For those looking to start adding pole fitness into their lives, taking the first step may seem like a daunting task. There are so many things to consider! Am I too old to start pole fitness? Am I too big? What if I don’t feel sexy? Should I take a pole fitness class or course at a studio? Or should I invest in a dance pole and learn pole fitness on my own? What about doing both? What will people think? What if I’m not strong enough for pole fitness? The questions can be overwhelming! But they shouldn’t stop you from taking your first step. Keeping in mind that these are my personal opinions, I will take a stab at and answering a few of these questions here.
Am I too old to start pole fitness?
Considering that there are women who started pole dancing in their 60’s who are now national competitors, I would say, no! You are probably not too old! Pole dancing is considered a strength building exercise which are extremely important for maintaining your muscles and bones. Strength building exercises, such as pole fitness, can help reduce and ward off chronic diseases and symptoms that stem from inactivity. Also, there are many different levels you can start at. Work and learn at your own pace.
Am I too weak/inflexible/out-of-shape to start pole fitness?
As long as your physician approves of or even suggests physical activity and exercise, then you are not too out-of-shape start pole fitness. Just be sure to take it slow and learn at your own pace. It is not a race. We welcome bodies of all shapes and sizes! Pole fitness is also an amazing way to shed the pounds.
Am I too much of a klutz? I don’t have any dance background!
I need to confess something…I’m the world’s biggest klutz. I have walked into parked cars and I fall UP the stairs on a weekly basis. In fact, I accidentally hit someone across the face then proceeded to FALL ON TOP of them in my first but unfortunately not my last hip hop class. But something magical happened when I grabbed my first dance pole. It’s almost as if the pole made things easier. A lot easier. I still occasionally bang my foot on the pole but my pole never complains! If you are a self-professed klutz, pole fitness is a great way to improve on your co-ordination. Just be sure to keep safety in mind!
What if acting sexy feels fake to me?
Then don’t act sexy at all! Pole fitness can also have an artistic or gymnastic tone. It’s all up to you. And if you DO want to get in touch with your sensual side, pole is a natural portal for that as well. Remember, at the end of the day, you are dancing for you! Unless of course you are an exhibitionist, in that case, you can dance for whoever you want!
What should I wear when learning to pole dance? And why do pole dancers wear so little clothes?
The best thing to wear when pole dancing is tank top or bra top with a pair of short shorts. Why? Because you will need to have skin on your arms, legs and even abdomen exposed to grip the pole. The skin contact on the pole is what keeps you from falling off. Some moves, such as spins, do not need so much pole/skin contact and you can get away with wearing more. It’s always a good idea to keep warm up clothes around to keep your body temperature from dropping. Cold skin doesn’t stick well to a pole.Performers doing Chinese pole use a specially coated pole, which helps them stick while wearing clothing.
As for shoes, that’s your preference. Wear them if it makes you feel happy. It’s not often that you can work out in heels! I do recommend going barefoot when learning a new move.
I want to buy a dance pole, where should I go?
There are a few companies out there that manufacture good quality permanent or removable dance poles. The big names that come to mind are X pole, Platinum Stages and Lil Minx. Good quality dance poles made to safely support the body in spins, holds and drops, do not come cheap. Be ready to put down a chunk of change. Avoid any cheap dance poles sold in adult specialty stores as many of them are only to be used as props, and will not hold up to actual pole dance moves and spins. Remember, safety comes first. I own both X poles and Platinum Stages poles and have had great service from both. Our studio used 45mm chrome x poles.
What’s the difference between chrome, brass, stainless steel, etc?
Several things come into play when considering what finish to get. The first is your skin. Do you have dry or oily skin? Do you sweat easily? Are you allergic to nickel? The second it the climate. How humid is it where you live? Is it warm or cold?
Powder Coated: Super sticky and great for holds, but spins and drops can but quite painful…or sometimes even impossible.
Brass: The grippiest choice of the metals, brass is porous and works well for those with sweaty hands. However, in hot humid climates, the grip can be a little TOO good and cause pole burns. Brass scratches and dings easily since it is a softer metal and requires special care as it tarnishes.
Titanium Coated: This has the grip benefits of a brass pole without the special care caveats. However, the coating tends to rub off after several years of use. The companies claim it will not affect the grip, only the colour, but my personal experience with them does not support the claim.
Chrome: This is a good middle of the road metal that works with most skin types and climates. This is the reason why it was chosen for your studio. Some people with nickel allergies report a reaction to chrome though, so test first if you have an allergy.
Stainless Steel: This has the least grip of all the finishes. Some advance pole dancers prefer stainless as it is more comfortable and causes less pole burns. Some people claim stainless steel is good for dry skin, but as someone with dry skin, I’m going to go ahead and disagree. Stainless steel is my least favourite finish. But again, it’s personal and depends on skin and climate.
What do different pole diameter mean?
Thicker poles (5omm, 2″) are great for leg and body grip, but may cause problems with smaller hands. 45mm or 1.75″ diameter poles are better for smaller hands but are harder to grip with your legs. There are even 38mm or 1.5″ poles which are amazing for hand grip but quite tricky other moves. 45mm and 50mm are good starting places.
Help! My hands/legs are slipping! How do I stick to the pole?
First of all, make sure you are not wearing any moisturizer! They will cause you to slip and slide. But make sure your skin is not snake-skin dry either! A good rule of thumb is to moisturize at least several hours before if you have dry skin and perhaps the night before if you have oilier skin. Also check out moisturizer made especially for pole dancers such as Pole Physics. There are also various grip aids available on the market. Experiment to see which ones work best with your skin. Some grip aids to try are: iTAC2, Mighty Grip, Dry Hands, Tite Grip, Dew Point Pole, etc. When all else fail, Mighty Grip also makes Pole Dancing Gloves to help you grip the pole.