How to Pole Dance with Emotion

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There are lots of way to learn how to pole dance with emotion...

here are some tips and techniques to use.

  • Choose a song that elicits your own emotions and memories. Dance is a personal expression. Make it yours.

  • Get into the moment – be present in your feelings and movements.
  • Dance like you are alone. Forget that audience is there at times.
  • Don't forget your audience completely but at moments invite them into your story as well by looking at them, tossing a prop towards them or making a sweeping invitational gesture towards them.
  • Find a story to tell that is personal. Your movements will express the depth of your pain, joy, sadness, excitement, et cetera.
  • Relax and focus on deep breathing before you dance.
  • When you are telling your story, remember the feelings you had while experiencing whatever it is you are telling your audience.
  • Don’t over think the choreography. The choreography is ultimately a guide and if you are focusing on executing the steps and movements perfectly, your focus will be taken off of the storytelling and less on the expression of emotion through your movements. You still want to be in a ‘feeling’ mode when dancing.
  • Show your expressions on your face and let the audience see your expressions.
  • Choreograph your routine to show the emotion. Your audience will also naturally see the emotions when you go through the movements as well. This sounds a little contradictory to the rest of what I am saying with these other tips and ideas, but they all tie together.
  • The best way to create a movement that expresses an emotion is to take the movement and think about the feeling you want to express and improvise the move in a way that seems to you to show the emotion. Think about how your legs, your head and arms would move.
  • Exaggerate your movements but don’t overdo it. Exaggerating a move is like a bold statement, an exclamation point, but you don’t need all capitals to get the point across, either.

Using your senses to pole dance with emotion

Try to feel with your five senses as well in the dance.

Smell. Add a drop of a perfume that brings back a certain time of your life or an essential oil like pine that takes you back to that place and time.

Taste. Have a bite of a food or drink that brings memories up of a warm family dinner or a crazy night at a club.

See. Your costume has a lot to do with your performance. Wear something that makes you feel beautiful or sexy or bad and in colors and textures that help tell your story. Are you telling a story about an intimate moment? Wear something soft, pale and sheer. Are you telling a story about an angry time in your life? Wear black or gray and leather. Is your story about a beautiful, bright and joyous time? Include bright feathers and patterns in your costume.

Touch. Dance with a prop that has a texture that will help you remember and tell your story. Is it a silk scarf or a crocheted blanket that makes you remember someone? Is it a fireplace poker or wooden chair that will bring you back to that moment?

Hear. Of course, the music selection will have a huge part to do with your dance. Choose a song that draws out deep feelings within you, whether they are anger and confusion, loss and sadness or joy and happiness or pure sensuality and sexual longing.

Need some help finding a song to help you pole dance with emotion? Try one from a playlist here. 

Creating emotion in choreography

A few ideas for pole dance movements that can express emotions:

Anger/confusion/malice/dark emotions

  • A quick spin
  • A hair toss
  • A sharp pirouette or half turn around the pole
  • Grabbing your head/face with your hands
  • A fast climb
  • A dramatic leg splay

Sensuality/sadness/loss/intimate emotions

  • A slow sexy slide to the floor
  • Reaching up the pole slowly with your arm
  • Letting your head and hair fall back
  • Curling up in a ball on the floor and moving slowly out of it

Generally, soft, curved shapes are welcoming and comforting. Linear shapes are harder and elicit intimidation and stronger feelings like malice. Think about these when putting together your choreography.

What you do OFF of the pole is just as important as the inverts, spins and other tricks you do on the pole.

Think about the progression of your pole tricks in the routine. Do the floor work or standing dance parts first and gradually introduce the more climactic tricks later in the routine.

For yourself

Learning to let go and pole dance with emotion...

  • Try a dancing meditation alone to let your subconscious speak through your muscle movements. This is helpful in learning how to express feelings through body movements.
  • Dance to different songs and try to tell different stories with your pole dance movements without any thought to choreography.
  • Dance just for the hell and the fun of it. Get on your pole, put a song on and FEEL it...this will truly be the most raw way to pole dance with emotion. Let the music dictate what you are going to do next with your body.

Learn through the eyes of your audience

  • Record your routines. This will let you sit back and watch yourself and see what you are “telling” your audience through your dance.

  • Think about your dance from the audiences' viewpoint. Remember, dance interpretation is subjective which means that whoever is watching your routine or performance will interpret it through their experiences, their emotions in relations to what they see. They will get the general gist of your story and it will speak to each person differently. This all depends on their background, their gender, their taste in music, and their own life experiences in love and loss.
  • What helps you to pole dance with emotion? Share it with us below. I learn so much from hearing about others' experiences and watching their videos. Has a certain song inspired you? What about a video performance that moved you? 

What help you to pole dance with emotion?

We all have tips and techniques we use to express emotion through our dance. Does music play the biggest part? Your costume? using a memory? What about a video performance that has moved you personally?

Pole Dance with Emotion > Meditation for Pole Dance

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