One of the things that’s so AWESOME about pole dancing is being able to thumb your nose at physics and gravity. But what about geometry? Ah, geometry is tougher to ignore … because paying attention to geometry allows you to scoff at physics and gravity.
I’m talking triangles. My students have heard me refer to triangles at least 6,487 times, and I’ll keep referring to them, because when it comes to solid spins and holds/poses on the pole, triangles are one of the most important things you can keep in mind.
Triangles are stable, the wider the better. Think about your biggest, floatiest spin ever. I’m willing to bet that you had a neutral line from your hand at least to your shoulder, and possibly even all the way to your hip. You’re at your floatiest and most stable when your body and the pole make a nice wide triangle. Compress your triangle, and you’ll hit the ground much more quickly, because the force pulling you down is greater than the force that allows you to swing out!
“It feels so unstable, I feel like I’m going to slide straight down” is one of the prevailing frustrations I hear from pole dancers trying particular new moves for the first time:
- Shooting star AKA jasmine (AKA I’m sure a few other names)
- Butterfly handstand/butterfly
- Caterpillar climb
And last but not least … aysha/ayesha. Keeping the hips away from the pole, pelvis tucked under (oh so important — for the best, most solid position, do not arch your back in your aysha unless you’re in a fang position) and allowing my legs to counterbalance creates a triangle from my knees (where they cross the pole) to my engaged shoulder to my elbow. If you’re thinking it looks very familiar, you’re right. Getting a solid aysha is much easier when you have a solid butterfly, extended butterfly, and caterpillar. The triangle is pretty much the same.
Now. See how happy I look in the picture below? That’s because I am solid enough in my little world of pole geometry that I can move my legs around into fun positions. And when I switch my legs around, my hand/elbow/torso/hips do. not. move. They just don’t. Because, um, that’s what’s holding me up in the air. 😉
Ideally, I would like to see my small purple triangle mirroring my big green triangle just a tad more, with a right angle created by the pole plus the line from my elbow to shoulder. But you can see that my shoulder point creates a lovely right angle all by itself, and that’s solid stuff. So I can live with the fact that I maybe didn’t push up quite as far as I could’ve, which would have allowed my hips to come even further away from the pole. Super dramatic–and super solid.
That’s it. No more pictures of me, I promise. But the next time you’re working on a new move, study some pictures of it and see if you can find where the triangles are. So many moves, particularly spins and inverted moves, have them — consider them your keys to better stability and strength!