Pole dance and pole fitness has been an up & coming sport for years now. It’s definitely still a bit taboo (reason 101 why we love it), but it has also gained a TON of traction due to its community presence on social media.
Pole has ALSO become more badass and a little more mainstream because of The Ellen Show, The Arnold Expo, and certain celebrities. Wooohoo we love spreading the love, am I right?
So basically, more people are wanting to try it. The thing is, the majority of people don’t go into pole thinking, “this is going to be my ride or die hobby and workout”, but more so happens as a joke OR as a cool workout to try once.
Let me tell you what the thing is, though. When you get into that dance flow, you just enter your zone. You’re able to get away from reality, and just get lost in your own movement. You know what I mean? No? Just go with it.
Well anyways, here you are…maybe curious about trying it, or you’re already a seasoned veteran.
Or you’re a little dusty and trying to freshen up again (ME!).
^needing to freshen up is why I thought of these things, because major throwback to relearning everything and feeling like it’s day one of pole again!
Whatever stage you’re in, I hope you really think about these points I’m about to make. Once you pole, there ain’t no going back!
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HERE WE GO:
1. You will no longer be using lotion
We wear minimal clothing not only because it’s a power move, but because we NEED our skin’s natural grip to stay to the pole. Applying a layer slippery & smooth substance onto the skin will not work in your favor. If you miss lotion, apply it 24 hours prior to poling. OR…use a small dollop of vegetable glycerin right out of the shower to lock in some of the moisture. PS- I freaking love vegetable glycerin because it actually acts as a natural pole grip, making your skin nice and grippy. You just don’t want to over-do it.
2. You might be allergic to the apparatus itself
Yikes, scary thought to be allergic to something you love so dearly right? If you have a nickel or chrome allergy, you may way to look into stainless steel, or silicone poles. I wrote about my pole allergy experience here.
3. Pole competitions are a MAJOR thing.
Yes, there are competitions. There are regional competitions, national competitions, and even international ones. Check a couple out here: Pole Sport Organization; International Pole Sport Federation.
4. You’ll be sore in places you didn’t know was possible.
Your hands? That one spot on your abs you thought was strictly donuts & tacos? Your feet arches sore from pointing so hard? You’re about to be sexy as hail with all these muscles.
5. There is an entire pole world and it’s incredibly small.
Yes, it’s international, but somehow everyone knows everyone. We love instagram and we love hashtags (#polecommunity). The other thing polers LOVE is traveling to other studios and taking workshops from well-known instructors and pole pioneers.
6. You’ll be so excited about it that it keeps you up at night.
Once those creative juices start churning, it’s game over. Maybe you’re choreographing for a showcase, or just excited for next week’s open pole…whatever it may be, your brain will take you down the rabbit hole from time to time. Believe me when I say that you’ll be up all night, hot and bothered, from thinking of new pole transitions. Maybe you’ll be up all night because you finally realized how to do that move properly. Whatever it is, welcome to the obsession.
7. Pole grip? You’ll find it in every bag you own.
Either you forget to put it in the bag before you go to class and you purchase a new one each time you switch bags, OR you’ll intentionally put it in every bag you own. Maybe it’s a good idea to just go ahead and put them in…no one wants to be the person who is known for not bringing pole grip. girl bye! These are my faves: Dry Hands & iTac2 & Vegetable Glycerin, as mentioned earlier!
8. Pole is an expensive hobby, and an even more expensive sport.
Going to class is not cheap; splurging on an unlimited membership is even less cheap. Want to practice at home? Definitely a good idea and great investment, especially when getting a sturdy pole (I recommend Lupit Pole!). However, it is not cheap. Pole dance & fitness is really something that adds up, but I promise you: it is 100000% worth it!!
Oh, and – you’ll quickly realize how sports bras and regular work out shorts no longer suffice, and you’ll quickly accumulate a new closet full of pole tops and pole shorts…which brings me to my next point:
9. You’ll have a favorite pole clothing brand.
You end up signing up for every pole brand’s email list and taking advantage of every sale. At some point, you’ll realize that you like some brands better than others, and then you’ll eventually own every piece from every season, but HEY! at least pole outfits can double as swimwear. Ayyy!
10. You will no longer have soft hands (might as well say bye-bye now).
Like gymnasts, cross fitters, gym goers, and many other sports, you will have to part with your callus-free hands. You’ll “break in” your hands, and it will hurt like a B, but once that happens, working dat pole will become easier and easier.
11. Self-care becomes more of a priority in your life.
Us polers become so invested in the hobby and sport, that it’s all you think about. As a result you want to be able to perform well in class, and because of that you’ll take better care of your body, become interested in nutrition, and learning how to recover better.
12. You’ll be able to do your first pull-up.
I mean, if you’re able to lift your tushie above your head and have abs of steel for some basic pole moves, you’ll eventually build up the strength to do a pull up! It’ll be such a great feeling. Definitely LMK by sliding into my DM’s when this happens.
13. You’ll make new Instagram friends. #hashtag #hashtag
Like I said earlier, polers around the world are obsessed with instagram. Record yourself, post yourself, hashtag yourself, repeat. You’ll not only connect with people around the world, but also feel part of a greater community. Some hashtags I love are:
#poledance #polecommunity #polersofIG #polefitness #poleart #insertnameofspecificmovehere
14. You’ll reconsider home furniture as a necessity. All you need is a pole.
Yeah, so expensive hobby…remember? But really if you think about it, it evens out. If you have a pole you don’t need to buy furniture. PLUS, you can progress even quicker than you wold at the studio alone. And if you’re progressing quickly and that means no other furniture in your room, who’s even checking or noticing??
15. Traveling for pole studios and workshops become penciled into your calendar.
Leverage your new favorite hobby as a reason to travel. Why not go to LA, which is basically the Mecca of pole dance, and take classes at all 50 billion studios out there and then go to the beach and explore the city on your down time? Maybe eat some poke and some yummy seafood…
Just talking about like it was something I did in the summer of 2016. it’s fine
16. One forearm might be bigger than the other…so work on both sides *AHEM*
If you’re OCD about one side being more toned or muscular than the other, you’ll work both sides. If you’re not OCD, then I’m going to tell you now: DO BOTH SIDES!!!
The other benefit of practicing moves of both sides, is that when you become more advanced, you’ll notice you can’t only do dominant-sided moves for an entire combo…you’ll end up on your “bad side” at some point. This is a conversation for another time.
17. Your entire camera roll will be videos of yourself working on new moves.
So as humans…our favorite topics are: me, me, and me. Big shocker, right? We love talking about ourselves, so my question is: why wouldn’t we love to watch ourselves in action?
All jokes aside, recording yourself is a FANTASTIC way to document your progress and is VERY rewarding to look back on. It’s a valuable tool to use so you can see body positioning, entrances, transitions, etc. It’s also a great visual journal, always helping you remember what you learned in class.
18. You’ll create a new Instagram account just for pictures & videos.
Yeah, you will. Third time today we are mentioning social media. Must be semi-important, yeah? Not only will you create a new IG… you’ll 100% post a bit too. Don’t even allow your current self to hate yourself for it because as #17 says, future you will love going back in time and seeing how much you’ve grown.
19. There are communities within the pole community. Community inception.
Sometimes it goes by the type of category and genre you vibe with most, sometimes it also boils down to whether you take pole as a fun hobby or a career. It’s just a touchy subject to go into another time.
20. You might purchase heels and either wear them every time you dance…or just once & then never again.
Dancing in heels is a whole new ball game and not for the faint of heart. I was really damn curious about dancing in heels…tried it and was immediately walking like a baby giraffe just standing up for the first time. It’s a super cute look, in case you were wondering.
However, when you watch someone who breathes easy in each movement, making it look fluid as water, a huge part of you will want to continue dabbling in it until you look just as good. My biggest source of inspiration for heels and exotic pole idance is Daria Che of Che Boots. She is, “hashtag, goals” and those shoes are just SMOKIN’!
21 and beyond:
Think of more things you should know before starting pole? Shoot them my way or comment below! Would love to hear your thoughts.