Part 3 0f 3: Tips for New Dancers – Pole Dancing is a Balancing Act!
Whether you dance barefoot, or you’re like me and love love looooove to dance in sky-high stilettos, learning how to find your balance when dancing is crucial. Even a simple pirouette can look unsteady or jerky if you aren’t balancing correctly. Here’s a test: stand on one foot. Now slowly raise yourself onto the ball of that foot. Do you feel balanced, as though you could stand like that for as long as you might need to? Or do you feel wobbly, ready to grab the nearest wall or table . . . as though you’re going to faceplant at any second? Take a second to think about where your balance originates from. Experiment with moving your head around, and see how much it changes your balance. Our heads weigh a lot! Any movement of your head changes your center of gravity slightly. The same goes for our arms/shoulders and hips/butt. That’s where the core comes in. As you balance on the ball of that foot, think about stacking your most weight-laden points – the ones mentioned above – on top of each other like blocks. If one block is out of place, even a little, you need to work that much harder to remain in balance, since balance is really all about weight distribution. However, if you fully engage your core, balancing becomes much easier, even if one of those blocks is out of place (as is often the case in dancing – we do want those pretty or interesting lines after all!). The good news is, there are ways to improve your balance. One is to . . . well, practice balancing! Some people find it helpful to focus their eyes on a point that hits at eye level a few feet away. This unconsciously puts your head/neck into a neutral position. Another way is to sit on a yoga mat and pull your body into a ball. You should be on your sitbones at this point. Rock back slightly until you’re balanced between your sitbones and your tailbone, then hold. Don’t forget to breathe! You’ll feel how you need to use your core to help keep the weight evenly distributed. To make this exercise more challenging, extend your arms or legs and see how much harder your core has to work in order to keep you in balance. Don’t forget – this is all so we can be more balanced dancers, so keep the above tips in mind the next time you step to the pole! Gina is a self-proclaimed “pole dork” who loves to scout out new music, dance in ridiculously high heels, and bench press more than many men at the gym. She’s been addicted to pole dancing since the first moment she laid eyes on a pole in 2008 and has been instructing since 2009.