Pole dancing is still looked at like it’s a little taboo, it’s becoming more and more popular yet it’s not fully accepted by society. Although, this year there has been rumours that pole fitness could be entered into the Olympics as a certified sport. This would be incredible and is guaranteed to change peoples opinion. Pole dancing requires just as much dedication and strength as gymnastics so doesn’t it deserve the same respect? The women and men who do pole work incredibly hard to achieve their goals, whether that be to lift themselves off the floor, go upside down, work on flexibiliy or develop routines to compete in competitions. It’s an amazing sport, why not consider giving it a try?
YOU LEARN A NEW SKILL
I’ve never been one for cordination but doing pole for 5 or so years has helped me develop a few skills to make it look effortless (or so I think). Naturally I still stumble (a lot) but I pick myself back up and try again, that’s the only way you learn aye! Before you know it you’ll be putting choreography together for routines, flipping upside down and holding your body weight. Can’t get much better than that in my opinion!
IT’S ONE HELL OF A WORKOUT
You’ll be aching for days after a pole session, I know I do. Some people don’t understand the strength pole actually requires. People see photos and videos and say “I can do that, it’s easy”. I can assure you it isn’t for the weak and is a hardcore sport that shouldn’t be underestimated. You aren’t simply lifting weights in the gym, you learn to lift your own body weight which is a skill in itself. Interesting fact, climbing the pole is better than doing bicep curls.
It’s the ultimate confidence booster, without even realising it you’ll be strutting your stuff. Sometimes I feel self conscious fully dressed head to toe, although when I’m at pole I couldn’t feel more comfortable wearing only a sports bra and shorts. There’re amazing women (and men) in classes who are in the same position so you don’t feel the need to hide away.
YOU FALL UNDER THREE CATEGORIES
Gymnasts: Since pole and gymnastics are both body weight forms of fitness you’ll find people with a gymnastics background can take to pole very easily. Practically walk in and become an advanced student within a few weeks as they already practice this type of fitness.
Gym junkies / personal trainers: These are my favourite type of students, the personal trainers always assume that since they’re in great shape and have a 6 pack that they will be able to lift, flip and flex their way through a class but soon find out it’s a lot harder than it looks. A lot of gym goers are used to lifting weights but not using their own body weight so find it to be more challenging than expected.
Everyone in-between: The everyday woman (or man) who is looking to learn something new, loose weight, tone up, be sociable or to have fun.
IT’S DANGEROUS IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TRAINING
Pole dancing is great fun, but it is still a serious sport and carries risks. People don’t realise how challenging pole fitness is. Along side the bruises, without receiving the correct training it could result in injuries from using the wrong technique or overtraining. You’ll be eager to learn and develop quickly, to flip upside down and attempt advanced spins. May even consider learning from YouTube videos but this is a recipe for disaster especially as a beginner. You’ll also see photos and people in class practicing advanced moves that look incredible but make sure you get a qualified instructor to teach you the in-between steps before attempting them yourself. Let’s avoid those injuries shall we!
THERE ARE NO EXCUSES NOT TO GIVE IT AGO
One of the most irritating statements I hear is “I couldn’t do it, I have no upper body strength”. Please please please people, come up with a better excuse not to give it ago! When I first started I couldn’t lift my feet off the ground but with some hard work and dedication I’m now a certified teacher helping people progress on their pole journey. Like any sport you can’t expect to be an expert with only two lessons, you need to invest the time and effort to achieve your goals. You’ll progress as you continue to practice and build new skills.
Another common misconception about pole is you need to be a certain body type, I’ve had a few people say “I will give it ago but when I’ve lost some weight”. News flash, pole fitness is a form of exercise that can help with your body goals, whether you want to loose weight, tone up or gain muscle.
Flexibility is something not everyone has but this can be developed, pole limbers you up and you’ll be in all kinds of positions you didn’t even realise were possible. If your goal is to achieve your splits, pole will definitely help with your progression.
You’re surrounded by so many people who share your love for the sport, the pole community is a family. Pole dancers of all professions, cultures, size and age come together to support and encourage each other. Some of my pole students are my biggest cheerleaders which gives me a little confidence boost even when I feel that I’m not teaching/performing to my fullest potential. There are also numerous Facebook groups dedicated to pole fitness in all it’s glory, a place where everyone can post photos or ask for advise without the fear of being criticised or judged. The pole community is truly inspirational and you get the opportunity to build lasting relationships.
WE’RE STILL JUDGED BY SOCIETY
Pole dancing is growing in popularity but we’re still judged by society. People can be very narrow minded and think it’s only for strippers, that we only do it for the dollar. I’ve been told by fellow polers they hesitate to tell people due to the fear of being judged. Others don’t post any photos or even mention they do pole fitness due to their profession. We’ve got a long way to go but hopefully the fact pole fitness might be in the Olympics as a certified sport will help people see it takes just as much dedication, strength and skill as gymnastics.
YOU NEED YOUR SKIN TO GRIP
I tell my students all the time that the more advanced you get, the less clothing you need and this couldn’t be more true. For a lot of floor work and spins you can be fully clothed. Although, you’ll need your legs, arms and stomach exposed to achieve more advanced moves. I know some people can be self conscious about stripping down but this will help you progress a lot quicker if you can learn to be comfortable in classes.
Pole fitness is an amazing sport, has an awesome community of people who support each other and is a great workout. I think I’ve provided enough reasons for you to give it ago so why not book a class and begin you’re pole journey.