1+1=2 … Combination Building 101

Creating combinations=problem-solving

Anyone who pole dances knows that it’s not about the tricks you can do, but how you incorporate them into a dance. And that, my friends, means you need to work on combination building.

The Accidental Transition.

For me, ideas for transitions have often come from necessity. I get pretzeled up in a move and, in figuring out how to extract myself, I suss out a transition for it. For example, when I was working on my aysha back in the day, inverted crucifix was my go-to emergency exit. One day I was tired and only managed to hook one leg on the pole … whooops. BUT, I discovered that aysha to shooting star/AKA jasmine is simple to do. And once cleaned up, it looks really nice. Yay!

Accidental transitions are great and fun, but at some point you may want to actually think about how to get into and out of things and apply your creativity. You’ll want to try out actual planned-out ideas.

The Not-So-Accidental Transition

Here’s how I do it, just to give you an idea. Start with a keystone move, let’s say an outside leg hang. Think of all the possible ways you can get into an outside leg hang. The sky’s the limit! These include (but certainly aren’t limited to) regular invert, inverted V, aysha, side climb, hood ornament, back hook, knee hold, marley, genie, dangerous bird, hip hold, etc. There are literally dozens of ways.

Now: pretty much any one of the “into”s can also be considered an “out of” — so those become ideas for combinations that string several moves together. Contemplate where your hands will need to go, where your contact points will need to be, where you’ll need to be looking, all those crucial elements.

Then, just start trying things. Often times, they’ll work. Other times … they won’t. Sometimes they’ll be close and you’ll have to find a bridge move or variation to connect them. And then build your combination out from there.

Experimentation is key!

Even with transitions that exist only in your head, some experimentation can really help. Get yourself stuck. Work to unstick yourself. Record your sessions because sometimes it’s easier to visualize transitions when you don’t have a noggin full of blood from hanging upside down. 😉 And if you come up with anything awesome and innovative please come back and post, I’d love to hear about it!



  • Avatar

    A great idea was offered by Natasha Wang a few years ago – https://melnutter.com/2016/04/15/flip-it-and-reverse-it/ – some combos were definitely a challenge but it was a fantastic way to get more creative!

  • Comments are closed.

    Create Account

    Log In Your Account