How to Get Better At Pole Dancing
If you’re hoping to get better at pole dancing classes Portland and improve your vertical skills, or if you’re feeling frustrated with after reaching a plateau or not seeing the progress you’d hoped for, then this article is for you.
As long as you stick to a regular routine and practice pole dancing regularly, you will start to see results and progress really quickly. But for some, it can take longer than it does for others. Everyone is different.
If you’ve started pole dancing with existing strength, then you’ll see progress faster than someone who doesn’t have the strength to start with. However, in my experience as an instructor, there are a handful of people who just… get it. Straight away, they just get it.
It’s unusual to be born with a natural ability for pole dancing – but it does happen!
So, if you’re hoping to get better at pole dancing, here are some tips and tricks to help you progress your pole fitness to the next level and work towards your pole goals!
Attend Regular Classes
Attending regular classes is the best way to learn pole dancing for dancers of all levels. The key is to attend regularly, don’t flake out and don’t get complacent or your progress will suffer.
The benefit of attending a pole dancing class is that you have other students and fully-qualified instructors to spot you and teach you new techniques. They can also advise as to what you’re doing wrong and help you improve.
If you’re currently attending one class per week, why not try attending two in alternating weeks to see how you get on?
Stick to Your Workout Schedule
If you want to get better at pole dancing, or any sport for that matter, you need to stick to your schedule. If you don’t have a schedule yet – get one down on paper or stored on your phone asap!
Treat your workout sessions as an essential part of life, in the same way that you would treat your job, feeding your pets and looking after yourself! You have to do these things. Working out is no different, especially if you’re trying to level-up as a pole dancer.
You couldn’t put off a work shift for a few hours, end up not going to work at all and expect to keep your job! So, don’t expect to skip your scheduled workout sessions and expect to keep your strength!
Remember that next time you put your workout off for a “while” then find yourself 4 hours later on the couch watching YouTube and eating chips.
Be disciplined and strict with yourself and you will soon see results.
Do Complimentary Workouts In Between Pole Sessions
Try doing some other forms of exercise to improve your strength, agility and flexibility. Many pole dancers do more than one form of workout alongside pole dancing.
Here are some examples of workouts that will be beneficial to you as a pole dancer:
- Aerial Hoop
- Silks & Ropes
Aim to do at least one extra workout each week, and you will soon see your fitness levels improve, as well as your pole dancing skills.
Get Your Own Dance Pole At Home
If you’re hoping to get better at pole dancing, getting your own portable dance pole at home is a big step in the right direction. Many students find their strength improves twice as fast as soon as they’ve installed their own poles at home.
In fact, getting a pole to use at home often marks the turning point in someone’s pole journey.
We’ve written an entire guide for buying your first dance pole, but if you’re in a rush then there are two brands of professional dance poles. These are X Pole & Lupit Pole.
You will also find less expensive dance poles for sale on Amazon, eBay or directly from pole dancing studios. However, they will not have the same quality or safety features as the professional pole dancing brands.
I got my first dance pole 3 months after starting pole dancing classes and I never looked back. When I bought the pole, I couldn’t climb or invert. I could barely hold myself off the ground for a few seconds. A few weeks after buying it, I could.
It’s amazing how quickly you will notice a difference after installing your own dance pole at home. Within a few weeks, you will progress a long way from when you were pole-less!
In order to get the most from your pole at home, you should stick to a schedule when you use it.
Remember, you don’t always have to do intense workout sessions with your home pole! One of the main benefits of having your own pole is that you can do short, quick bursts of conditioning exercises without having to go through a full 60-minute lesson.
Always remember to warm-up and cool down when you’re using your pole at home.
Improve Your Form
If you’re on a mission to improve, why not go back to the start and improve your form on every single move you’ve learned up until now?
In doing so, you may discover different variations or combinations of spins and tricks you haven’t thought of before!
You can always climb a little higher, stretch a little further and spin with more finesse! Improving your form will not only make working out safer for you, it will definitely help you get better at pole dancing in the long-term.
Always Start and Finish Your Pole Moves Properly
It’s fascinating how many students want to skip over beginner-intermediate tricks and head straight for the harder stuff. More and more students are doing this and it’s crazy. You should be able to perform your moves, especially ones which are below the level you say you are, with absolute perfection. If you have a nemesis move then there are three words for you:
Practice. Practice. And, you’ve guessed it – Practice!
You could also try different entrances and exits to moves, to increase the variety of what combos and tricks you can perform. If you always start a move from standing, try it from climbing, or getting into it from a spin rather than from stationery.
Nail Your Nemesis Move
Every pole dancer has a nemesis move (or moves) and it’s important that they don’t give up on them. Always come back to moves you struggle with in order to give yourself an extra challenge.
Nemesis moves are a pain in the ass when your instructor wants to work on them, but that this as an opportunity to step-up your pole game.
Set yourself a goal by picking a date a month or so in the future to have your nemesis move nailed by then. As other polers for advice and tick another move off your list!
It’s an awesome feeling when the impossible suddenly becomes possible!
This is a cruel one that instructors will often insist everyone does when some students will just do the same side twice because, you know, easier an’ all that.
This is not good practice for someone who is trying to get better at pole dancing! You should practice your moves on each side equally.
That means, if you perform a spin with your right hand and leg hooked, you need to perform the same spin with the left hand and leg hooked. No cheating when the instructor asks you to switch sides!
You should be doing this in order to balance your muscles, not that you’ll end up with one strong arm and one weak one (but, you might!)
Being able to perform tricks and spins on either side of the pole is the sign of a well-prepared, well-rehearsed pole dancer! Let that be you 🙂
So, get into the habit of perfecting your moves on both sides of the pole if you want to see some improvement.
Point. Your. Toes. Dammit!
As above, all moves, spins and tricks look better if performed with pointed toes. And again, it’s astounding how many students don’t do this.
Point your toes makes your legs look longer and more elegant. It makes routines look polished and professional. Unless you’re wearing shoes, then pointing your toes is a must if you want to get better at pole dancing.
Don’t Rush Into Harder Moves
Skipping over easier moves doesn’t make you a better pole dancer. It makes you a lazier one. Why are you pole dancing, is it for the Instagram photos?! You’re practicing to pole dance for yourself and having a wide range of moves at your disposal makes you a better pole dancer. No matter how simple you think the move is.
If it’s simple for you, it may not be for someone else!
When you’re feeling like you’re not in the mood to workout, or you want to skip a day on your schedule then remind yourself why pole dancing is so important to you.
Remind yourself of how it feels when you finally nail a move, or how it felt when you first inverted after it feeling impossible on your first, second, and third attempts.
Also, remind yourself of how much you’ve achieved so far and let that be a sign of how much more you have to achieve in the future!
Don’t Get Disheartened
It can be disheartening when you just can’t progress past a certain point, or a certain move has become your new nemesis. It takes so much more time, effort, and levels of perfection than many other forms of mainstream workout, so please don’t get disheartened or disappointed with yourself when you’re having a bad session.
It is not your fault. Stay motivated, and keep at it. Don’t give up.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Bla bla bla. Eating a balanced diet is the key to everything, right? Well, it may sound like a cliche but eating a balanced diet does help with your muscle development. If you get the right amount of protein and vitamins then your muscles are able to heal faster and allow you to progress more with your strength-building for pole dancing.
Get your protein from a wide range of places; if you’re a vegetarian (like me!) then you can get protein from beans, pulses, lentils, tofu and nuts. And don’t forget lots of fresh veggies and fruits!
Invest in an Online Pole Dancing Course or DVD
We don’t usually recommend this method of learning pole dancing to an absolute beginner, but if you’re hoping to improve and supplement your in-class learning with a more accessible method, then a DVD or online course is perfect for you!
The absolute best at-home Pole Dancing DVD Workout is The Art Of Pole, it was the first Pole Dancing DVD I ever owned and I bought it for this very reason – to get better as learning in a class wasn’t quite enough.
There are plenty of other Pole Dance DVDs available, and they’re all reviewed in our guide on How to Learn to Pole Dance.
If it’s an online pole course that you’re after then the best options for you are:
- Dana’s Online Pole Dancing Course
- Studio Veena’s Online Pole Dance Lessons
- X Pole TV (pictured – click on the image for more information)
The benefits of learning in this way are that you can learn in your own time, at your own pace and in the privacy of your own home – nothing can beat that!
Open Dance Academy Online Pole Dancing Lessons
Open Dance Academy has over 450 online lessons, by some world famous pole dancing champions, such as Even Greshilov, Yvonne Smink, Jamilla Deville, Maddie Sparkle and more!
They currently offer:
- Access to more than 450 high-quality video lessons with the lifetime access option ($350)
- Excellent value for money when compared to the price of local pole dancing classes
- Suitable for beginner, intermediate, advanced & expert pole dancers
- Their website works on mobiles, tablets and laptops
- A stress-free training environment that you can do in your own time. No driving, parking or stress.
Use Pictures and Videos To Document Your Progress
Unless you have 360° mirrors, you probably have no idea if you’re performing a move correctly, especially if you’re upside down!
When it comes to sharing these pictures, you don’t have to share them on social media if you’re not comfortable doing so. Keep your own pictures to document your progress and see where you need to improve with certain tricks. It will also be amazing to look back at these photos in a few years time to see how far you’ve progressed! Imagine being able to document your entire pole journey…So, there you have it – a bunch of different ways to get better at pole dancing. What are your tips & tricks? Share them with us by leaving a comment below