Here are my personal favorite - and learned by experience - pole dancing tips for you.
Keep an open mind. Keep an open mind when trying a pole dancing class for the first time. I love strip clubs – the girls are usually amazing to watch and talk to (and learn dance tips from!) but that isn’t all there is to pole dancing anymore.
Nowadays there are professional competitions, showcases, conventions, online groups and brightly-lit studios to learn in. I prefer a dim room with lots of colored lights and throbbing music but that’s my taste. Try it out and let me know if the gym is that tough on you :)
Don’t wear any skin moisturizer. When pole dancing, that is! This is one of the most common pole dancing tips that you learn right away. Oils, lotions and even super moisturizing soaps can leave a film on your skin that will be a barrier between you and your precious grip on the metal of your pole. If your skin is super dry, try Dew Point dry brushing your skin while dry or exfoliating when you shower. This gets rid of that dead layer of skin cells exposing some new naturally moist ones.
Wear less clothing. The smaller your shorts and top is, the easier grip becomes. If you have bicycle or Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt on, good luck on the pole. I’m not saying that you can’t pole in them but take them off and try your spin or invert and see how suddenly after exposing a few more contact points without slippery fabric in the way it becomes a bit easier.
Keep your bush tamed! Haha! I love this pole dance tip – I’ve had my bikini area lasered for a few years now, but when I didn’t, I was always mindful of keeping my pubic hair shaved, trimmed and in control because in pole, you’ve got your legs spread quite a bit – and with bitty shorts, well, that can get a bit revealing!
Wear snug shorts. Going along with the tip above, loose shorts can reveal a whole lot more than your classmates probably want to see – we don’t want a “lip slip”! My favorites currently are Bad Kitty's Brazils and Kup My Kakes shorts that hug my butt perfectly!
Wear a supportive, snug top. Nip slips and lip slips – they happen! But if you are heavy-chested and big-breasted especially, wear a comfortable, non-restrictive sports bra that supports and covers you especially if you are going upside down! It keeps the girls in place and you don’t have to worry about a boob falling out. Trust me, I know about this pole dancing tip.
Don’t worry about what your body looks like. Pole dancing is for every BODY type! Fat, curves, rolls and cellulite are all a part of life at some time or another – so embrace your beautiful self. Even the skinniest or fittest girls have a bit of cottage cheese or a mis-shapen something or another. No one is perfect and no one really cares about what you look like once you are all standing around in pole class, sweating and trying to get that trick for the umpteenth time.
Eat well ahead of class. I made the mistake a few times of eating my meal or protein bar/shake a half hour before class and maybe this is just me, but heartburn ensued while going through my instructors infamous long warm-up and going upside down a million times while learning a new move.
I learned to make sure that shit in my stomach was digested before working out. Common sense, yeah, but when you’ve been working all day and remember you need a bit of energy for the couple hours you will be working out, well, stuff something into your mouth. Not good.
Take your journey slowly – and one freaking step at a time. I have been to intro classes where the attendees all wanted to know how to get upside down – and guess what? They were actually helped upside down and then there were muscle pulls, ribs hurting, wrist pain complaints and more unnecessary ugliness.
Take this sport in progression – first, be healthy enough to work out. Then slowly start with warming up, light stretching, getting stronger slowly with learning the modifications of tricks or learning from the floor then do deeper stretching afterwards. It is a process; if you don’t give your body time to adapt to the stresses and strain of weight on your shoulders, wrists and other joints that haven’t normally taken it, you are setting yourself up for injury!
Be safe! Follow your instructor – but before that, see if they are even certified to teach pole dance. How much experience do they have? What are other students saying about them? Do they teach inverts in your first class? If so, get the hell out of there.
I have safety pole dancing tips here you can learn from and more tips on choosing a good studio to learn in. Also, there is a big difference between a performer and an instructor. One may be good at one thing and not the other. Maybe they are good at both. This is your body and health we are talking about so be your own advocate when it comes to safety.
Try new moves only when you are ready. If you aren’t comfortable trying a new move, no matter if everyone else in the class has successfully done it and they are all peer pressuring you, don’t effin do it if your gut says no. I know there are some scary things in pole, but FEEL ready to do them. Ask your instructor or online pole community for modifications or ways to prep for that particular trick.
Wear heels only when you are ready. Learn the tricks barefoot first – your body will give you subtle biofeedback when your skin can “read” the situation it is being placed in. It feels different to do something in 8-inch heels than doing it barefoot. Also, I started with 6-inch heels and gradually progressed to 8-inchers where I am now and I am not really enticed by towering 10-inch heels. They are just a bit out of my taste and comfort zone.
Don’t compare yourself to other polers. Everyone’s journey is unique. I have made lots of progress and then stopped poling for a while and had to start from ground zero with strengthening myself again, getting flexibility back in order before climbing all over the pole. Don’t just jump in especially if you have been inactive. Listen to your body – that is one of the best pole dancing tips I have ever received.
Just because one person is doing a perfect Butterfly after a few weeks and you are still struggling to get your climb right, just stay with yourself and keep working on fundamentals. You will get there. Comparing yourself to someone else and trying to “keep up with the Joneses” in pole is a recipe for a lot of injury and setback. It isn’t worth it.
Don’t work through an injury. Going along with the pole dancing tip above, I learned the hard way about this. If you feel something pinching, burning or pain that just doesn’t go away, something is wrong – HELLO! Correct it if it’s an imbalance, but go see your doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist or whoever helps you with body issues – but STOP. It is imperative that you stop whatever you’re doing because it is causing some pain.
I am not talking about the discomfort of burning skin when learning a pole sit or Superman for the first time or the slight discomfort of stretching just a bit deeper, I am talking about ribs, shoulders, hips, knees – any area where there is a discomfort that just isn’t going away or is very acute. Stop, just stop and get it addressed. An injury can set you back for weeks, months, years or permanently if you aren’t careful.
Don’t forget why you started pole dancing. I fell in love with pole because it helped me to discover and release my sensual, feminine, sexy side, a part of me that I had kept repressed for years. The studio I went to was dimly lit, purple walls, sparkly and sexy – and I will never forget that tiny little backroom of a hair salon where I first discovered so much about ME and what I could DO with my body – and how super hot I looked doing it because my instructor would tell us “Watch yourself in the mirror” and I saw an amazingly beautiful woman having fun and enjoying myself while looking and feeling sexy and incredible. It helped me to learn to love myself.
So sometimes I forget learning that new crazy move and just turn down the lights, close the curtains, put on my favorite sexy rap or dubstep, heels and Bad Kitty shiny shorts and just dance – crawl, roll, twirl, spin, climb, do a few tricks – and just let go and do whatever my body leads me to do next.
Find what grip aids work for you. I make my own concoctions sometimes, mixing Tite Grip with Mighty Grip powder then spraying Cramer’s on some contact points and using iTac on my hands sometimes. I find what works for me. I keep them all in a big Ziplock bag in my gym/pole bag so whatever my skin is doing/feeling that day, I have an arsenal of products to help me. Also, I always carry around enough to share in case someone forgets theirs or there is a new student in class.
Be patient with yourself! This is my most important pole dancing tip and the hardest one I have had to learn. At one point, I was getting so frustrated just learning how to tuck and tilt into an invert instead of kicking into it, I just started crying. I was working alone on it at home and it was weeks and I just couldn’t get this stupid, simple little move – what the hell was wrong with ME!!!
Then I talked to a wise friend who had been poling for years and she suggested that I just slow down and I would “get it” when I got it. To keep trying. To not give up. That it took her weeks to learn things that I already knew how to do well. So, as I said above, each one of our journeys are unique and give yourself a break. Slow down. Don’t give up. Keep trying. You will get it. You learn so much about yourself.
These are my personal top pole dancing tips after being a part of the pole dance world for the past decade and learning from many different instructors both in classes, workshops and online. Here are some links to more pole dancing tips:
Have any more questions or pole dancing tips you would like to share? Contact me here and let me know!