So are you thinking of starting pole dance? What’s the first thing I would say to you……do it!! It may feel really daunting but hopefully this post will help ease you into the pole world! My first advice is to grab a couple of friends who you think might be up for it, of course this isn’t a must but if you’re feeling a little nervous having some allies can help!
For my very first class I managed to convince two of my friends to give it a go with me, neither of them came to another class but that didn’t stop me, after one class I had the bug and even though going to another class on my own was a little scary I knew I wanted pole in my life!! Best decision ever!
What to wear?
As a beginner it’s completely understandable if you don’t want to turn up to your first class in tiny shorts and a crop top! I still hate having my tummy out now and will always keep it covered for as long as possible!
So if you want to wear leggings and a T-shirt this should be fine 🙂
I love this pic from http://poledancingadventures.com/ definitely sums up a polers clothes journey!
I would recommend going for leggings which you can roll up (or cropped ones if you feel comfortable) but this shouldn’t be necessary for a first class.
For guys, for your first class I’d recommend long shorts or joggers and a vest top or t-shirt!
Most classes are done barefoot although some are taught in heels known as pleasers so check your aerial school before hand 🙂
If you want to take a towel this will be useful for giving your pole a wipe, you will find your hands get sweaty (pole is so glamorous) so it’s good to have something with you to wipe them on. Most schools will have a basket of towels for anyone to use but you may want to take your own anyway.
Take some water too, whatever workout you’re doing it’s important to keep your body hydrated!
A BIG NO…
Don’t moisturise the day you’re planning to take a class! This will really effect your grip on the pole and no one in the class is going to appreciate a slimey pole, so even though you may be used to moisturising daily, trust me when I say you need to skip it until after class!
Before heading to your session it’s a good idea to eat something usually an hour or so before hand, it doesn’t have to be a 3 course meal but a banana or a handful of nuts will give you the energy boost you need before starting your class!
So what can you expect from a pole dancing/ fitness class? Well not every class will be the same and each instructor will certainly have their own style, but I’ve been to few Studio’s and classes now and there seems to be a similar structure.
Here’s what one of my lessons would be like, I’m going to write this as if it were a beginner class and most people coming to the class are newbies.
At any studio ideally you should be asked to fill in a par q form, this will give the instructor an idea of your health and fitness and raise any concerns regarding injuries etc.
Once you entered the class, I’d say hi, introduce myself and attempt to remember everyone’s names (this is certainly not a strong point of mine 🙈)
We start the warmup, I usually put some loud cheesy 90s music which generally gets everyone smiling!
The idea of the warm up is to get your joints mobilising and get those muscle warmed up in order to prevent injuries occurring during the class, the warm up tends to last 10 minutes or so until everyone is feeling pretty warm, we pay particular attention to shoulders and wrists.
Next, we do (what we call at Kelly Amelia studios ‘conditioning’), which from my experience it seems most instructors like to add this into their lesson at some point.
I just do it at the beginning to get it out the way as it is definitely not my girls favourite part! So what is conditioning well it’s just a couple of bodyweight exercises that are really useful for building strength. When it comes to Pole dancing, there is obviously a need for some upper body strength, this doesn’t mean you have to start with it, but you will develop it over time, so we might as well start as we mean to go on getting those muscles pumped and strong.
I usually include press ups they really get those arms strong and toned, there’d be different level options so no need to worry if you haven’t done press ups before, believe me when I started I couldn’t do a single one!
We would then follow this with some leg and ab work and maybe a little bit on the pole to get you used to the feel of the pole. Everything I teach is broken down into small, simple, easy to understand exercises. By now you’re probably feeling a little bit tired and wondering what the heck you’ve signed yourself up for, but stick with it the fun’s about to start!
We’d now begin with a few basic moves which would help you to become familiar with the feel of a pole. Believe me when I say it doesn’t matter if you’ve never exercised or if you are a total gym bunny, I’ve taught lots of students who’ve done various other sports and then when they attempt a pole move they’re surprised by how difficult it is!
There is no other exercise that can prepare you for lifting your body weight on a vertical chrome pole.
Don’t get me wrong having some degree of fitness is going to be beneficial through your pole journey but as a beginner it’s far from essential.
Feel like this meme is very appropriate here 😂
Here’s a couple of moves I always work on with beginners. These are the kind of moves I would expect from most beginner classes.
Prayer slide- this helps individuals to understand how to grip the pole and how to control their movement on the pole.
Starting with both hands slightly above head height, shoulders engaged ( think about drawing your shoulders back and down) engage the core and squeeze your glutes (bum muscles) to lift the feet off the floor bringing your toes together and your knees apart! Once you can lift both feet off the floor you can have a go at controlling your dismount to the floor by slowly releasing the hands to allow the pole to slide between both hands.
Prayer slide -hold, front, side and back
It can be helpful to try this on a mat, if you haven’t quiet mastered controlling your slide you don’t want to land on your knees!
Step around- before trying to “spin” around the pole we would usually have a go at a step around, although a beginner move this is 100% one of my favourites and I can guarantee you’re going to see it a lot!
This spin is preformed without having to take both feet off the ground, starting in basic grip with your inside hand (hand closest the pole) fairly high but not so you’re over extending ( see photos)
Engage the shoulder thinking about drawing if back and down and take your outside hand across the body at chest height gripping the pole in a thump up position (see photo basic grip 👇👇)
From hear leaving your inside leg about a hip width away from the pole lean the outside leg and hips away.
As your outside leg moves forward try to draw a large circle around the pole until your foot goes 360 around the pole then pickup the inside leg and bring your feet together at the starting point.
During my classes I try to recap a couple of moves which I know students have previously tried and then add in a couple of new moves. There is always alternatives and options for each move so there is something that everyone can achieve!
Once we’ve worked on 4-5 moves and spins we will spend 5-10 minutes cooling down and stretching off our muscles.
Stretching is a super important part of pole not only to help increase your flexibility but also to help remove waste products like lactic acid therefore reducing muscle soreness following the class.
For most beginners you will experience some soreness the following day (or even 2 days after) but don’t be put off it just means you’ve worked really hard and engaged muscles you probably didn’t event know you had! Ohh and before I forget you may have a few bruises or redness, we like to call them pole kisses!! Just the pole showing you a little love for all your hard work and determination on each move!
Here’s my latest pole kisses after a workshop!
Don’t try to hide them, be proud you earned those kisses!!
I hope this post helps to put any of you who are thinking to join a pole class at ease!
Aerial isn’t for everyone, but once you’ve tried it you’ll know!
Whether you love it or not, I’m sure you will enjoy the challenge of a class and meeting members of the pole community!
If you’re a poler let me know what your fears were before you started? What’s your favourite thing about pole fitness? What would you say to someone thinking of starting pole?
Any questions please comment below or drop me a message on my Facebook page
P.s sorry for taking a little longer to post, I started uni on Thursday so I’ve been a little busier 🐝 ( that’s me on my first day 🙈👆🏻)
Peace & pole all 🦄✌🏼