A platform dance pole allows you to practice or perform almost anywhere. While not the only type of pole that opens up more location possibilities (did you know you can now buy a wake pole for your boat?) a platform pole is definitely one of the most versatile.
A Home Made Platform Dance Pole
But this type of setup also presents some unique safety issues to manage. Here's what you need to know if you're considering buying or making a platform dance pole.
Because your platform may be raised a distance off the ground, falls could be even more of a concern than normal.
This scenario is more common with home made platforms, as most of the commercial platform poles are now moving towards lower bases that are padded
But if your pole is attached to a raised platform like the home made one pictured here, not only are you farther away from the ground, but there are also the edges of your platform to be concerned about.
In fact, Your Truly once lost her grip while inverted on her platform pole (that's it in the photo) and even though the slide to the ground was only a short distance, guess who managed to break a bone in her foot?
I cracked it on the edge of the plywood base as I tried to come out of the inversion before I landed on my head. Ouch!
For that reason, you may want to think carefully about using a platform dance pole until you've had lots of experience and feel very comfortable with spins and tricks.
Another platform dance pole safety issue to be aware of is that unless your base is weighted or properly balance, it can lift off the ground.
This is especially true when some of the more advanced tricks and spins are performed.
With a round base in particular, this conjures up images of a runaway platform rolling out of control down the aisles of a trade show...definitely NOT sexy!
Once again, be sure you have a solid base of pole dancing experience before you start using a platform pole, and then make sure you use caution as you learn about how your particular setup reacts to the laws of physics.
You will probably experience some lifting of the base if it's unweighted, but with practice you'll learn to control your momentum and keep it within safe limits.
Another important platform dance pole safety consideration is in the moving and assembly of your pole. Some homemade setups have to be moved in one piece and can be heavy. In this case, you'll want to make sure you have at least one helper when moving it from place to place.
Remember to use basic lifting safety...use your knees, not your back, and make sure you have enough help so that no one is lifting more than they can reasonably handle.
As well, keep in mind that you'll be re-assembling your dance pole each time you use it, so it's important not to get complacent with safety.
Be sure you test all the connections, bolts and fasteners thoroughly to be sure they're tight and secure before you start dancing.
And finally, remember that if you plan to use your platform pole for teaching, most of these risks apply to your students as well.
I have a safety policy that anyone who touches my platform pole at a trade show (I only use it for this purpose) does so only with my permission and only under my direct supervision.
I don't allow people to try anything other than very basic moves, and definitely no spins or tricks. A platform pole is a great promotional tool, but the risk of injury is higher for the reasons I've outlined above, so I'm extra cautious when allowing members of the public to use mine.
Thinking of buying a platform dance pole? Be sure to check out this dance pole reviews page for detailed information on all the different brands of platform poles available.