Pole jams: what’s in them for you?
Getting together with pole friends at someone’s house or at a local studio.
Suiting up for a High Heeled Hotties night.
Rocking out in a hard-core trick showdown
Whatever the backdrop or the reason, pole jams are great things.
- They’re a great way to get troubleshooting help from eyes on the ground. This can be particularly useful for the self-taught dancer, who might have no other good way to get this kind of help! Struggling with a spin? Ask someone to watch you do it.
- They increase your exposure to other dancers, other styles, other toolkits. I know I’m not the only one who watches other dancers for inspiration. What could be better than watching your inspiration from two poles away? Trade ideas, ask questions of each other. Take advantage of the newness … or the familiarity! It’s a no-lose. 🙂
- They’re the perfect chance to see variations of moves you already know. This is a takeoff on #2, but rather than focusing on new moves, pole jams can provide a great vehicle for you to watch dancers do moves you have solidly, and they might just do them in a different way, or vary the leg/hand/arm position.
- They provide lots of no-pressure pole time. Because there are usually several people in the room, each working on something different, pole jams tend to be much more relaxed than classes or workshops.
- Spotting. Enough said. I first tried a Remi layback during a pole jam, and it’s a good thing I did it among friends. As soon as I dropped my shoulders into the layback position, the pressure on my foot hurt so horribly (I had the pole in the wrong place on my foot, d’oh!) that my brain stopped sending signals to any of my muscles, so I could. not. sit. back. up. Couldn’t do it. My brain simply would NOT tell my core “hey, help her sit up, do that now!” I couldn’t even speak up to ask for help. Thankfully, a friend noticed my distress and came over to push me back up onto the pole. If I hadn’t been at a pole jam, I might still be hanging there. 😉
- They can help you build confidence as a dancer. I still remember the first time someone asked me for advice on a transition I had done during a brief free dance. Me! I had never considered that my style might be inspiring someone at the same time that someone’s style was inspiring me.
So if you’ve heard of local jams but haven’t gone to any, now’s the time to change that. The next time you hear about a pole jam, and it’s close enough that you aren’t driving for hours on end, pack up your dance bag and go!