Turned Down for Pole

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I’m always on the hunt for the next polegasm. I am a pole dance addict. During competition season, I train for pole minimum 2-3 hours, 4-5 times per week in the evenings right after work. Guys I’ve dated in the past usually suspected that I was creeping. Back when I didn’t tell anyone that I pole danced, I would always just say that I’m going to the gym or going to go workout (and I was). “Come on Alex, you can’t work out that often.” …..um…..YES I CAN!!!!

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If you are curious about what a polegasm looks like, here’s an example.

Happy Poling!

5 Tips on How to Find a Good Pole Fitness Studio

Looking for a place to take pole dance classes? Here are some tips that can help you find a local studio (beyond your basic Google search):

1. Hear it through the grapevine. If you have any friends who take pole classes regularly or have attended bachelorette/birthday parties at a pole studio, ask them where to go. These might be the best people to get feedback from since they’ve already been to a local studio. They’ve had an experience attending an event or class at the studio 1st hand, so they can give you more genuine feedback of what to expect on customer service, timeliness, pole dance style, studio ambiance, etc. if you decided to attend classes there regularly.

2. YouTube. YouTube. YouTube. On YouTube, you can gauge if the pole studio is enthusiastic and passionate about pole dance. If the studio isn’t passionate or excited, there’s a good chance that after a couple of classes, you might not be either. When I was looking for a pole dance studio in 2010 (back when SEO wasn’t very optimal), I started with a simple google search and three studios came up. With each studio that came up, I immediately did a YouTube search of the studio name to find out if any of the instructors had demos online so that I could see their style of dance. At the time, only one of those studios that I found through the google search online had YouTube demos. I ended taking two classes from that one studio that I found.

3. Sign up for Groupon. Or Living Social, Yelp Deals, Guilt City etc. Look out for deals from your local pole studios. Even though I started taking classes at another pole studio, once I saw the Groupon for my now current studio, Pole Pressure, I went on YouTube to search for a demo and found this one below. If it wasn’t for this video, I may have never tried out Pole Pressure. Pole Pressure was the perfect fit for me  based on the style and technique of pole dancing that I saw in this YouTube video.

4. Sign up to your local pole studio’s email listserv. After you find a few studios through your google search or your groupon deal, go to the pole studio’s main website and sign up for their listserv. Based on the content of the emails, you can get a better idea of what their pole community is like. From there you’ll also be able to see if the studio is a good match! Studios listservs will also advertise showcases and competitions that you can attend if you want to see a pole fitness event before you step into your first class.   Most studios have a web page where you can sign up to their listserv on their main website, but if they don’t, send an email inquiry through the website and they will get back to you.

5. See if your local gym offers pole fitness as a weekly group exercise class. Some gyms offer pole at in their multipurpose or cardio rooms. Search your local gyms online or call to ask to see if they offer pole fitness classes.

Last but not least (as a caveat tip), try out a class!!! I can’t believe I have to say this but just dive in! A lot of studios have a free introductory class or discounted class rate for new pole dancers. Or just purchase that awesome Groupon deal you just saw online. Hope these tips help. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email at curvypoledancer at gmail dot com. Happy Poling! 🙂

4 Most Popular Pole Styles

Like all disciplines, pole can be broken down into different catogories. The common theme is having a vertical pole. Here are the 4 most popular pole styles:

American Traditional If Miss America allowed for pole dancing in their talent portion, this is the style that would be showcased. American Traditional style of poling dancing has the beauty pageant flare to it. You would see a woman in 5 inch high heels, a two piece outfit, doing hair flips and body rolls and spinning around the pole. She can climb the pole, do splits and drops, and go upside down all with a smile on her face. Effortlessly and with confidence. This style focuses on explosive muscular power, flexibility, and coordination. At the core of American Traditional pole style are ballet undertones which include clean lines, pointed toes, and graceful movements that are continuous and fluid. Here, heel clapping is encouraged but there is minimal to no booty shaking. This style can also be considered Australian Traditional because Aussies have this style DOWN PAT! Here is a great example of what American Traditional looks like: 

Acrobatic Pole/ Gymnastics This style of pole is strictly acrobatic. It’s less focused on musicality or sensuality and mostly about showcasing agility, strength, and power through advanced moves. Chinese Pole and Mallakhamba (Indian Pole Gymnastics) are included in this category.  Chinese pole is popular in many acrobatic circus acts like Cirque de Soliel. In this type of pole, performers focus on acrobatic tricks and flips. The performers are usually male, there are multiple poles, and there are usually multiple performers doing tricks on the same pole. Chinese pole studios are only offered in select studios on the West Coast. Mallakhamba began in the 12th century. Here, the performer executes feats and poses with a vertical wooden pole or rope. It is not likely that you will see many studios offering Mallakhamba here in America. Many of these acrobatic pole dancing tricks have been incorporated in modern pole dancing classes and performances. Here is a great example of what chinese pole looks like: 

Contemporary Pole This is the fusion of contemporary dance mixed with pole dance styles. It’s the most modern style of pole dance out there. In terms of tricks, if American traditional and Chinese pole had a baby, that baby’s cousin would be contemporary pole dance. More people can do it. It doesn’t require high heels. The gender bias isn’t as important. Lack of shoes also allows for fusion of other dance types like hip hop, belly dance, Zumba, breakdancing, whatever you can think of.  There usually isn’t a lot of sexual dance in this style of pole so no body waves or gyrating. Similar to American Traditional, the focus here is on flexibility, strength, and explosive power. If you attend a pole fitness competion on the regional or national level, most (if not all) pole dance competitions are strictly contemporary pole dance. Here is a great example of what contemporary pole looks like:  

Exotic Pole When I tell people that I pole dance, this is what 85% of people think I do. With the popularity of twerking, this style of pole dancing is more easy to recognize. This category is where pole is influenced by brukwine, twerking and booty clapping. It requires a lot of practice and learned muscular isolation techniques. Despite popular belief, booty popping is not easy to do at all and does not come naturally to most. It takes a lot of time and practice to get it right. Here is an example of exotic pole:

As a spectator, I love and admire ALL forms of pole dance. When it comes to the type of style of pole I like to perform, I prefer American Traditional. These categories are not set in stone. In most pole dance routines, there’s usually a fusion of each of these pole dance styles. For example, I would say that all of these pole styles can have acrobatic and gymnastic elements to them. Pole routines can also vary depending just on the dancer as well as on the music being danced to.

As you decide which pole dance studio to join, keep these different dance styles in mind. For example, if you prefer American Traditional pole and are looking to strut around in heels or body roll, you might not want to go to a studio that focuses on contemporary pole which is barefoot and focuses on free flow, raw, and organic movements. The best way to find out is to take a few classes to test it out and see if the studio is the right fit for you.

What it your favorite pole style? Comment below. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to comment below as well. Happy Poling! 🙂