Pole dancing classes are popping up all around the world, with more and more studios opening all the time.
If you're thinking about signing up for a session of group classes at a local studio, you're not alone!
As pole dancing gains traction as a legitimate fitness activity, women (and men!) from all walks of life are satisfying their curiosity by signing up for classes. Will you be next?
Here are five great reasons for you to get off the fence and give it a try:
Group classes offer many advantages
However, there are some possible disadvantages of group classes, depending on your situation. For example:
If any of the above scenarios apply to you, just click to go back and see other ideas for learning on your own terms. One of them will be perfect for you!
On the other hand, if you think group pole dancing classes might be for you, have a look at the following questions you should ask before registering. They'll help you find the right class and get off to a great start.
Pole dancing classes are filled with
fun folks like you!
If you've decided that group pole dancing classes are for you, there are a few questions Your Pole Pal recommends you ask before trading your hard earned cash for classes.
After all, it's important to make sure you've chosen a class, studio or instructor that meets your needs and that's right for you, based on what you want to get out of your lessons.
Once you've located a studio in your local area, you can use the following questions to help you decide if it's the right place for you to learn.
Click any link to jump down to that question and see Your Pole Pal's comments on what to look for in an answer:
Keep in mind that there aren't necessarily any right or wrong answers to these questions. Rather, you'll want to think about your needs and preferences, and how well these mesh with the studio or teacher you're considering.
What is the maximum number of students permitted in the class?
Rather than an absolute number, what you're looking for here is the ratio of students to poles, and instructors to students.
For example, Studio A may allow 8 students per class, which sounds better than Studio B, which allows 16 students.
However, if Studio A has only 2 poles and 1 instructor per class, you're probably going to get more pole time and more individual attention at Studio B, which has 8 poles, two instructors and a teaching assistant for the 16 students.
How many students per pole maximum?
This is an important question. While you want to make sure you'll get enough pole time to learn and perfect your moves, you don't want to go overboard and injure yourself.
An hour with a pole all to yourself is a lot more tiring than you might think, especially since you'll be having so much fun you probably won't realize how hard you're working. Your body may not be too happy with you the next day however!
So while it may be tempting to opt for the studio that offers each student their own pole, be aware that this is generally not as much of a benefit as many people think.
Besides, these types of "one student per pole" classes tend to be more expensive, so if cost is a factor for you, be sure to take this into account.
On the other hand, you don't want to be sharing with 5 or 6 other students, unless the class offers another component that the rest of the students are involved in while one is using the pole. At this rate your learning will be much slower, and you risk injury from allowing your muscles to cool down between moves.
In my experience, a maximum of 2-3 students per pole is a good number, at least for an introductory group pole dancing class. This allows you to have brief periods of rest so you don't become exhausted, but not so much that you cool down too much between moves.
Another benefit of having two or three students per pole is that you'll be able to watch your "pole partners" as they learn and practice the moves, which can give you some good insights into your own technique.
Often students can give each other invaluable feedback when working together on a pole. After all, the instructor can't be everywhere at once, so help each other out--you'll learn much more by doing so too!
Most importantly, think about your reasons for wanting to take pole dancing classes. Is it primarily for fitness? To learn some great moves? To learn a dance routine? Your answers to these questions will help you decide what a good student to pole ratio is for your needs.
Is the class suitable for my fitness level?
Be aware that there is no standard for pole dancing classes in many countries, states and provinces, and the term "beginner" is relative!
In some beginner classes students will be climbing and doing one handed spins in the 2nd session, while in others the moves will be geared so that any woman will have success, regardless of size, shape or fitness level.
Your Pole Pal prefers the latter. Rest assured there are plenty of sexy moves that don't require a ton of strength or bodybuilder-like muscles to pull off!
Besides, pole dancing is about much more than developing physical strength. Some students may be physically very strong, yet have a difficult time learning to move sensually and gracefully. Others have trouble with the coordination aspect of pole dancing.
Some good advice is to be honest with the person you speak to on the phone about what you think you're capable of. Ask about airborne and weight bearing moves, about the success rate of their students, and what they will do for you if you find that the fitness level required for the class is beyond you at the moment.
For example, will they allow you to repeat the class at a discount if you found it a real struggle? Perhaps they provide a free private pole dancing lesson so you can get some extra coaching? Or maybe they can give you specific exercises to help build strength?
Do they have a refund policy? For example, can you get a refund after the first or second class if it becomes obvious that you just can't meet the required fitness standard?
Be sure to check out your options ahead of time so you'll be more confident going into class.
What do we wear to class?
Different studios and instructors require different attire in their classes, so it's best to ask ahead of time to make sure you'll be comfortable in the "uniform" and that you have what you need in order to participate.
Many beginner pole dancing classes require only bare feet and comfortable clothing such as fitness shorts, but some encourage sexy outfits and platform shoes or boots right from the start. Again, there is no one right "uniform," but do think about what would be comfortable and practical for you.
If you don't think you'll be comfortable in platform shoes and sexy clothing, but the studio strongly encourages this, it may not be the right place for you.
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
Asking this question ahead of time will help avoid any surprises later if you find you aren't able to complete the full session. Keep in mind that pole dancing classes, while incredibly fun, are also how instructors earn a living. Therefore they will likely have some kind of policy on refunds and cancellations.
Most of the time your payment reserves your spot in a full session of classes, and refunds are not available even if you decide not to complete the session. Generally, you should not expect to get a refund for a class that you miss, unless the studio had to cancel the class.
Think of it the way an instructor or studio owner would: a registration fee is not buying you a set of 6 classes, but rather is reserving your spot in a specific 6 week session.
If you register for a set of 6 classes, the studio should guarantee that 6 pole dancing classes will be available to you during the session, but they shouldn't be obligated to refund your money if you decide not to take advantage of one or more classes. That's because they can't sell your spot to someone else for a week if you miss that class.
Some studios or instructors will allow students to make up missed classes during the same session by attending another class at the same level, although sometimes there is an additional fee for this flexibility, so again, be sure to ask ahead of time.
If you must drop out of a session for medical reasons (injury or prolonged illness) some studios or instructors will offer a pro-rated refund or credit. If they do offer this however, it will normally only be available from the date you notify them, and can't be back dated to when you were first injured or became ill.
If this option is available and you find you need to use it, you'll want to notify the studio or instructor as soon as possible in order to obtain as much credit or refund as you're due. If you wait too long you will likely forfeit this option.
Your Pole Pal hopes these questions are helpful to you in your search for a suitable pole dancing class. If you have more questions about pole dancing in general that aren't answered here, you may want to visit the F.A.Q. section where Your Pole Pal answers all kinds of questions submitted by visitors to this site.