7 Pole Techniques Full-Figured Dancers Can Master […. without having to lose a single pound ;) …]

A lot of new pole dancers believe that in order for them to learn how to do awesome pole tricks like climbing, inversions, and handsprings, they must lose weight first. To be honest, there is nothing further from the truth.

The number on the scale does not rule you out from becoming an awesome trickster! By practicing pole dance, you will gain lean muscle mass to make you stronger…..and that is all you need to nail those advanced pole moves. Here are some skill sets that are critical to pole fitness that don’t require you to lose a single pound:

Balance This means work on your forearm stands, handstands, and single legged stands/poses. Stabilization is something we can all work on, whether you are full-figured or not.

My friend Aileen nails it!

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Fundamental / Basic Pole Spins – Cache spin, fireman spin, pirouettes and all their lovely variations. Here you take 3 (or more) of your favorite spins and find a way to weave them all together to create a beautiful, fluid, and innovative pole flow sequence.  Make sure to play with pace/ tempo/ musicality as well.

Floorwork – Practice more headstands and handstands (which were mentioned earlier as balance exercises, too!). At the end of the day, a headstand or handstand is a body weight exercises so with constant practice, your body will develop the muscles needed to hold these poses. Don’t forget your snakes, heel claps, and shoulder rolls.

Pain Tolerance – Teddy Bear, Pole Sits, Superman, Rocket Woman and Yoginis have less to do with strength and more to do with developing tough skin….literally. These moves hurt like crazy at first (….and second, third, fourth and fifth) but with more and more practice, you’ll be on your way to be a graceful and super TOUGH pole dancer.

Flexibility

  • Back Flexibility
  • Leg Flexibility

– Hip (Pelvic) Flexibility

– Hip Flexor Flexibility

– Hamstring Flexibility

  • Shoulder Flexibility

Drops! Since we are heavier and our audience isn’t expecting it….our drops look more dramatic in class and on stage.

Power Moves  This is your reverse grab spin, ayesha, and handsprings. Emma’s got this:

All in all, full-figured polers can do anything. I’m not exactly sure why I even wrote this list. The only tricks I have not seen a full-figured poler do yet are fonji, russian split, and titanic. If anyone knows of a full-figured poler who can do any of these, I would love to feature them here on my blog. Until then, I’ll keep practicing. Happy Poling! 🙂

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20 Christmas Stocking Stuffers Ideas for Your Beloved Pole Dancer

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So you know that your girlfriend/boyfriend loves to pole dance, but you have no idea what to get for them. Here are 20 stocking stuffer ideas you can surprise your sweetheart with this Christmas. Better yet, each of these gifts can fit inside your holiday stocking and hung by the chimney:

1. Lyrical Shoes/ Foot Thongs – If strutting around in 5 inch heels, isn’t your sweetheart’s thing, getting them a pair of lyrical shoes is a wonderful gift! These shoes help with pirouettes and floor slides for dance flow and to minimize potential floor burn.

2. Grip – Products like iTac, Pole Poised, Mighty Grip, Dew Point, and Dry Hands all help pole dancers grip well on the pole so they get to the next level with their tricks. Your sweetheart will love these grip aids!

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3. Kinesiology Tape – Also known as Kinesio Tape, is used to help relieve pain and swelling on joints and muscles. With all that explosive strength they will be developing, having Kinesio Tape will help them reach their pole fitness goals faster. They also come in lots of cool colors and designs!

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4. Pole Tees – Natasha Wang, Cleo the Hurricane, Oona Kivela, and Bad Kitty all sell tee shirts that help create a wonderful pole dance outfit/ ensemble.

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5. iTunes Gift Card – There are probably at least a dozen songs your sweetheart wants to pole dance to….and it’s already choreographed in their mind! Having these songs available to mix/edit/play might be the perfect stocking stuffer for his/her needs…if you are lucky one of the routines might be choreographed just for you, just in time for Valentine’s Day 😉

6. Windex and Rubbing Alcohol – This 1-2 combo is used to get poles shiny, clean, and ready for pole dance. As a poler, you honestly can never have enough of this.

7. Arnica Gel/Oil – Arnica is known to help your skin with discoloration that comes from bruising. This is especially helpful when it comes to pole dancing, since bruising is inevitable. This is a gift that your sweetheart will love!

8. Pole Dancer Trinkets – Wine Stoppers, Key Chains, bumper stickers, refrigerator magnets, bracelet charms, and anything you think of pretty much that refers to pole dance at all.

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9. Tiger Balm, Biofreeze, Icy Hot – Any one of these topical pain relievers make great stocking stuffer gifts for your pole dancing darling. If he or she prefers natural remedies, try Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Chamomile, Lavender, or Lemongrass Essential Oil mixed with a carrier oil (Grapeseed, Jojoba, or Almond Oil).

10. Pole Shorts / Yoga Leggings – Pole dancers can never have enough bottoms. Yoga leggings can be used for cross-training activities like yoga, running, pilates, aerial silks, and lyra.

11. Competitor Jacket / Robe – With their name on the back. 🙂

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12. Hot Glue Gun – If you know that your sweetheart is a competitor, getting him/her a glue gun will help make their costume design more creative for competitions.

13. Beadazzle Gems – Adding these gems (using the glue gun) will help their costume really stand out!

14. Pole Dance Adventures Comic Book –  Leen Isabel is a popular blogger and cartoonist. Everyone in the pole dance community knows about her. She just a released a book that has a collection of her most popular pole artwork. This is a great way to say Happy Holidays! http://shop.poledancingadventures.com/product-category/books/

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15. Tickets to Cirque de Soleil (any dance performance really) – Pole dancers, by nature, are addicted to watching live shows that involve contortion, strength, balance and agility. If Cirque de Soleil isn’t coming by your town, take him/her to a modern lyrical dance show. At the end of the day, pole dancers are simply people who love to dance.

16. Pole Fitness Workout DVDs – These DVDs don’t have to be pole dance specific. They can range from yoga, to flexibility, to chair dance. Cleo the Hurricane has a great selection of DVD workouts:

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17. Epsom Salt – Soaking in an Epsom (or Dead Sea salt bath) for 20 minutes can help with muscle aches and recovery.

18. Wine Glasses – Well….maybe this isn’t pole dancing specific…and maybe I’m a lush 😉 But these cute pole dancing wine glasses will encourage your sweetheart to take a break after all the training she’s done.

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19. Leg Warmers / Knee High Socks – Whether your sweetheart loves contemporary pole dance or Rock and Roll American Traditional pole, Leg Warmers are a pole dancing must and is a gift item that your sweetheart will adore!

20. Permanent Secure Pole Mount – This is the crème de la crème of all Pole Dancer Stocking Stuffers. Most at home poles have the out of date dome/pole mount that is less secure. Tell your sweetheart you love him/her by getting them a safe and secure X-pole permanent mount. Bonus points if you install it for them too 😉

How to Prepare for Your First Pole Fitness Class

So you’ve finally made the decision. You walked by your local pole studio at least twenty times. It’s time to try out your first class! Now or never, right? So, how do you prepare for your first pole fitness class? Here are some suggestions:

Wear comfortable clothing.  For your very first pole class, you honestly can wear pretty much whatever you want. Sweat pants, yoga pants, running shorts, t-shirts, tank tops….it really doesn’t matter because it’s your first class. In your first class, you will probably be learning basic pole moves like the pole walk, cache spin and fireman spin. With your first class, keep it simple. Sometimes I encourage people to wear leggings because if you are doing a simple spin, leggings will help your leg wrap around the pole smoother.

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Don’t put on lotion right before your pole class. Especially on your hands. The pole that you are dancing with is usually made of either chrome or stainless steel. Both  of these metals are very slick. As you are poling, you need some friction on your hands so that you can grip the pole better and so that your hands don’t slip off as you spin or walk around the pole. It’s recommended that you don’t put on lotion for 12 hours before your pole class. If you already have lotion on your hands before you go to class, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before class to make sure that your hands are dry. In some studios, they have Dry Hands which is a solution that can help with gripping the pole.

Leave your heels at home.  Since it’s your first pole class, you should try to get a feel of the class or the instructor’s style of dance before donning heels. Some instructors focus on contemporary pole so they prefer to not wear heels in their class at all and include warm up routines / pole moves that are very difficult to do with heels on. Also, pole dancing with heels usually requires stabilization and balance that beginners might not have yet. Since this is your first class, focus more on learning the movements and spins first. You can always tack on a pair of cute heels in your second class or whenever you feel like you’re ready and you’ve got a hang of it. If you do choose to bring your heels, make sure that your heels have ankle straps so that your shoes don’t fly off your feet while you are doing a spin.

Know that you might have 1 or 2 guys in your class.  A lot of guys are now ignoring gender bias and after watching popular YouTube performances of male pole dancers, like Evgeny Greshilov or Josiah Grant, and want to develop the same amount of strength and power that these men have. Remember, at the end of day, it’s a workout. Whether you’re a guy or girl, we just want to feel good about ourselves. Pole helps us get there.

In terms of how challenging your first class will be, it depends on the studio you are going to and it also depends on your background. If you’ve already done aerial arts / acrobatics/ gymnastics, your first pole class should not be a big deal. For the majority of us newbies, it will be a new adventure! If you have any more questions about your first pole class, feel free to comment below and I’d be more than happy to answer them. Happy Poling!