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Lessons I’ve learned from doing a doubles routine

Lessons I’ve learned from doing a doubles routine

Lessons I’ve learned from doing a doubles routine

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I’ve been fascinated with doubles pole work since the first time I saw dancers in a dual stargazer. They looked like some sort of mythical two-headed pole beast come to life, and I was entranced.

Fast forward to right now. I’m in rehearsals for a doubles pole routine with one of my fellow instructors. We’re scheduled to perform at a fundraiser next month and we have been having all sorts of fun trying new moves and branching out. YouTube to the rescue!

But there have also been several lessons learned along the way, at least for me.

  1. Pole becomes VERY serious business when you have another human being hanging upside down from you, with only the security of your grip to keep you both on the pole. I had no idea how intense it would be, or how fulfilling. When we’re on the pole, my partner and I trust each other with our lives, literally. 
  2. Doubles work is a lot like double dutch jumprope. If you were good at that you’ve got a head start! 🙂 Seriously, though — doing doubles work on spin pole means there are moves where you have to lead the pole and your partner, and if you can’t envision in your head exactly where she’ll be when, your move might not work, or worse — it could be dangerous!
  3. Nothing is as easy as Mina and Nadia make it look. This one’s probably a no-brainer for most of the world …. but because everything they do looks so seamless, I found myself wildly underestimating how tough every. single. move would be.

    Our first attempts at a double twisted ballerina was filled with confusion. Where did our arms go? How were we supposed to fold over the pole, when there was another human being there, on the other side of the pole? And then there was the classic “Wait …. um, how do I grip the pole with my legs when your legs are where mine need to be???” We got it sorted out, but it wasn’t easy.

  4. Being able to do things on both sides is a HUGE plus. In our duo, I, sadly, am not that partner. I’m tremendously lucky that my partner is pole-ambidextrous. The one and only move where she has a definite preference for one side over the other happens to be the one and only move where I am completely cool with either side. Whew!
  5. The simplest moves require strategy and a lot of planning. Synchronized outside leg hangs seemed like such a fun idea …. until we realized our stage pole restricted our available height to the point that my butt was exactly in the way of her hands. Dual cupids? Sure! But then how do we get in and out without knocking each other off the pole (a very real possibility)? We talked through — and walked through — and then poled through — at least a half-dozen possibilities before we found an entrance and exit strategy that worked for us and for what we wanted to do afterward. 

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