Top Tips For Pole Dancing

While there are no magic shortcuts when it comes to learning to pole dance, there are definitely plenty of tips and tricks you can use to help get you where you want to be sooner. With that in mind, Your Pole Pal offers these tips for pole dancing for both beginners and experienced polers. Pick one or two that you're not currently doing, focus on them for the next few weeks, and watching your pole dancing improve!

Beginner Tips For Pole Dancing

With any new sport or physical activity, it's important to take things slow when you're first starting out, and pole dancing is certainly no exception. Although it's exciting to think about spins and inversions, it's important not to get ahead of yourself. Trying to do too much, too soon can result in frustration and injury. These six pole tips are especially for beginning pole dancers. They'll help you get off to a great start and well on your way to more advanced moves. (Advanced polers, your tips are here.)

1 - Wear Comfy Clothing

Obvious, right? Maybe not! Let's face it, part of the appeal of pole dancing for many people is the opportunity to express their sexy side. Which is great! But let's take one thing at a time. Slithering around your pole in a super sexy outfit may well be something you aspire to, but as a new pole dancer, comfort will get you where you want to be.

Prioritizing comfortable clothing - whatever that looks like for you - will allow you to focus on what you're learning, rather than on adjusting your clothing or being preoccupied with making sure it stays put. Being comfortable also means you can move easily, and that you don't have to worry about things like making sure any laces stay tied up or that "the girls" don't pop out.

beginner pole dancer giving thumbs up

2 - Get a Grip

  • No, grip aids are not cheating! Professional athletes, no matter what their sport, often make use of rosin, tape or grip gloves to help reduce or prevent slipping. Golf, gymnastics, and tennis are just a few examples of the many sports that employ grip aids, and now we can add pole dancing to the list. Using these products can build your confidence and increase safety, since a better grip means you're more in control.

  • Keep in mind that the goal of using a grip aid in pole dancing is to prevent slipping and to allow you to hold on to the pole more easily, without bringing things to a standstill. In other words, you want to feel like you have a solid grip, but not so much that you can't execute a spin, or change your grip on the pole when you need to. And depending on your personal perspiration profile, you'll likely find that some grip products work better than others. So feel free to experiment with different products until you find the one that works for you.

  • P.S. If you're not sure where to start, you can check out various pole dancing grip products here.
  • assorted pole dance grip products

    3 - Warm Up

  • This is another of those tips for pole dancing that may seem obvious, but Your Pole Pal knows all too well that when you're itching to get on that pole, it's easy to talk yourself out of a proper warm up. But warming up really does help prevent injury and it's an important habit for beginners to get into from the get go. And it's not rocket science! Warming up just means starting out with gentle movement and gradually building things up to prepare your body for the workout to come.

  • An easy method is to have two songs ready to go at the beginning of your practice session, and then spend those two songs on a warm up: start out with a slow and easy improvised flow, and gradually increase the range of motion and the energy level of your movements. Once you've started to break a sweat and you feel loose and limber, you can feel confident that you're ready to start your training session.
  • beginner pole dancer warming up

    4 - Focus on the Basics

  • As a beginner, you may be impatient to get on with the more advanced moves that inspired you to take up pole dancing in the first place. But don't try to do too much too soon, otherwise you may find yourself sidelined with injuries before you've even really started. 

  • Your Pole Pal can't say it enough: it really is important to start with the basics and to master them in order to lay a solid foundation. This includes learning the different grips, some floor based turns, and some of the simpler spins. With confidence in your abilities, along with the improvements in strength and flexibility that come with regular practice, you'll be well-equipped to gradually work your way up to more advanced and complex moves.
  • pole dance teacher helping student with basics of spins

    5 - Practice Those Transitions

  • Smooth transitions improve your fluidity and grace on the pole, ensuring that even the most basic moves look polished and professional. Remember, it's not just about executing the move, but about doing it well. When you can start and finish a move smoothly through the use of graceful transitions, you up-level even the most basic pole dancing tricks. So spend some time each session working on transitioning between moves, as well as on the moves themselves.
  • pole dancer practicing transitions

    6 - Stretch, Stretch, Stretch!

  • Of all the tips for pole dancing, this one ranks among the most important. It's not strictly for beginners, but if you cultivate the habit of stretching from the beginning of your pole journey, you'll be doing yourself a huge favour. Your Pole Pal understands that it's not always possible to devote a lot of time to stretching, but even a few quick stretches after a pole session can help to reduce soreness and prevent injury. And stretching while you're still warm is the best way to work on your flexibility, since warm muscles lengthen much more easily than when you're cold.

  • Pro pole dancing tip: dedicate some time every week to focusing on flexibility stretching. Yes, stretching is important to injury prevention, but for pole dancers who aspire to master those advanced moves, building flexibility is just as important as building strength.
  • via GIPHY

    Advanced Tips for Pole Dancing

    Once you've got the basics under your belt and you're comfortable with more advanced moves, you may be wondering if there are any tips for pole dancing that still apply to you. If you're an experienced pole dancer looking to take your skills to the next level, here are some pole dancing tips geared to your more advanced level.

    1 - Focus on Form

  • As you progress to more advanced moves and combinations, it's important to focus on your technique for two reasons: first, proper form equals less chance of injury. A move done with proper technique will always be safer than the same move done with sloppy form. This is because good form requires control and awareness, and when you have those two things, you also have safer execution of the move.

  • The other reason for paying attention to your form is that as you progress to learning more advanced moves and tricks, it's easy to slip into just ticking those moves off your "to learn" list. But without good form, the most impressive pole trick in the world can fall flat. To get the most mileage out of that move you worked so hard to learn, turn your attention to form. That means working on the details, polishing your technique (pointy toes!), and transitioning smoothly into and out of the move. Your ultimate goal is to make the move appear effortless, which takes a huge amount of work!
  • advanced pole dancer doing a handstand

    2 - Incorporate Sport-Specific Strength Training

  • It's no secret that pole dancing requires a lot of upper body and core strength. And while you will build strength to some degree just by working on the pole, incorporating off-pole strength training exercises can help you build the muscles needed for pole dancing faster. Especially if you find yourself stuck and not able to progress with a particular trick, it might be time to hit the gym.

  • First, you'll need to identify which muscles you need to work on, then choose exercises that target those muscles. If you're unsure of exactly what you need to do to get past the hump, you might consider enlisting the help of a personal trainer to develop a program for you. You may be surprised at how much progress you make after adding some gym time into your training routine.
  • woman working out with weights

    3 - Experiment with Music

  • Everyone has their favorite songs and artists they like to dance to, and there's nothing wrong with that. But if you're feeling stuck in a rut, or even if you're just wanting to explore different movement styles and ways of expressing yourself, changing up your music might be just the ticket. Movement is inspired by music, and experimenting with different styles and genres of music can open up whole new worlds in terms of how you move, how you express yourself, even the way you put together your choreography. So don't be afraid to explore new music you might not otherwise consider in order to find new inspiration.
  • woman dancing in shorts

    4 - Share Your Skills

    Did you know that helping other pole dancers, especially those who are not yet at your level, is one of the best advanced tips for pole dancing ? It's true! By helping another pole dancer with something you've already achieved, you'll draw on your own experience and methods as you give them suggestions and feedback. That helps bring the information to the forefront of your mind, so the next time you do the move yourself, you'll remember and apply it as well.

    There's actually research that suggests that teaching someone else what you've learned can be an effective way to solidify your own learning. So when another pole dancer asks for your help with something they're having trouble with, offer a few minutes of your time to help them out, and watch your own technique improve too!

    One caveat: if you're in a class setting, be sure not to upstage the instructor. S/he is ultimately responsible for the class and the progress of the students, so if you find other students are asking for your help in the class, you might want to have a conversation with the instructor about if and when it's appropriate for you to assist.

    pole dance teacher helping a student

    5 - Seek Out Different Teachers

  • As your skill set grows and your repertoire of moves increases, your individual dance style will also be developing. But if you've only ever attended classes at one studio, there's a limit to how much you can develop as a pole dancer. Even if your studio has the current world champion pole dancer as an instructor, you'll still be limiting yourself in how much you can learn if you don't expose yourself to other instructors with different styles of teaching, choreography and expression.

  • That's why it's important to make an effort to attend workshops and classes given by a variety of instructors. It's a great way to expand your skill set, explore new variations, and make new connections in the sport. And if you're worried about offending your home studio, don't. Every good pole athlete knows the benefits of training with different teachers, which is why many studios bring in guest instructors for special workshops or class sessions whenever they can. If your studio does this, be sure to take advantage of it. And if they don't, don't feel badly about taking classes or workshops with other instructors or at other studios. Doing so is one of the best ways to keep progressing in the sport you love.
  • 6 - Take a Break

  • It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to reach the higher levels of pole dancing and to develop the strength, flexibility and endurance required to execute advanced pole moves with precision and skill. But if you're too focused on making constant progress, it's easy to forget that rest, down days, and taking short breaks from your sport are an essential part of training.

  • Giving your body time to rest and recover allows your muscles to respond to the demands you're putting on them by growing stronger. As a result, you'll experience fewer injuries and make better progress in the long run. But your mind will also benefit from a break. If you're starting to feel like your whole life revolves around pole dancing (no pun intended!) making a conscious choice to do other, less demanding activities you enjoy - like spending an evening with friends, or just soaking in a hot bath or reading a good book - will help you avoid burnout and allow you to come back stronger.
  • cartoon of woman in a bubble bath

    Whether you're a beginner or an experienced pole dancer, there are always ways to improve your skills and take your performance to the next level. Incorporating one or more of these suggestions into your training routine can help you reach your pole dancing goals sooner. Why not pick just one of these tips for pole dancing to start with today? Often, it's the small changes that make a BIG difference!

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