Train every OTHER day; pole dance is like lifting wights or strength training and you have to give your muscles a recovery day.
Stay hydrated and eat lightly before working out like a granola bar or fruit and yogurt.
Keep a training journal to keep record of what you practiced and what new things you learned. I have a free template you can use here.
Video record your practice. This is invaluable and a great measuring stick to know how far you have come in your skills and strength. It's also good when training alone for correction.
If you are working out at home, join a free online forum like Veena's to have a sense of community, a place to ask questions and a place to share your accomplishments, bug and small!
Keep a clean towel and pole cleaner (Windex or rubbing alcohol works great) handy for keeping your pole from getting slick from sweat or oils from your skin.
Practice what you are learning on BOTH sides - if you are right handed and this is your dominant hand, practice using the left as well.
Be patient (the hardest part to do!!!) since new grips and tricks take time to master.
Benefits of working out at a studio
You get a spotter
You get access to a pole and other equipment if you don't have one at home
You get a live instructor to help correct your form and positioning
You get to the support from other students
You get to learn from your fellow polers
You get that extra challenge in strength training - hopefully they push you!
You don't have to plan your own workout - the instructor provides it for you
Using a workout DVD
Here are a few of the pole dance workouts on DVD that I think are good:
S Factor Polework 101 is one of my personal favorites because of its simplicity and Sheila's approach to female empowerment through sensual dance.
Jamilla's Art of Pole series is great to learn from and get good practice out of.
Vertical Dance, based out of the United Kingdom, is also a clearly demonstrated and easy-to-follow program. KT Coates is exemplary in her technical details on each move.
Susan Peach of Pole-Dancing-for-Fitness has a video series that includes stretching, toning and strength building as well as a unique pole cardio workout. Click on the image below for more details.
Working out with a Pole Buddy
Another alternative that is somewhere in between working out in a classroom setting and working out alone is to find another person who is learning or has learned some pole dance moves and is willing to partner up and help one another out.
Spot for each other when you are learning more advanced moves
Help each other stick with your routine and learning process as well as providing feedback on using proper form.