Why I Almost Quit Pole Dancing

When I started pole dancing, I wasn’t sure how serious I wanted to become about my new hobby.

Choosing to pole dance meant choosing to immerse myself in something that carries plenty of stigma (stemming from pole dancing’s strip club origins).

I almost quit pole dancing soon after starting, because I thought maybe I should feel ashamed or guilty about myself.

Part of me just wanted to play it safe and stick with my circus/aerial classes, like trapeze, silks, lyra hoop. If I played it safe and didn’t continue with pole dancing, maybe I wouldn’t provoke other people.

And Then There Was Enchanted…
One of my favorite pole dancing performances is by a duo that hails from Australia. As a pole dancing/performing team, Tiffany and Ruth go by the name “Enchanted”.

As soon as I saw the Enchanted performance at the 2012 International Pole Championship, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to keep pole dancing.

That performance won them the 1st Place – Doubles Pole Fit title, and drastically expanded my understanding of what pole dancing could look like. They have an artistic and lyrical style, and their dancing reminds me of something I’d be more likely to see in Cirque du Soleil than a strip club.

The beautiful storytelling, emotional expression and acrobatics that I saw in that performance really inspired me. I watched the video over and over; I was so moved by it.

I realized I want to create that kind of awe-inspiring experience for audiences and share what I was able to feel from watching Enchanted perform.

Taking The Sexuality Out Of Pole Dancing… Good or Bad?
There are different camps in the pole dancing world. Some people strive to increase the legitimacy and public acceptance of pole dancing by playing it up as a sport/fitness activity. They focus on the acrobatic tricks and remove most, if not all, of the sexual aspects.

That means wearing sporty/workout gear instead of sexy “stripper style” outfits, doing pole tricks barefoot instead of wearing six inch heels, and leaving out things like sexy body rolls or booty and hip shaking.


Image Credit: Bigstock

Other people bring an artistic/lyrical style to pole dancing. Just like the sporty style of pole, artistic/lyrical pole dancing usually leaves out sexually provocative movement. Instead, the dancing looks more like modern, ballet or jazz dance.

And then there’s stripper style pole dancing! I feel like I was drawn to pole dancing in the first place because I wanted to do something that looked and felt sexy.

When I worry about what other people think, I totally try to emphasize the sporty and artistic/lyrical versions of pole dancing – but at the same time, I wonder if that’s what I really want to do.

 

FAQs about Open Relationships

So, is that like swinging?

Both swinging and polyamory involve additional partners beyond one’s primary partner. However, swinging is more about just sex, while polyamory is about having more than one loving relationship.

Are you saying that open relationships are better than being monogamous?

Nope, I like the phrase, “Different strokes for different folks.” Everyone’s unique, with different wants, needs and interests. Some fulfill their highest potentials in loving, supportive and monogamous relationships. Others thrive in non-monogamous or multi-partner arrangements. It’s definitely a personal choice.

Are you afraid of commitment? Do you only want to keep things casual with lots of people?

No, I love feeling close and having strong connections with other people. I like to give myself the freedom to share that experience with more than one person.

What about jealousy?

I felt jealousy in my monogamous relationships. Through the process of “opening up” my relationship style, supporting the greatest fulfillment, happiness and well-being of others has become really important to me. Jealousy sort of fades away when other values and priorities become your focus.

It’s definitely an entire paradigm shift that came about slowly, over time, that has affected the way I want to treat people and myself.

What about STIs?

My friends in the poly community really prioritize discussing safe sex and implementing safe sex practices. Having fun, exploring and playing with others can be a really positive and supportive experience with safer sex practices in place.

For me, part of having an open relationship lifestyle is understanding my personal responsibility for taking care of myself – and communicating with any potential or current partners to make sure we all stay healthy. So, I definitely value safe sex practices.

Are you promiscuous? Since you’re into open relationships, does that mean you’ll sleep with me?

Well, do you have tattoos or piercings? If so, call me. I love those! To be serious, though, it depends! However, I do really support sex positivity, or seeing sexuality in a positive and supportive light.

I value individual desires, freedom and choices, consensual activity between adults, and seeing sexual pleasure as healthy, normal and fun.

I’m curious/interested in this topic! How can I learn more?

I highly recommend reading “Sex 3.0″ by JJ Roberts. That book helped me to clearly recognize how I’ve messed up in the past – despite really wanting to have successful relationships. And it led me to new ways of thinking about how I can best support the greatest happiness for myself and others.

Other books I recommend:

  • “The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures” by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy
  • “Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships”
  • “Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships” by Tristan Taormino

Other related blog posts:

The Power of Three(somes)
I Went To An All Girl Play Party… And It Was Amazing

Freestyle Pole Dancing Tips

Equal parts terrifying and liberating, the freestyle portion of any pole dance routine provides quite the hefty challenge to dancers.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is this:
Look uber sexy while coming up with moves on the fly.
Allow your dancing to flow seamlessly and gracefully!


Image Credit: Bigstock

Freestyle pole dancing tends to give me the heebie jeebies, simply because I’m on my own versus having the instructor’s choreography to learn and follow in a class.

However, after enlisting the help of a few girlfriends from my dance studio, I’m now equipped with a few major ways to improve my freestyle pole dancing skills.

1. Video Thy Pole Dancing Self!

The most common advice that I’ve received is to film myself free-styling. Lo and behold, it is truth! Sometimes I think I’m dancing uber sexy, only to watch the playback and be utterly mortified by a wonky arm or just strange looking hip rolls.

2. Practice When You’re All Alone

If you’re just not feeling it during dance class, surrounded by onlookers and distractions, practice freestyle pole dancing when no one’s around.

Coming up with moves that flow together and complement the song that’s playing might feel tough to do during class – but take the pressure off during non-class time and see what ways of moving occur to you. When it’s just you, your favorite music and your gleaming X-Pole, magic can happen!

3. Work On Transitions

Pole is more than just busting out mad tricks like a flying acrobatic ninja. In between those pole tricks, transitions are the glue that binds the whole dance together. Dirdy Birdy on YouTube has fun instructional videos. I love her flowing, liquid style of dancing. She keeps moving in creative and captivating ways.

The Power of Three(somes)

I really enjoy having threesomes, and I love dating couples.

There’s something so special and amazing about being welcomed into an existing loving relationship, where the bond between the two partners can clearly be seen and felt.

The openness and fun-loving nature of the two,  both as individuals and as a couple, are big draws for me. In the couples I’ve dated that have opened their relationship to additional partners, I’ve been able to witness so much passion, excitement for each other and me, joyful energy, and love for life that’s really easy to see.

They’re very much alive.

But what appeals to me the most is their support for each other’s personal freedom and autonomy, desires, fullfillment and happiness – sexual and otherwise.

Being able to share (and add to!) the affection, intimacy, playfulness and fun that is already there feels like such a treat.

I really like the extra energy of additional people. For me personally, it can bring lots of excitement to intimate experiences.

One of my lovers and I were talking about how when you liberate someone, they really thrive.  Thanks to opening the relationship with his wife, he told me: “She is happier than I remember her ever being. She’s confident, loving, sexual and joyful.”

He explained that he’s so okay with her also seeing another guy for several reasons: he’s always intuitively disagreed with the concept of “sexual ownership” and the idea of controlling another person; and it genuinely makes him happy to see her so happy. He gets so much fulfillment from seeing someone he loves thrive.

On her end, she realized that just because he’s attracted to other girls, it doesn’t mean that he thinks she’s any less attractive.

They both came to understand that they weren’t going to lose each other. Neither of them wanted or had plans to leave the other – even though they might spend time with and have relationships with additional romantic partners.

He explained that it felt incredibly gratifying that they freely chose to return to each other time and again – not out of obligation, but rather desire, excitement and appreciation for each other.

Rather than it being something that’s taken for granted or a chore, spending time with each other is a choice that both happily and freely make.

Relationships are no longer about “all the hard work they require” or the unhappy anxiety and struggle of “making things work”.

Instead, they’re about enjoyment and mutually satisfying interactions and connections.

Recently, I was catching up with a friend and she asked me if I was dating. I told her I’ve been seeing a girl. That the girl is married – and has a boyfriend - and that everyone knows about everyone else and is super supportive about it!

My friend laughed and said, “That’s so 2014!”

After truly recognizing the value of freedom for myself and others, as well as supporting the highest fulfillment and happiness of all, I’ve noticed that both me and my relationships have become more peaceful and joyful.

My open loving relationships feel so fun, adventurous and creative.

Although I talk openly and often about my interest in open relationships, I do support whatever makes people most happy, healthy and fulfilled. Some people find that they are their happiest, healthiest and most fulfilled in monogamous relationships.

I think people’s needs change throughout our lives, and sometimes monogamy is the perfect fit. Other times, open and honest non-monogamy is the way to go.

I think I’ve found a non-monogamous lifestyle that works wonderfully for me, right now!

I Went To An All Girl Play Party… And It Was Amazing

In the spirit of embracing life’s opportunities and the sweet promise of having wondrous, wild and womanly adventures, I headed to my first ever play party with a few girlfriends.

Giving ourselves freedom + permission, exploring new experiences, and being okay with (and even enjoying!) uncertainty and the unknown helps us grow.

Not to mention, one might get to feel the unique pleasure that is being tied up, blindfolded and whipped by several sexy women – while being watched by a room full of sexy women.

I was tied up to another girl, and while we kissed like make-out bandits, these dominatrix babes teased the insides of our thighs with the Hitachi Magic Wand. Then, they inserted latex-gloved fingers into our mouths and we sucked on them… until they plunged their fingers into our “yonis”, as our vaginas were dubbed for the evening.

It was super awesome. The evening was very well-organized, with plenty of guidelines and rules to ensure safe, supportive and positive experiences for all involved.

The rules included asking for permission first before touching someone, learning to speak up and voice what we like and don’t like, having the freedom to change our minds or stop at any time, checking in with each other regularly, washing our hands and rinsing with mouthwash between partners, and using safe sex protection (dental dams, gloves, condoms on toys) unless we were fluid-bonded with partner(s) and playing with them.

The Afterglow

When the session wound down, we were untied and the blindfolds were removed – although their hands stayed over our eyes and we were asked to keep our eyes closed as we slowly became grounded again.

Then, we were told, “Slowly, open your eyes. Once you do, look and gaze into each other’s eyes – and feel the flow of love and joy.”

They brought us cups of water to drink and a large comfy blanket to snuggle under together.

While we softly caressed and lay close to each other, she told me, “What I liked during that was hearing you and your sounds.”

“I liked how we kissed while everything was going on,” I said, and she nodded her head. She said, “It brought everything together and completed it.”

Feeling Sexy Again With Pole Dancing Classes

I was at a pole studio’s dance showcase this past weekend, and a friend of a friend came up to me. She’d taken her first pole class recently, and I had cheered her on during class. I thought she was doing amazing!

For someone without pole dancing experience, she was picking up the choreography and movements quickly.


Image Credit: Bigstock

This weekend, she thanked me and I’ll always remember what she shared next.

She told me that she grew up with four brothers, so she never really felt like a girl. She was also adjusting to being newly single, since her serious two-year relationship ended (he broke it off) when she moved from New York to California.

It had been awhile since she’d felt sexy, she said, and hearing me say that she was doing so well during class transformed the way she felt.

This is why I love pole dance and what it can do for people. Participating in pole dance works wonders with increasing self-confidence, supporting positive body image and providing a community of welcoming friends.

Pole dancing feels so fun – it’s fun to feel sexy, to dress up for class wearing something sexy, to move and dance during class in sexy ways. Pole dancing studios are designed to provide safe and supportive environments where students can explore this experience.


Image Credit: Bigstock

Here’s what I’ve seen both in myself and in other dancers as benefits of taking pole dancing classes:

Positivity, supportiveness, openness and acceptance emerge; and sensuality and sexuality are viewed and experienced with more kindness towards oneself and others.

You Know You’re A Pole Dancer When…

  1. Your gym bag holds a yoga mat and seven-inch heels.  Also, thigh-high socks and lingerie.
  2. You like to climb things. Your friends can turn their backs for a second – and next thing they know, you’re on a tree limb or sign post.
  3. You’re so prepared to bust a move and dominate the pole the next time you’re on a party bus. Friends step aside in eager anticipation, for legend tells of your pole skills that include walking on air and rocking the party with your heels on the ceiling!
  4. You start getting packages in the mail from senders with names like “Bad Kitty” and “X-Pole”.

    Image Credit: Bigstock
  5. You say sayonara to cat video marathons, and start watching a humongo amount of pole YouTube videos (instructional, personal/amateur and competition)!

    Image Credit: Bigstock
  6. Your body is emblazoned with what we like to call “pole kisses”, or blue and black and brown marks from your adventures on the pole. These are the bruises of bombshells, the battle wounds of babes, the pain of polers and the discoloration on dancers.
  7. You are at the dance studio more than your own house. Unless you have a pole in your house, in which case, it’s like a straight-up fiesta all the time where you live.

    Image Credit: Bigstock
  8. When you go to a regular gym, you wonder what people are supposed to do with those horizontal metal poles – the things they call “barbells”. No matter, other gym patrons can provide helpful instruction!

    Image Credit: Bigstock
  9. While enjoying groovy tunes, you space out and envision pole choreography. Some signs that you’re in the zone: a glazed look in your eyes and suddenly striking poses or busting sweet moves.

    Image Credit: Bigstock
  10. You work so you can pole dance. Your money goes to classes, workshops and all the clothes you never knew you needed (ie. booty shorts in every color, plastic platform heels, chunky legwarmers – 80′s flashbacks, anyone?, oversized yet utterly irresistible sweatshirts a la Flashdance).

Top 10 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started Pole Dancing

1. Skip the nachos before class. Utterly famished one evening, I headed to one of my favorite vegan spots in town, ordered up a massive thing of nachos and chowed down on this greasy mountain like nobody’s business!

Full as can be and running on fake cheese, onion-y salsa, mad chunky guacamole and all the chips I could put down, I arrived on the dance floor… and resembled a slow-moving vessel the entire evening.

You know, dancing slowly and sensually is one thing in pole dance. Dancing on the brink of indigestion is another thing entirely.

I wouldn’t wish attempting exercise in the sweaty, burp-y and nauseous aftermath of nacho overload on my worst enemy.

2. Go easy on the handstands. (And I’m not the only one who overdid it on handstand training, either.) During my first few months of pole dance classes, it seemed like a magnificent idea to go all out with every single class I could possibly fit into my schedule – and when I wasn’t at the pole fitness studio, I was spending as much of my time as possible at aerial/circus gyms.

My wee wrists could only handle so much with all the stresses of the muscles getting pulled and twisted, supporting my full body weight. To this day, I still have lingering pain and weakness in my right wrist that acts up when I try to do too much with it.

I would just recommend warming up really well before workouts, doing plenty of stretching afterwards and slowly building up to a gnarly fitness regimen.

Listen to your body and try to be aware of when your workout intensity/frequency/difficulty level might be too much.

3. Buy a 45mm instead of a 50mm pole for home. I happened to get an awesome deal on a 50mm pole and bought it from a friend in class who was switching hers out for a 45mm pole, since she was going to be preparing for a pole competition. (The 45mm pole is more popular, easier to use and competition size.)


Image Credit: Justin Tran Photography

I also figured having the 50mm pole would give me an extra challenge and make it that much easier for me when I actually did use 45mm poles. While those things are true, I still prefer and would recommend buying a 45mm pole!

4. Don’t buy teensy shorts that aren’t designed specifically for pole dancing or yoga. I got these cute, itty bitty little things at Hustler. Great for go-go dancing where you’re wiggling around but basically standing in one place… not so much for pole tricks where your legs are flying and spinning all over the place and full coverage is uber important.

As far as what to wear during pole dance class, my personal recommendations are shorts from Mika Yoga Wear, Onzie and Bad Kitty. Yoga shorts are actually great for pole because of the fitted cut that still provides full coverage.


Image Credit: Bigstock

5. Stretch for flexibility after cardio exercise. Working on flexibility is most effective when muscles are already warm. Ideally, you’ll start by getting your blood pumping first (ie. running in place, jumping jacks, high kicks to front, side and back, and an easy dance around the pole for a full song – staying on the ground, no aerial tricks).

With your muscles now nice and loosey goosey, things like hamstring and hip stretches, straddles, side splits, center splits and back bends will feel immensely more pleasant.

6. It’s not just what you see in strip clubs. For the longest time, I was going to both pole fitness studios and aerial/circus gyms. While pole was great fun, I wasn’t sure how open about my hobby I wanted to be with other people. It did, and still does, have stigma, controversy and stereotypes surrounding it.

Then, I found YouTube videos of pole performances that opened my eyes to the wide range of styles beyond what I was aware that pole dancing could look like. The “artistic/lyrical dance style” with aerial tricks on the pole looked so beautiful – the dancers looked like they could have belonged in Cirque du Soleil.


Image Credit: Bigstock

Some of the moves the dancers were doing reminded me of tricks I’d done on the trapeze, silks and lyra hoop. The music they chose to dance to as well as the outfits they chose to wear presented a very different image of pole dancing.

No “stripper heels”, no provocative body rolls – and more movement that appeared to be influenced by ballet or modern dance.

As soon as I saw those pole performances, I totally switched my focus from circus arts to pole dance because the beautiful style that I loved from Cirque du Soleil could also be channeled and performed on the pole.

7. It’s okay to be sexy. Although artistic/lyrical pole dancing really appeals to me, sexy pole dancing doesn’t have to be completely buried and hidden away like a seedy, shameful and gross embarrassment.

Public opinions will always differ on the legitimacy, acceptability and respectability of pole dance. Being able to express one’s sexy side, whether it’s done playfully or in a dramatic and intense way, has always been part of the draw of pole dancing.

From my personal perspective, I have found pole fitness studios to be a safe and supportive place for me, where I’m reminded that I have permission to feel all my emotions.


Image Credit: Bigstock

8. Film your practice sessions. Watching videos of your pole practice can be mortifying as much as it is truly educational. That move you think is uber sexy may not translate once you actually see yourself in action.

Once I started reviewing my pole videos, I learned to sloooooooow down my dancing… it may have looked like a video was on fast forward, but it was just me and my nerves  flying through a dance routine!

I’ve become much more comfortable with “milking” a song, taking my time and getting into the dance rather than concentrating so intensely on the choreography.

9. Take written notes of class material. I think it’d be awesome to have kept a notebook to look back on all the classes I’ve taken – complete with notes outlining choreographed routines, what I’ve been working on, and helpful hints and recommendations.

10.  Replace saying, “I can’t” with “Not yet”. Don’t be afraid to try newly introduced tricks in class when you have an instructor there – and your instructor believes you are physically ready and able to learn them.


Image Credit: Bigstock

Ask a friend or teacher to spot you, when needed. Bust out the crash pad and use it generously. The crash pad is your pillowy friend, and it will give you a super surge of confidence while you practice tricky pole moves.

30 Questions With A Pole Dancer

When I tell people that I’m a pole dancer, I get lots of different questions, comments or sometimes silence as people think to themselves.

The Pole Dancing Bloggers Association figured we could help satisfy public curiosity by answering 30 questions on our blogs.

Check out what other pole dancers wrote in answer to these 30 questions. (Scroll down and press “Click here” to view the Linky Tools List.)


Image Credit: Bigstock

Here are my responses:

  1. How long have you been pole dancing? 7 months
  2. What’s your favorite music for pole dancing? Leen Isabel’s “Songs to Pole By” playlist on Spotify
  3. What’s your favorite pole dance move? I love seeing dancers do pole drops!
  4. What pole move is your nemesis? Shoulder mount
  5. If you have to classify your dance style, what would it be? Contemporary
  6. What inspires your movement? Why do you dance? Artistic/lyrical pole performances. I dance because it’s fun for me!
  7. Do you study/participate in any other kinds of dancing or other kinds of training? Flexibility/stretching for dancers. During yoga, I practice  being more aware of my energy – and that’s really helpful when I’m dancing.
  8. How often do you train, dance or attend class per week? Two to four hours a day, five or six days a week.
  9. Any tips for training? Cross train with other non-pole activities.
  10. Do you train on both sides when you pole? Why or why not? Yes, it’s important for every pole dancer. It really helps maintain whole-body strength and keep muscles balanced.
  11. If you’re not a full time poler, how do you balance work and pole? Friends and pole? Life and pole? I’ve met so many sweet and fun friends in classes – naturally, we have similar interests and see each other almost every day! I work during the day and take classes afterwards and on weekends. Plus, I have a pole at home for extra practice. As far as pole-life balance, it’s just about making time for both pole and non-pole related things that are healthy, enjoyable and meaningful.
  12. Is pole dancing, which happens to be a hobby for most, worth the investment? Yes, if it’s a passion. It can be an expensive hobby. People tend to try it for kicks, stay with it a few months and then drop it – or really fall in love, dedicate themselves and keep developing as acrobats, gymnasts, dancers and performers.
  13. Why did you start a pole dance blog? To provide fun and helpful resources for anyone who’s curious or interested in pole dance.
  14. What does your pole dance blog mainly focus on? Tips for pole dancers, from pole dancers
  15. What’s your favorite post on your pole dance blog? Pole Dancing Warm-Up Tips
  16. What’s your favorite non-pole blog? I’m always inspired by the posts on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Page.
  17. What is your favorite dance studio? (If you teach or own a studio, please list one other than where you teach.) The Dollhouse Fitness in Encinitas
  18. If you teach, why did you start teaching, and how did it change your practice? If you don’t teach, do you think you’d ever want to teach? Why or why not? Becoming a teacher is on my list of pole dancing goals. I think pole is an amazing way to have fun, feel sexy and transform your body – sharing that and helping others experience the benefits of pole fitness feels like a good way to “pay it forward”.
  19. Heels or no heels? Also, any good recommendations for heels? No heels! I love dancing barefoot.
  20. What are your favorite pole clothes? Criss Cross Brazil Pole Dance Shorts from Bad Kitty.
  21. What’s your favorite pole? Size? Material? Height? Static? Spin? X-Pert Pole, 45mm, chrome. Spin is my favorite!
  22. If you have ever performed, how do you usually prepare your performance? Lots of rehearsals, getting feedback from instructors and other students, watching videos of my practice sessions, and learning from YouTube videos of competitive pole dancers and pole dance champions.
  23. What’s something you love to do or experience aside from pole dancing? Read a shameless amount of self-help books, write Yelp reviews about lucky or unlucky businesses, and perform personal life experiments and challenges (ie. ten-day silent meditation retreats, obstacle course runs, trapeze class, vegetarianism, veganism, raw foodism, 30 hairstyles in 30 days).
  24. How has pole dancing affected your life? I have a new creative and physical outlet that’s really fun for me. I have more energy, confidence and peace. Also, I work out more than I ever have before – I’m in the best shape of my life!
  25. Looking back at your life, are you surprised that you’re a pole dancer? Like, were you a nun five years ago and now you’re a pole teacher? Or does pole dancing seem like a natural fit into the progression of your life? If you had told me five years ago that I would now be running a pole dancing blog, training for several hours every day and performing in shows at my dance studio, I would have laughed. Now it’s a big part of my life!
  26. What’s one pole stereotype that you wish would go away? None. We’re all free to choose how we think and feel about pole dancing/pole dancers. When we have a personal opinion, that makes something real or true for us.
  27. Best reaction when you told someone that you are a pole dancer? My favorite reaction is when guys express genuine interest in learning pole tricks! Male athletes are winning national and international pole sport championships.
  28. Does your family know that you pole dance and what do they think? Yes, they’re very supportive. They go to my shows. My dad helped me set up my pole at home! My younger sister started taking classes at a studio and practicing at home with me too.
  29. What’s your pole fantasy or dream? To inspire others through pole to laugh more, believe in more possibilities – and also, as my amazing pole instructor Roxanne DePalma says, “My intent is to give you permission.”
  30. Finish this sentence. Pole dancing is…. magical like a unicorn.


Image Credit: Bigstock

Cross Training for Pole Dancers

pOLE dANCERS aND tHEIR cOLORFUL rESUMES

Pole dancers take up this acrobatic activity with quite the variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Some pole babes arrive on the scene rocking athletic amazingness they’ve developed from years of gymnastics or cheerleading. Others are devoted yoga buffs, marathon and triathlon rockstars, spin class enthusiasts or circus/aerial (trapeze, silks, lyra hoop) students.


Image Credit: Bigstock

There are also the pole converts who bring their ballet, hip hop, modern or ballroom dance training to this new dance form.

Whatever their far-flung interests may be, pole dancers have the right idea – bringing all the things they love most together to help them develop as incredibly expressive and skillful dancers, story tellers and entertainers.

Say yes to new experiences

Try that acro partner yoga or aerial yoga class you’ve always wanted to take. Sign up for a 5k obstacle run with your friends. Give kickboxing, qigong, pilates or the Insanity workout a go! Cross training gets us moving in new ways that differ from our main sport of choice.

When we get back to the pole, we’ll have even better strength, endurance and flexibility. Cross training gives us fresh challenges, takes us right out of our comfort zones and supports us as we constantly improve.  I recently went paddle boarding in Coronado Bay… and officially have it to thank for the new gun show going on with my arms.

Look for inspiration in unexpected places

Pole dancing inspiration can come from plenty of non-pole sources. Looking around and drawing from what we encounter in a day can be really helpful with molding and changing what we can create on the dance floor.

For example, I learned the importance of opening up and truly allowing oneself to be seen (in order to create amazing connections with the audience) from spoken word poet Sarah Kay. During her popular TED talk, Kay performed two spoken word pieces she’d created… and what really struck me is how she’s so full of life and comfortable in her own skin.

What makes her spoken word so magically wondrous to me is the way she so openly shares her feelings. Sarah Kay’s spoken word is simply honest, with a sense of humor, and that makes her really relatable.

When I dance, tapping into that same spirit lets me share my fullest expression. It makes performances feel electric and alive!


Image Credit: Bigstock

Cross train like a beast, pole like a beauty

Cross training is one of the best things you can do for your pole dancing body. Spice things up with a non-pole class or activity that peaks your curiosity, whether that’s kayaking, skateboarding, snowboarding, CrossFit or something else.

In addition to mixing up your workout, be on the lookout for inspiration from non-pole sources that you can incorporate into your pole dancing. Who knows where you might find unexpected pole inspiration! I found mine from a TED talk featuring spoken word poetry.