Polesilks...a fun, new product that combines both pole dance and silks into one fun, beautiful and innovative way of using your pole.
I had the recent pleasure of winning one of these units (which I will be sharing a whole lot more about here shortly!) from entering an online drawing. I first spotted the silks attached to the top of a pole in a photo on Facebook and clicked on it to take a closer look...yes, the 10+ feet of silk were attached with a nifty metal ring at the top of the pole and a dancer was entwined in them in the most beautiful way...wow, I thought, I could totally do this at home!
So here begins my adventure...but not until I could learn more about it from the creators, Pete and Sue!
How did you come up with the idea for Polesilks? What was your thought process?
I first saw a video on YouTube in November 2011 with a Pole studio having silks hanging from the ceiling and wanted to combine this as one on the pole. As an engineer Pete came up with a unit using clamps, a plate and an eye bolt. This was then made more aesthetically pleasing after buying some doughnuts one day and the shape was decided upon and then split to fit thepole with different adaptors to fit other size poles ie 45, 42, 40 & 38mm.
As Petes family used to be in the rag trade (clothing etc) he used one of the contacts which we worked with to have the SILKS manufactured specifically to the needs of our product.
Is the end results of Polesilks the same as your original idea?
Yes we have just added different adaptors as the market has demanded.
How did you think it would be receive by the pole community? Has the response been more or less than what you thought it would be?
We had no idea of how it would be received. Before we launched Polesilks, we did patent, registered the design, trademarked the logo and ensured we had all the social media covered.
At World Pole in London 2013 we then realised we were onto something and then at Pole Expo in 2013 when we where amazed at the response selling out again and being approached by some influential people in the pole industry about becoming dealers/agents all over the world.
Is the intention of Polesilks to assist in learning or to be a creative tool in pole dance or both?
The original idea was to have something different to use on the pole which allowed people to be creative but since using with polers it has opened up other aspects.
Can it assist in learning new tricks? It looks like it can to me from videos I've watched because you get help from the silksin getting your body suspended.
It can help enormously in helping polers get moves they are struggling with, gives them the confidence to try other moves and is a great spotting tool too! I also use it for stretching and flexibility. The great thing with this is that the most simplest moves look so pretty and graceful. It has really helped people with confidence, body confidence and their own ability.
Can a beginner use it safely? Or should they first learn some basic pole moves like climbs or spins?
With correct instruction beginners can use the unit very easily. If they have some basic pole experience it does help but I have taught people with no previous pole experience some basic moves.
Tell us more about the safety of the unit. How much weight will the silks and attaching apparatus hold? Are there any special concerns regarding checking the apparatus while you are using it or before you use it?
Due to Peter's motor sport background "SAFETY" was the first consideration. It was essential that Polesilks were fully tested independently on a compression pole.
The unit main metal part of the unit is tested and certificated to carry 250Kgs (550lbs) and the SILKS where also tested and certified to carry 1000Kgs (2200lbs).
We believe that we are the only manufacture in the Pole industry to openly share this information with our clients and it can be found here.
Like all Pole and Aerial apparatus it is essential that you check your apparatus regularly and being mindful of the manufactures' instructions. This also includes various video's for guidance that you can look at here on our site.
We have answered the most common questions here.
This is probably for Sue (unless you are poling too, Pete?) How did Polesilks change or add to your pole dance experience?
I have found that polers love to use it for choreography and a lot of them prefer it to normal pole! Polers that struggle with advanced pole moves love the Polesilks as they feel they can still achieve things and the great thing about it is you can invent your own moves. There are no set rules other than be safe.
Sue, you teach pole dance? Is this in your own studio? How long have you been poling and how did you get started?
I first started learning pole 3 years ago after being introduced to pole by my Zumba instructor. I never looked back and wished I had found it years ago. It came at a time in my life when I was on my own and pushing myself to go out and socialise and try new things. Pole has really helped me with building confidence, meeting new people and helping to keep fit and focused on living life. I now have my own studio and love introducing pole and Polesilks into other peoples life's.
I am a big believer in that you meet people in life for a purpose and recently I have met people whose work involves helping others in the community. We have done some charity work at the studio and I really want to take Polesilks into peoples lives who have some form of disability, injury etc so they can experience fun and exercise too. I am hoping that this becomes possible in the near future.
How often do you train? What do you do to keep learning more - do you go to workshops, use DVDs, et cetera or are you basically self- taught?
Fortunately I am friends with some great instructors and take every opportunity to train and attend workshops. I also use social media, DVDs to add to this and train in the studio with my daughter and other instructor.
Pete, you are an engineer by trade...what an addition to our pole community! Have you tried poling? If so , what has been your experience?
I started to Pole and then was involved in a car accident and had to stop until this year when after building Sue's new studio over Christmas, I joined Sue's classes with the girls and really enjoy it and the social side too.
I take Polesilks classes also but get sidetracked as im always looking for another idea....
Pole has totally changed my life, physic and core strength to. I feel fitter and at 45 that can only be a good thing!
Pete and Sue both, what are your thoughts about pole dancing still having stigmas attached to it from the exotic dance industry, such as when you tell someone you pole dance, sometimes you'll get the word "stripper" in their response.
Pete: You will never loose the stigma I'm afraid BUT all my friends see pole in a different light due to my connection in it and the say the words pole fitness and not pole dancing now. Pole has had some great press recently and all though not al positives it has definitely changed in the 3 yrs I have been involved in it. With TV programmes like X factor showing some awesome talent especially doubles people are seeing Pole differently.
Sue: I think it will take a long time to take that image away when you mention it to people but more and more people are becoming aware of the fitness aspect now. Don't get me wrong, I like the strong sexy side of pole just as much as the sport side too but do wish people would see it in a more positive light. We are hoping that Polesilks will help to take away that stigma as people will see the pole more as an accessory to fitness and dance.