, G. and Quin, E. 2015 Assessment of Compensated Turnout Characteristics and their Relationship to Injuries in University Level Modern Dancers, Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, Vol. 19: 2.

 

 


1 Response

Jennifer Younge
Jennifer Younge

September 01, 2020

Love this read on how to properly work the butt muscles to fully improve your body movement and I don’t think alot of dancers know this or know the correct way! Also like how the video is in there to show the proper ways considering alot of people are more hands on!

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The feet are fickle (and so are your preferences). Each person will fit their Shocks differently…so below the charts are size GUIDES…SEE BELOW FOR SIZING TIPS to help get you in your best fit!

Size Chart

Size Chart

Size Chart

 


Size Chart


Tips for Sizing

      • The Alpha Shock is a snug toe fit and the Infinite Shock has a freedom fit toe

        • If a dancer has a very wide foot and is on the top end of the size range listed, you may choose to go up a size in the Alpha Shock

          • For example, if they are a size 7.5 with a very wide foot or you typically range between a 7.5-8.0 instead of a 7.0-7.5, you may be more comfortable in a size Large Alpha Shock instead of the size Medium. Your sizing in the Infinite Shock should not be affected with a wider foot

      • The Performance Shock/AMP Shock fits similar to the Infinite but the size chart IS slightly different so please take note! The top of each size range is borderline, here are tips to help you determine your best fit.
        • Foot size, narrowness and age may change the size up or down.
        • You may consider selecting the smaller of your border line size IF:
          • You are at the low end of a size range and are younger than 11 years of age, are very petite boned for your age, and/or have a narrower foot than average for your size
            • For example, an 11-year--old who wears a size 5.5-6 shoe would choose a size Small Infinite instead of a Medium (based on the size chart) or a very petite boned adult
          • A 16-year-old who typically ranges between sizes 6.0-6.5 street shoes and has average leg and foot size would choose the recommended size Medium.
          • A 16-year-old that ranges 5.5-6.0 with a narrower foot will likely be more comfortable in a size Small
          • Also consider if you are a 6.0-6.5 but very narrow feet or petite boned if you prefer a snug fit in the toes you may want a small, if you like wiggle room, go with the Medium.
        • Every dancer has a preference…some will love the lower profile of the Performance, some may miss the snug hug of the Infinite up the calf.
          • The Performance Shock has the same arch and ankle support and differs in:
            • Lower profile & softer opening:  the top of the Shock should hit below the bottom of the calf and goes on easier. The Infinite hits mid-calf
            • Sleeker and fitted in the toes than the Infinite to accentuate the feet and create a more seamless look onstage. But still has freedom.
        • For the Infinite Shock sizing, foot size, narrowness and age may change the size
          • You may consider selecting one size smaller if:
            • You are at the low end of a size range and are younger than 11 years of age, are very petite boned for your age, and/or have a narrower foot than average for your size

              • For example, an 11-year--old who wears a size 5.5-6 shoe would choose a size Small Infinite instead of a Medium (based on the size chart)

            • A 16-year-old who typically ranges between sizes 6.0-6.5 street shoes and has average leg and foot size would choose the recommended size Medium.

            • A 16-year-old that ranges 5.5-6.0 with a narrower foot will likely be more comfortable in a size Small

          • The Infinite has the MOST freedom in the toes of all Shock styles…so with the above rules also consider if you prefer a snug fit in the toes (go with the smaller size you are borderline for) or want some wiggle room (go to the larger size you are border line for)

        • The Performance Shock/AMP Shock fits like the Infinite but the size chart IS slightly different so please take note! The top of each size range is borderline, use the same rules of the Infinite to size.

          • Every dancer has a preference…some will love the lower profile of the Performance, some may miss the snug hug of the Infinite up the calf. Remember the purpose of the Performance is to create the perfect line on stage while providing Apolla support and the Infinite is to give maximum support and protection for long days and rehearsals.

          • The Performance Shock has the same arch and ankle support and differs in:

            • Lower profile & softer opening: the top of the Shock should hit below the bottom of the calf and goes on easier. The Infinite hits mid-calf

            • Sleeker and fitted in the toes than the Infinite to accentuate the feet and create a more seamless look onstage. But still has freedom.

        • The Joule Shock:

          • If you are border line and have a very short arch (the length of your overall shoe size is primarily made up of the ball of your foot and toes) or you are very narrow feet/petite boned, go down a size.

          • If the Joule loses it shape, wash it with normal care instructions and it should regain its shape nicely.

        • Please watch our quick How To Wear (www.apollaperformance.com/pages/how-to-wear) tutorial videos to see how to put them on.

        • The K-Warmer Shock:

          • Measurements are given as a range that it may fit. Most likely starting about an average 13/14 yr. old female on thru an adult petite/average male dancer. However, it may vary based on ersonal preference.

    Please watch our quick How To Wear tutorial videos to see how to put them on.

    Before placing anorder please feel free to emailinfo@apollaperformance or click our live chatwith any questionsif your feetmay be an exception to the sizing chart or are on the border line of sizes.

    The Alpha: Level 1 The Performance: Level 2 The Infinite: Level 3

    Apolla Shocks Support Scale:

    Each of our Shocks come with our revolutionary support, what we call our 3 A’s.

    1.Arch support
    2.Ankle stability
    3.energy Absorption

    Each has their own unique performance features that help to protect and support you for the many different preferences of dancers along with the different needs of style, class, performance and traction.

    You will feel the benefits of all our Apolla Shocks. However, we recommend you knowing the different levels of support and features to decide what is best for you and your dancer’s individual needs. It is our mission to continue to innovate and deliver a Shock for every dancer’s needs, so you will always have what you need in your dance bag. They truly are the last and only dance sock or footwear you will ever want or need!

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    All of your Apolla Shocks® can absolutely be washed…yes, even those with traction! In fact, the fit gets more comfortable with wear and washing. We hope you notice over time they start to form to your foot for a perfect, custom fit. It is important to take care of your Shocks and wash them properly in order to protect the compression, moisture-wicking, and anti-microbial properties, but also to maximize the lifespan of your Shocks.  It is okay to use rosin with your Shocks. Like dance shoes it is recommended you keep the toenails short to avoid puncturing the Shock. For the traction pairs, you do not need to wash your Shocks daily. This may prolong the traction of your Shocks. Please use the following guidelines to care for your Shocks:

    1. Wash with warm water in gentle cycle
    2. Low tumble dry
    3. Do NOT use fabric softener or dryer sheets
    4. You will get best results if you wash and dry your Shocks in the Apolla mesh bag (sold separately)
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    The Joule Size Chart

    The feet are fickle (and so are your preferences). Each person will fit their Shocks differently…so below the charts are size GUIDES…SEE BELOW FOR SIZING TIPS to help get you in your best fit!

    Tips for Sizing:

    • The Joule Shock:
    • If you are border line and have a very short arch (the length of your overall shoe size is primarily made up of the ball of your foot and toes) or you are very narrow feet/petite boned, go down a size.
    • If the Joule loses it shape, wash it with normal care instructions and it should regain its shape nicely.
    X
    The K-Warmer Size Chart

    The feet are fickle (and so are your preferences). Each person will fit their Shocks differently…so below the charts are size GUIDES…SEE BELOW FOR SIZING TIPS to help get you in your best fit!

    Tips for Sizing:

    • The K-Warmer Shock:
    • Measurements are given as a range that it may fit. Most likely starting about an average 13/14 yr. old female on thru an adult petite/average male dancer. However, it may vary based on personal preference.
    X
    The Infinite Shock Size Chart

    The feet are fickle (and so are your preferences). Each person will fit their Shocks differently…so below the charts are size GUIDES…SEE BELOW FOR SIZING TIPS to help get you in your best fit!

    Tips for Sizing:

    • For the Infinite Shock sizing, foot size, narrowness and age may change the size
    • You may consider selecting one size smaller if:  
      • You are at the low end of a size range and are younger than 11 years of age, are very petite for your age, and/or have a narrower foot than average for your size
        • For example, an 11-year--old who wears a size 5.5-6 shoe would choose a size Small Infinite instead of a Medium (based on the size chart) 
      • A 16-year-old who typically ranges between sizes 6.0-6.5 street shoes and has average leg and foot size would choose the recommended size Medium.
      • A 16-year-old that ranges 5.5-6.0 with a narrower foot will likely be more comfortable in a size Small
    • The Infinite has the MOST freedom in the toes of all Shock styles…so with the above rules also consider if you prefer a snug fit in the toes (go with the smaller size you are borderline for) or want some wiggle room (go to the larger size you are border line for)
    X
    The Alpha Shock Size Chart

    The feet are fickle (and so are your preferences). Each person will fit their Shocks differently…so below the charts are size GUIDES…SEE BELOW FOR SIZING TIPS to help get you in your best fit!

    Tips for Sizing:

    • The Alpha Shock is a snug toe fit and the Infinite Shock has a freedom fit toe
    • If a dancer has a very wide foot and is on the top end of the size range listed, you may choose to go up a size in the Alpha Shock
      • For example, if they are a size 7.5 with a very wide foot or you typically range between a 7.5-8.0 instead of a 7.0-7.5, you may be more comfortable in a size Large Alpha Shock instead of the size Medium. Your sizing in the Infinite Shock should not be affected with a wider foot
      • Please watch our quick How To Wear tutorial videos to see how to put them on.

    Before placing a group order please feel free to email with any questions on any of your dancers that may be an exception to the sizing chart or are on the border line of sizes.

    Apolla Shocks Support Scale:

    Each of our Shocks come with our revolutionary support, what we call our 3 A’s.

    1. Arch support
    2. Ankle stability
    3. energy Absorption

    Each has their own unique performance features that help to protect and support you for the many different preferences of dancers along with the different needs of style, class, performance and traction.

    You will feel the benefits of all our Apolla Shocks. However, we recommend you knowing the different levels of support and features to decide what is best for you and your dancer’s individual needs. It is our mission to continue to innovate and deliver a Shock for every dancer’s needs, so you will always have what you need in your dance bag. They truly are the last and only dance sock or footwear you will ever want or need!

    X
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    International Shipping

    We ship to most countries via USPS, however, make sure to look if we have a retailer/stockist in your area/country. In several countries we have distributors that you can order and ship from their website. See our Retailers, Stockists, & Distributor Here. If you have a question please email us at info@apollaperformance.com. All taxes/duties and fees to ship outside of the USA are the responsibility of the customer. The shipping fee is SEPARATE then the import and duties. The import fees will be charged to the customer upon arrival to their country directly to your country Customs. All international shipping should expect 2-3 weeks to arrive once shipped. If you wish to have your order faster with a more reliable shipping method, you can pay extra for DHL or UPS. Please email us at info@apollaperformance.com so we can arrange that shipping. Please make sure you check with your local post office first if there is a long delay. They may be waiting for you to come to pick up your package or pay import fees.

    Orders with less than 15 pairs, placed during business hours Monday-Friday will be shipped within one business day, UNLESS your items, are back ordered. Holiday season and weather can cause unforeseen delays. Once the order leaves our fulfillment center, it is the responsibility of USPS (or carrier). You will receive an email confirmation with your tracking number once your order ships. Please always reach out with any questions and we will do what we can to help and make sure you get your Shocks. 

    Group Orders

    Are you a dance studio owner? Coach? Company director? We want to hear from you. Find out about our discount for group orders (minimum of 15 pairs). Please complete the short form on the Director’s & Owners page or email us at info@apollaperformance.com. Someone will get back to you within 24-48 hours. Let’s talk about how we can get your group to start dancing longer and dancing stronger in our Apolla Shocks®!

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    Return/Exchange Policy

    Our Apolla Promise

    Apolla is proud to make high quality, premium products that are 100% made in the USA and we strive to provide equally as excellent customer service. In that spirit, we promise to do everything we can to help you get into your perfect fit and style of Shocks. We want you to be life-long customers. Please reach out to us in one of the many available contact options (Click Here) so we can guide you to your best fit before you place your order.

    We also have a Fit Finder Quiz to help you determine your best style of Shock (CLICK HERE). 

    However, we know it is impossible to always make perfect purchases, and you may be hesitant to purchase if you are not sure they will work. With that in mind, we want you to ALWAYS reach out to us if you have ANY questions or concerns with your purchase. We are here to help and guarantee 100% satisfaction. We WANT to hear from you whether it is positive or critical feedback...we thrive on helping our customers. If on the rare occasion the Shocks are not for you, and we can't get you into the right fit or style for YOUR fit preferences? We will refund your original order…simple as that!

    IMPORTANT NOTES ON REFUNDS, RETURNS, EXCHANGES, ETC:

    • Apolla will requireThe Shocks to be shipped back in order to process the refund.
    • Refund will only be applied once the Shocks have been received at our fulfillment center.
    • You must email Apolla at info@apollaperformance to start the exchange or return process and get information.
      • Please allow 48 hours to hear back on directions to return. 
      • Once the Shocks have arrived back at the fulfillment center, please allow up to 2 weeks for the return to process.
        • We will contact you once our fulfillment center has notified us. 
    • The customer is responsiblefor any shipping charges associated with the return OR exchange.
    • We prefer returns and exchanges are sent back with their original packaging.
    • Apolla will first try to exchange your Shocks to determine if a different style, fit, or size will meet satisfaction before refunding since we do believe there is an Apolla Shock for everyone.
    • Apolla will replace any products due to manufacturing defects and exchange products due to any sizing issue.
      • The product may have been tried on. However, we ask you do not dance in the Shocks until you determine the fit and style is perfect for you. 
    • Items may always be exchanged for an item of higher, equal, or lesser value.
      • If a product is exchanged for lesser value, we will refund the difference.
      • If the product is exchanged for a higher value we will send you an invoice to pay the difference.
    • All refunds (online or in person) will be issued according to the method of payment used in the original purchase. 
    • Please allow 3-5 business days once the refund has been issued to see the payment received back on the original form of payment. 
    • Shipping and handling charges are non-refundable and we are not able to provide return shipping labels at this time.

    Apolla is not responsible for pairs purchased from a retailer/stockist/distributor. Shocks must have been purchased from Apolla Performance directly for our Apolla Promise to be honored with the customer...but again...we want you satisfied...so please let us know if your retailer can't help you so we can keep you supported and protected. We will reach out to the retailer to see if we can reach a solution together. 

    Please contact us at info@apollaperformance.com to receive instructions to “Return & Exchange”. You will receive a response within 24-48 hours. 

    If your return or exchange is urgent, you can typically reach us faster on our FB messenger chat or our live website chat during normal business hours. Please see our Contact Us page.

    Helpful tips:

    • Please see Apolla FAQ's & Tips page to get many questions on sizing, traction, style etc. answered before contacting Apolla directly. 
    • If your Shocks do NOT start sticky with your first steps feeling strong resistance...PLEASE LET US KNOW at info@apollaperformance.com
    • Make sure to try on Apolla Shocks® immediately upon receipt to check sizing before you dance in them
    • We cannot return or exchange Shocks without knowing the proper size and gender
    • For the Alphas, please make sure to keep packaging insert with the proper pair so you can keep track of the Alpha size and gender
    • Remember, these are compression garments so they are tight
    • Scroll down on the size charts to see the size chart tips to make sure your Shocks are fitting correctly
    AGAIN, PLEASE CONTACT US with any questions or concerns...we really do care and we really want you happy with your purchase. ;-) X
    The AMP & Performance Shock Size Chart

    The feet are fickle (and so are your preferences). Each person will fit their Shocks differently…so below the charts are size GUIDES…SEE BELOW FOR SIZING TIPS to help get you in your best fit!

    Tips for Sizing:

    • The Performance Shock/AMP Shock fits similar to the Infinite but the size chart IS slightly different so please take note! The top of each size range is borderline, here are tips to help you determine your best fit.
      • Foot size, narrowness and age may change the size up or down.
      • You may consider selecting the smaller of your border line size IF:
        • You are at the low end of a size range and are younger than 11 years of age, are very petite boned for your age, and/or have a narrower foot than average for your size
          • For example, an 11-year--old who wears a size 5.5-6 shoe would choose a size Small Infinite instead of a Medium (based on the size chart) or a very petite boned adult
        • A 16-year-old who typically ranges between sizes 6.0-6.5 street shoes and has average leg and foot size would choose the recommended size Medium.
        • A 16-year-old that ranges 5.5-6.0 with a narrower foot will likely be more comfortable in a size Small
        • Also consider if you are a 6.0-6.5 but very narrow feet or petite boned if you prefer a snug fit in the toes you may want a small, if you like wiggle room, go with the Medium.
      • Every dancer has a preference…some will love the lower profile of the Performance, some may miss the snug hug of the Infinite up the calf.
      • The Performance Shock has the same arch and ankle support and differs in:
        • Lower profile & softer opening: the top of the Shock should hit below the bottom of the calf and goes on easier. The Infinite hits mid-calf
        • Sleeker and fitted in the toes than the Infinite to accentuate the feet and create a more seamless look onstage. But still has freedom.
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    Customer Login

    HOLIDAY PROMO: Purchase of gift card $50 or More & you will be emailed a Free Ship Code! This is limited to the following rules and regulations.

    For US Billing Address: You will receive a code for FREE shipping anywhere in the US for any amount. (excluding Hawaii, Alaska, and PR. These locations will follow the international order values).

    If you are an international billing address you will receive a code that will credit your order up to the following values.

    • $50 gift cards will receive a code valued at up to $5.95 USD credit
    • $75 gift cards will receive a code valued up to $6.95 USD credit
    • $100 gift cards will receive a code valued up to $8.95 USD credit

    Limit one time use. Enter codes in promo box at checkout when Shocks are purchased and credit will be applied to the order. This Free Ship code will be valid for 90 days from purchase. The Free Ship code will be emailed to you separately from your purchase receipt.

    The Free Ship email will be sent within 72 hours of purchase. If you have not received after 72 hours please email info@apollaperformance.com so we can resend. This offer is valid until 11:59 Pacific on December 25th, 2017.
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