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Pole Dancing 101: What do I need to know as a beginner?

As a young introvert who had never ventured near a pole before, my journey into the world of pole dancing was indeed a dive into the deep end. Social anxiety has been my constant companion, causing a last-minute frenzy of internet searches for beginner's tips, just before my first class. I had no idea what to expect, and every bit of guidance I could arm myself with felt like a small victory.

I've always been somewhat of a loner, content with my own company. And the idea of joining a group activity, especially something as seemingly extroverted as pole dancing, was daunting, to say the least. Yet, there was an underlying restlessness, a desire for change from the monotony of my usual routine. The lure of a novel, interesting activity was too strong to resist.

Entering the pole dance studio was like entering an entirely different universe. The prospect of an exciting story to tell was compelling, although the prospect of actually sharing it was another hurdle to cross. Nervously, I began, half hoping to disappear into the background.

But, something remarkable happened. I found myself loving it, despite the nervousness, despite the unfamiliarity. The fear of social interaction and exposure of my body's imperfections gradually lost its intensity. Just a few sessions in, I had this epiphany: this was something I wanted to keep doing. It was a strange realization for someone like me, a quintessential introvert, to be drawn to such a dynamic and expressive activity. Yet, the fact remained - I loved it, in all its unexpected glory.

Essentials Unveiled: The Basics

Dress Code:

Every studio varies, and the classes they offer can differ significantly, so if you are considering the Dallas/FortWorth Area, I recommend Power Bar Fit as a general guideline. However, if you're unsure, do not hesitate to reach out to your specific studio for more details.

During my first class, I chose to wear a straightforward tank top and mid-thigh shorts. Don't fret about special clothing, your standard workout outfit will do just fine. The initial weeks consisted of familiarizing myself with basic moves such as spins, fan/scissor kicks, slides, and pirouettes. These beginner moves didn't demand a lot of skin exposure except for areas around my ankles, wrists, armpits, and sides. However, as you grow comfortable, showing a little more skin could benefit your grip and control during the dance. Always prioritize your comfort and confidence.

There's no need for any special footwear unless you're enrolling in a class specifically designed for heels—most of the time, you'll be dancing without shoes.

And, if your class includes some floor-based maneuvers, consider bringing knee pads to protect your knees from any possible harm. Also, keep in mind that our studio recommends wearing shorts, as they can significantly assist in executing specific moves more comfortably and efficiently.

Items Checklist:

Embrace the essentials for an unstoppable experience – a trusty bottle of water and an unwavering, badass attitude.

In my pole-dancing arsenal, I never leave home without a well-prepared kit. Firstly, I pack a spare set of clothes to adapt to the ever-changing weather conditions. Alongside that, I always have deodorant, a hairbrush, and a reliable hand-drying alternative, ensuring I never have to rely on the pole cloth. Additionally, I carry a bottle of my Babe Grip - a remarkable grip aid , with me at all times. Although you may not need it right away, it's worth considering if pole grip becomes crucial to your comfort. Prioritize your own well-being, and get yourself some!

For those who, like me, experience shakiness during intense exertion or find themselves in sweltering conditions (like the scorching Texas heat), it's wise to have a small snack tucked away in your bag. This snack will help maintain your blood sugar levels until you can grab a heartier meal. Moreover, I always keep delightful little granola bars in my bag for an instant quick energy fix or a flavored water packet when needed. After all, let's be honest, plain water can be rather monotonous!

Pre-Class Fuel:

Ensure you fuel up with a satisfying snack at least an hour before your class begins, as you'll definitely require that extra burst of energy! Personally, I prefer reaching for a protein bar as my trusty go-to option. It not only keeps me satiated throughout the entire class, thanks to its protein content, but also provides a generous dose of slow-release carbohydrates to sustain my energy levels. And let's not forget the touch of sweetness that a bit of sugar adds, making it truly enjoyable. Remember, any snack loaded with slow-release carbs will work wonders as a pre-workout treat.

Don’t do that!

To ensure an optimal pole class experience, I implore you, REFRAIN from moisturizing on the day of your session. This is of utmost importance. Despite the summer or winter conditions, my hands were excessively dry, and without considering the consequences, I applied hand cream in the morning before my pole class. Despite vigorously scrubbing my hands, the moisturizer persisted, transforming me into a slippery, sweaty mess during the class. This not only hampers your ability to grip but also increases the risk of injury, both for yourself and others if sharing the pole.

Of course, the effectiveness of this cautionary advice depends on how quickly your skin absorbs moisturizer and the specific type you use. For example, my dear friend cannot use any moisturizer the day prior to our pole class, even the lightweight options endorsed by the pole community. To err on the side of caution, I recommend avoiding any non-essential moisturizers and lotions for at least 24 hours prior to your first class.

Furthermore, it is essential to refrain from wearing jewelry as it poses potential hazards, such as getting caught and causing injury, or damaging the pole's coating. Poles are not inexpensive, so please handle them with care!

Class Is: In-session

Embrace The Imperfections!

Set realistic expectations for your first lesson; don't anticipate mastering everything effortlessly and becoming instantly elegant and graceful. Such proficiency comes with time, practice, and unwavering dedication. What truly matters is your attentiveness to your instructor's guidance as they support you in executing the moves and ensuring your safety. Avoid rushing through the process; instead, take your time, maintain a steady breath, and embrace each step along the way. Remember, progress is a journey, and by embracing patience and attentiveness, you lay a strong foundation for growth. Trust the process, trust your instructor, and most importantly, trust in your ability to evolve and flourish over time.

Don't fret about your facial expressions or noises during class (unless they’re excessive… please don’t be excessive). Pole dancers make their performances appear effortless, but it's an art form of its own right. Focus on enjoying the experience for now, and perfecting technique can come later, if it is what you desire.

Seize This Moment. Make it Yours.

There are countless awesome reasons why you've chosen to join a pole dance class. Maybe, like me, you needed a thrilling escape from the mundane and needed to get out of your comfort zone. Perhaps you're determined to bid farewell to some unwanted fluff. Or maybe you're seeking a kickass strength workout that doubles as a blast. It could even be that you're eager to unleash your inner dancer in a fresh, mind-blowing way you've never experienced before. Whatever the motivation, get ready to rock the studio! Embrace this opportunity to connect and groove with your body. Discover movements that make you feel sexy and groove along with them. Choosing to embark on a pole dance adventure is a radical act of self-love and self-care, so treat your body with the proper attention it deserves. Listen to its desires, pamper it, and respond to its needs. And most importantly, let loose and have a blast!

Life's too short for yawn-inducing classes. It's time to unleash your inner sexy dance beast!

Loosen Up, Girlfriend!

I stumble, lots… and that’s okay! As a naturally clumsy person, attending pole class introduces unfamiliar movements to my body, especially since I'm not what you would call “fit”. We all experience those butt landings, that slow slide to the floor as our sweaty hands lose grip, or the occasional need to bail on a move. But here's the secret: laugh it off and embrace the mishaps. If you ever feel self-conscious about messing up, just bust out some jazz hands. Trust me, it shifts the focus to the fun instead of your failures.

However, if someone laughs at your failures, that's NOT a supportive or growth-oriented environment. It's best to surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you,

but… respect your instructor, and honor your own limitations.

Your pole instructors are there to ensure your safety and guide you through the pole dance madness. Listen to their instructions, welcome their suggestions for improvement, and leave your ego at the door. They possess the expertise and experience to protect you from injuries during class.

Remember, your instructor introduces specific moves for a reason. Once they understand your fitness level, they can gradually introduce more advanced techniques. But for now, enjoy exploring beginner moves. Don't expect to master advanced skills immediately. It takes time for your instructor to assess your capabilities and guide you safely on your pole dance journey.

Seek Assistance Without Hesitation!

Feel free to seek guidance! Your instructor is there to assist you in mastering the moves, so if something isn't working, don't hesitate to ask. With years of pole experience, they can offer valuable insights to help you conquer any challenges you're facing. Sometimes a simple adjustment in positioning or engaging different muscle groups can make all the difference. Factors like grip strength, the type of grip used, practicing on different sides, and even studio conditions like temperature and humidity can impact your performance. It may seem strange, but certain moves might be easier on one side than the other. Embrace the opportunity to discover your "good" and "bad" sides as you practice both.

If you have a plus-sized body like mine, certain moves may present more challenges, and that's completely normal. It might take you a bit longer to master certain techniques compared to smaller individuals in your class. A supportive instructor will listen to you, offer modifications to make things easier, and remain patient as you work on skills others may have moved past. Trust me, your strength will develop rapidly, and you will triumph over those tricky spins, lifts, and holds. It's all about recognizing your limitations and then smashing through them as you progress over time.

Enjoy the Ride!

I'll be honest, it may sound cliché, but trust me, wasting your money on a class you don't enjoy is absolutely dreadful. I've endured countless unenjoyable cardio sessions before discovering pole dance, and let me tell you, nothing saps motivation quite like dragging yourself to a class that doesn't excite you. So, give it your all, have a good laugh with your moves and fellow students, and dip your toe into the captivating realm of pole dance. Who knows, you might just become as addicted as the rest of us!

Now That the Party’s Over

Eat. Pamper. Heal.

Prioritize a nourishing meal abundant in protein to facilitate muscle recovery. From personal experience, consuming an ample amount of protein after an intense class aids in minimizing both the severity and duration of muscle soreness in the following days. Additionally, treating your muscles to a relaxing soak in a warm bubble bath or an epsom salts bath, or indulging in a soothing warm shower, especially if it's your first class, can be beneficial. I say all this to say…

Welcome the Ache!

Prepare yourself for the inevitable aftermath of a challenging workout, known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). As the name suggests, your muscles will inevitably ache for a while. Fear not, for this discomfort is a sign that your body is diligently repairing the microtears within your muscle fibers caused by the workout. This repair process is a vital component of muscle growth, and that's why ample protein intake is essential to aid in the rebuilding process.

Over time, as you become more accustomed to the strain, you may notice a reduction in DOMS. Remember, everyone's experience varies. It doesn't indicate a lack of muscle growth or strength gains. Rather, it signifies that your body is adapting and becoming more resilient to the demands placed upon it.

To ease the DOMS, prioritize nourishing yourself with lean protein and engage in gentle stretches to enhance blood flow to your sore muscles. It may be the last thing you feel like doing, but these actions actually accelerate the fading of DOMS. And if you're feeling indulgent, treat yourself to a well-deserved sports massage to soothe away the lingering aches.

Of course, never underestimate the power of relaxation in a blissful bubble bath or an invigorating epsom salts soak. They provide additional respite and contribute to the relief of your muscles' woes.

Battle Scars!

Expect some funky bruises as a delightful aftermath of your pole dance adventures, lovingly referred to as "pole kisses." These colorful marks may feel tender initially, especially if they appear in unexpected places like the tops of your feet (yes, this is real!). Fear not, for in due time, your skin will toughen up and adapt to the pressures you subject it to. Eventually, you may even take pride in these badges of honor.

So, embrace those pole kisses and wear them like a testament to your pole prowess. They're a testament to the journey you're undertaking and a reminder of your resilience and dedication.

. . . . .

Your initial lesson should have provided valuable insights to determine if pole dance is a path you wish to pursue further. It allows you to gauge the studio ambiance, instructor's teaching style, fellow students, and whether this unique movement and exercise resonates with you.

As time progresses, you'll find yourself leaning towards either continuing this exhilarating journey or concluding that pole dance may not be your cup of tea. Remember, the choice is yours to make. Regardless of the outcome, applaud yourself for giving it a try—a remarkable feat in itself—and be proud of the courage it took to explore this captivating art form!

Now, take a deep breath and visualize yourself stepping into the spotlight, feeling the exhilaration of each move, and connecting with your newfound strength and grace. Your journey as a beginner pole dancer is about to begin.

So, what are you waiting for? Jump into action, book your first pole class, and let the excitement build. Get ready to unleash your inner pole dancer and experience the joy, empowerment, and endless possibilities that await you on this remarkable journey. Pole welcomes you with open arms and witnesses your transformation from a beginner to a pole dance superstar!


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