Flying around with the greatest of ease, hanging upside down like a bat, or defying gravity by walking on the ceiling. Who doesn’t want to learn how to do that!?
Pole dancing originated in gentlemen’s clubs as a way of dancers advertising themselves for private dances, as they dancers tried to out-do each other, more and more tricks were created, and the dancers found they were getting stronger and fitter from it.
The clubs themselves would offer lessons in pole dancing as a way of hiring new dancers, but eventually ladies from all walks of life were taking the classes as a fun and challenging experience, from there the modern pole dancing classes were born.
Pole Dancing is performed of a vertical metal pole. Poles can be finished in Stainless Steel, Chrome, or Brass, and each offers a different gripping experience, allowing for slower or faster movements. Portable and removable poles are even available for use in your home, so you never have an excuse not to practice.
Pole Dancing includes spins using momentum going around the pole. Climbs up the pole leading to static poses, and inverted tricks where the dancer is upside down, often holding on with just one leg!
Tricks to learn:
Basic Fireman Spin – this will teach you the basic mechanics of a spin and how to hold your weight off the floor. Beginner level
Pole Sit – Legs around the pole, crossing over in front, let go with your hands to “sit” on the pole. Improver Level
Static Chopper – An upside down trick; hanging on with both hands together and your legs over the top of you in a V shape. Intermediate Level
Handspring – Two hands on the pole, quite far apart, flip upside down pushing your feet up towards the ceiling and hold at the top! Advanced Level
(Chris: Many of these moves can be found on Robyn’s YouTube Page found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/robynbobbin link opens in new window)
The great thing about pole dancing is that there is always something new to learn, you can push yourself to learn new tricks, learn variations of well-known tricks, or even just keep it simple by using the pole as a dance partner and keep your feet on the floor. There’s something for all abilities, and other forms of dance can be incorporated to create a style. Incorporate tango to create a dark and moody piece, or gymnastics to show off flips and handstands.
Many people love pole dancing as it is known to be sexy and sensual. It gives them a chance to escape, and embrace their inner sex-kitten. Strap on some high heels and you instantly become a slinky minx around the pole. You’ll even forget how much hard work is going in to lifting your platforms over your head. The fitness side is purely a coincidence, you want to work hard to improve your dance, and all the time you are improving your body without realising. This is why people seem to stick to it for a long time! Pole dancing is especially good at toning your arms, shoulders and abdominals. Wearing high heels also teaches you balance and control, you can’t jump or throw yourself into trick whilst wearing 6-inchers!
Starting out, just wear what’s comfortable, close fitting is best. As you progress, you’ll need shorts so your thighs can grip, and a sports bra, because your normal Wonderbra isn’t made to hold the girls in while you’re upside down!
Pole dancing has been featured in music videos including Enrique Iglesias’ “Dirty Dancer” and Nero’s “Guilt” and movies such as “Closer” with Natalie Portman and “I know who killed me” with Lindsay Lohan. Many celebrities have also reported their love of pole dancing, including Emma Watson, Davina McCall and Jennifer Aniston.
Want to try pole dancing? Make sure you find a safe and reputable pole dancing studio. Make sure they have relevant insurance, and use safe poles. Check how much experience your instructor has. Be wary of instructors who have a “qualification”, but have not been pole dancing very long.
The Pole Dance Community (www.poledancecommunity.co.uk) lists studios that have proved that they can adhere to a code of conduct to keep you safe. It’s totally OK to try a few different studios to see which suits you, but make sure you give each one a proper chance (I recommend about a month of lessons), as they may teach different progressions, or put more weight on basic techniques before moving on to what you might think are the “more fun” tricks.
Above all, take it slowly, it takes a lot of practice to reach the highest levels. Take your time, enjoy the movement, build up your strength and skills through progressions of each move, and really learn to fly!
Robyn Rooke is an advanced level pole dancing instructor and performer, a national level competitor and competition judge, and has been pole dancing for over 7 years. She lives in Bristol, UK, and her studio can be found at www.360poledancing.com for new clients/press please email email@example.com
All photos by Digitally Damaged