Getting the most from pole classes
I’ve been teaching pole since 2009 and have loved every minute. Over the years I’ve seen my students flourish in so many ways, and it’s tremendously fulfilling. Once in a while a student will ask me how they can progress more quickly, or how they can get the most from their class time. Here are a few things I’ve seen or done that have been helpful:
- Avoid working out like a maniac the day of class. Pole dancing is strenuous physical activity, and if your upper body is already screaming for mercy because three hours before class, you did an hour of cardio plus an upper body set that included 100 pushups and 25 chinups, you’re going to have a hard time summoning the strength to do much of anything… and that’s a recipe for frustration. Keep it simple on the days you have class so you’ll have your muscles when you need them!
- Keep a notebook of moves you like and moves you’re working on. My pole notebook is filled with scribbles of potential combinations, transitional moves I want to remember, and notes on various tricks. I also make notes of time stamps on videos that have things I particularly liked, and I use those for inspiration. I refer back to that notebook all. the. time. In fact, I just had to start yet another new notebook because I’d filled its predecessor. 🙂
- Don’t discount a trick just because you don’t personally like it. There are plenty of tricks I don’t do because I don’t think they’re particularly pretty. But I’m glad I learned them. Sometimes learning a “meh” trick or move gave me an idea for pole brilliance (ha!). Sometimes it reminded me that I lacked strength in a certain area. And then, sometimes, I changed my mind and learned to love it. Case in point for yours truly: the helicopter, AKA inverted V, AKA straddle invert. I didn’t like it, didn’t like the way it looked (my split is abysmal). But somewhere along the way I realized how absolutely useful it is, and I changed my mind about it. The knee hold is another one. I thought it was ugly and WAYYYYY too painful, and I was certain I would never, ever, ever willingly do one. As you can see, I changed my mind. Now I’m a knee hold nut. 😀
- Listen to your instructor. Seriously. If your instructor tells you you’re not ready for XYZ move, listen. Don’t go off and try it anyway. They aren’t trying to hold you back for the sake of holding you back. They want you to be wildly successful . . . but more importantly, they want you to be safe. So keep working toward it, keep conditioning, keep perfecting other things, and when you get that magical go-ahead for your dream trick, you’ll be able to rock it!