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Pole dancing, or pole fit, has taken the world by storm. Formerly a niche discipline more associated with nightclubs than athletics, pole dancing has now found worldwide popularity and the International Pole Dancing Fitness Association are pushing for the sport to be included in the Olympics.
There’s no time like now to start learning to pole dance!
What’s the story behind the growth of the sport? Typically, students will struggle to leave the ground during their first session; within a matter of weeks, they might be learning gravity-defying moves and lifts that they’d never have thought possible. Not only that, but they’ll notice the following health benefits too:
The pole dancing community is diverse and welcoming, you’ll meet pole athletes from the world over and become part of a vibrant and positive social space.
So how do you get started? The first step is to decide which styles interest you the most.
Like in any sport, there are many disciplines within the discipline. We can break pole dancing down into three main styles, although it’s important to remember that there are even more styles out there.
Pole fitness focuses around difficult techniques and drills, toning your body with and getting a workout on the pole. Think acrobatic choreography with limited dance moves.
Artistic style is about creative expression through movement and music. Sure, it’s acrobatic, but performances are all about developing your character and telling their story, with a focus on dancing and expression.
The exotic style is the most sensual, performers tend to include more flexible movements in their choreographies and may choose to wear high heels.
And then there’s pole chair dance, sensual pole… and many, many more. There are no limitations on where you can take your pole dancing, it all comes down to your personal style and taste!
Thinking of getting a pole installed in your kitchen and watching some instructional Youtube videos? Although there are loads of free resources out there for you to learn pole by yourself, word from the experts is that this is best avoided.
Pole dancing is challenging, especially when you first start out. You might be using your body in ways that you aren’t familiar with and improper training technique can lead to bruising or shoulder and back pain. Most aspiring pole athletes see the most sustainable and safe improvement with a certified coach who can deliver a gradual, progressive training programme tailored to their strength and ability level. That said, videos of pole dancing performances and competitions are a great source of inspiration when you’re choreographing your own routines!
Your pole dancing trainer will not only show you how to perform certain moves and lifts appropriate to your ability-level, but they’ll help you to avoid bad habits that might lead to injury. Your pole dance trainer might help you to make small adjustments to your technique that have a huge impact on your performance or support you with movements that you find particularly difficult.
Remember: your pole dancing instructor has been through this learning process themselves so they’re well placed to help you stay inspired and motivated as you make progress.
Fortunately, the sport’s rise in popularity means that there are more opportunities than ever for you to learn to pole dance with a certified instructor or trainer.
It can be intimidating to go to a new class for the first time, especially if it’s a class unlike anything you’ve ever done before. Here’s what to expect during your first lesson:
When pole dancing you grip the pole using the skins on your stomach, thighs and arms so these sections of your body need to be exposed. This means you might dress differently from other workout sessions but don’t fret as pole class is a judgement-free environment. Most pole athletes don the following for their training sessions:
Avoid long sleeves, full-length trousers or skirts for your pole session, shoes are not essential although some athletes choose to wear heels or specialist pole shoes.
With more and more pole dancing studios becoming established across the UK, pole dancing lessons are more accessible than they ever have been. Learning in a group environment is not for everyone, but some athletes find that they push themselves more during group sessions, trying moves and lifts that they might not usually attempt and surprising themselves with their abilities. It can be hard to stay motivated when working out alone, so training alongside your peers can make a huge difference to your morale and makes you more likely to stick at it. For many, exploring the art of pole dancing with others in the community is key to their enjoyment and improvement in the sport.
Group classes aren’t for everyone, many aspiring pole dancers choose to learn with a private tutor instead.
Training with a private pole dance instructor is one of the most efficient and effective ways to learn. If you’re looking for a pole class that fits into your schedule, is tailored to your ability and focused on your goals, a one-to-one session with an instructor sounds perfect for you.
Like in a group session, your pole dance instructor will offer you training tips, technique advice, motivation and encouragement whenever you need it. Unlike in group sessions, your one-to-one session moves at your pace, allowing you to progress at a rate that you feel comfortable with. Your teacher can adapt your session to meet your goals or even develop a training plan that will help you to build the strength required to perform certain moves.
Everyone has different motivations for learning a sport like pole dancing, your private pole dancing coach will be able to help you to achieve your goals.
The internet is a big place, but sometimes too big. You might try typing ‘pole dance instructor near me’ into Google or Gumtree, but how do you know whether the results are trustworthy? How do you work out whether their coaching style suits you or whether they’ll be able to help you achieve your goals?
You could ask in your local fitness centre for recommendations or rely on word of mouth, but if you live far from an established pole dancing community it can be hard to find a good tutor.
Don’t worry, this is what Superprof is for. We have a pool of dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable pole instructors based across the UK on our database. Our tutors come from a range of professional backgrounds and experience levels, so there are prices to suit every budget.
Each tutor profile tells you about the instructor’s background, methodology and qualifications; former and current students are encouraged to leave reviews for each tutor so that you can work out if their style suits you. Most of our tutors offer a first lesson for free to give you a taste for their style and for the sport too.
Learn just what your body is capable of and join the pole community by finding your pole dancing trainer today.