When we think of pole dancing, it’s easy to immediately conjure up images of seedy nightclubs, strippers and exotic dancing. These days, pole dancing has evolved into so much more. Not only does it promise a fun new way to dance but it also provides a way to build strength that will easily outshine your standard gym workout.


Why Pole Dancing?

There are many reasons why women come to a pole dancing class. Not only is it fun, but many women say that it helps them learn to comfortably express their sexuality through dancing. For others, it’s less about sensual dance and more about the athleticism and acrobatics. Some women who were gymnasts in their youth turn to pole dancing as adults. The pole serves as a piece of vertical apparatus in which the performer can practice spins, inversions, and combinations, progressing into a choreographed routine to music. Dance PoleCredit: Paloma


Physical Benefits of Pole Dancing

What makes pole dancing so challenging is that you are using your body weight to build strength. While we can go to the gym and do presses, curls, squats and lunges, there just isn’t anything like pulling up your body weight into a pull up, or lifting your legs over your head and relying on your back and core muscle strength. Don’t worry if you can’t do a push up or pull up before you take your first lesson. Many people can’t do this when they walk into their first class.  Remember that you will build strength as you go. Sometimes women who start a pole dancing class find that they build strength quickly and can see noticeable changes in their bodies after a short time. Remember that we all have to start at the beginning and with consistent practice, you will learn tricks that are more and more demanding. A good way to tailor your workouts in the gym to your pole practice is to use a TRX Suspension Training System. This is another great way to use your body weight as resistance.


How To Get Started

The best way to get started is to find a reputable pole dancing studio in your area that offers quality instruction with a defined curriculum. Most schools offer a beginner’s class for you to try out and learn the basics. Come to class wearing shorts and a t-shirt. For most schools, wearing high heeled shoes is optional.


What To Expect In Your First Class

During your first class it is likely that the teacher will begin with a warm up of dynamic stretching followed by learning how to walk around the pole. It sounds funny, but there actually is a certain way that you want to walk around the pole because it will lead into the preparation for your spins. Your instructor might also teach you a two-handed grip on the pole and also a basic two-handed spin.


 Two-Handed GripCredit: Paloma

Also, don’t be surprised if you walk away from your first few classes with some bruises on your arms and legs! Your body is learning to orient itself around a strange new piece of equipment. This is very normal and before too long you will develop new body awareness.


What’s Technique Got To Do With It?

Technique is everything in pole dancing and a good teacher understands the small steps behind each move. If you aren’t taught the correct body position or how to engage your back muscles properly, it can be very easy to place undue strain on your rotator cuff muscles. A sign of a reputable pole dance studio is one that places emphasis on form and alignment. This will help keep your joints and muscles safe and decrease the risk of injury.


Go For It!

If you have ever heard friends or coworkers talk about pole dancing and have always wanted to try it, don’t delay any longer. Go for it! Sign up for a class, learn some basic moves and see how great you feel afterward. Pole dancing is a wonderful confidence builder. You just might surprise yourself with how much you can do after a month of practice.