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Pole Dancing 101

Samantha Snedorf pole dancing

Over the recent years, pole dancing has begun to create a new name for itself though there are still some ideas that people have surrounding it and I, having done pole dancing for a couple of years now, am setting out to debunk some of those mindsets.

Let me start off though by saying that people are generally quite intrigued by the idea of pole dancing. I think the images that their minds conjure up are far sexier than the reality.

I recently met a fellow pole dancer who was talking to a group of men about how she had sustained a pole injury. I watched her playing to the imagination of their minds and it really annoyed me for some reason. I saw it again in December when I met an aged ex-stripper who was severely flirty and attention grabbing. When I mentioned to her that I had pole experience and one of the men at the party said that they wanted to see me on a pole, she grew agitated and changed the subject very quickly.

I guess we women like to feel sexy and mysterious and pole dancing is just one of those things that has the power to hold intrigue.

I must say that my first pole lesson was not at all sexy and far from what I had envisioned initially.

Yes, we have to wear little shorts and some of the ladies with the stunning bodies wear far less than others to which I say bravo. But it’s not all beach babes in these classes which was what I loved about them. Upon my journey I met several divorcees, numerous moms and quite a number of ladies who were there to get in shape. They are the ones I truly commend because stripping down into your booty shorts is not an easy thing. Thank God for the mood lighting. The little fairy lights helped soften the shapes of all of us.

Pole is gruelling. It is the greatest exercise I have ever gotten in my life.

I was in pole basics for a very short period when people began telling me that I was a natural on the pole. (perhaps I have a career path ahead of me?)

Pole basics and pole 1 are the introductory classes. You learn to climb, to sit, to do spins and a little floor work and routines. I loved how they always promoted sexiness – but feeling sexy within yourself. The studio I attended had sensual fitness classes too wherein we learnt some chair routines and even a lap dance one February for Valentine’s day. We practiced them on one another and it was great fun. We also got to dress up in outfits one Halloween.

Ok, maybe it is a LITTLE sexy.

The more advanced classes are where things start to get more serious. Inverts, spinning poles and the scarier moves with names such as ‘mermaid’, ‘allegra’, ‘Titanic’ and ‘teddy bear ‘(which is one of the more painful moves- don’t be fooled by the adorable misnomer). Most evenings or the following morning I would have enormous bruises on my thighs and arms because it’s your skin that helps you stick to the pole. I repeat – your skin.

Allegra pole dancing pose


Teddy Bear pole dancing pose

Teddy Bear

After a pole class my legs and arms would be black and blue but I wore them proudly because they were tribute to my hard work.

One of the obstacles that I had to face was my being left-handed. The initial beginner classes that I had attended were quite large so the teacher didn’t have enough time to spend focusing too much on individuals. Meaning I learnt some of the basic moves like inverts and climbs right handed. Advanced classes comprised of following through to more advanced moves from those beginner positions, for example a ‘butterfly’ where you invert with only one leg hooking on the pole and the other bending behind you. I don’t think words can really describe it. That one I do right-handed which is still ok because at least I can do it. Handedness comes into play in pole when your strong hand has to be in a particular position for you to transition into a pose. My problem would be when I was in a move right-handed and needed to transition into a left-handed position. It’s nearly impossible.

Dolphine pole dancing pose

Dolphin takes off most of your skin

Other times when I would learn a new move, my brain would just malfunction. The instructors didn’t really make it easy though because being right-handed themselves, they couldn’t really teach so well what I couldn’t grasp through just words alone.

Despite these hiccups, my body grew incredibly toned, I was super fit and strong too. Pole is an art form. I will never be as good as the professionals – I mean the competitive ones.

Long gone are the images of seedy strip clubs were women are naked save for a pair of clear heels.

We don’t wear nipple caps but heavy duty sports bras (well the busty ones have to) because being upside down in a little elastic top is not a pretty sight.

Elbow grip pole dancing move

Elbow grip

I don’t think that much can beat the feeling of accomplishing a move and actually looking good doing it. I would send weekly videos to my boyfriend and mom to show off and their responses always encouraged me.

If I can give some advice though it is to ALWAYS check your pole. The number one rule because the number of fail videos I have seen with poorly installed poles that have no choice but to tip over is ridiculous. My own pole tipped over on the only day I didn’t check it, luckily I wasn’t too high off the ground and managed to hop off just in time.

Number two – try not to use product on your hands. ‘Griptite’ and ‘Titelock’ are fantastic helpers but if you don’t have particularly sweaty hands, then do try go without at first as you do grow a bit of a dependency on them. BUT if your hands are sweaty, DON’T skimp or try not to. I did this and attempted an advanced move which resulted in a bad fall and slight concussion.

Pole dancing is definitely something that is worth a try for anyone curious. Maybe you are in a bit of a slump, feeling unsexy or just need a change in your routine. Most pole studios offer a trial class where you can see how you feel.

Pole 1 is easy and fun and you get to meet ladies from all walks of life who have similar goals to you. You make new friends and get fit while chatting. What more could a girl want? I mean apart from wine water bottles!

I am looking at going back but first I am going to have to try to find a way to convince my boyfriend to install a pole at home. I doubt he will complain too much.

#Poledancing #exercise #alternativefitness #polelife #pole101

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