How long does it take to become a pole dancer
Everything You've Ever Wanted to Ask a Fitness Pole Dancer
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Welcome to Racked's Fitness Week: five days of workout coverage, so that you can start your New Year's resolutions off right.
We're picking the brains of some of the city's most interesting—and out there—fitness instructors in the name of Fitness Week. Yesterday we got the low-down on CrossFit and today we're sharing what 2012 US pole dancing champion Michelle Stanek has to say about her sport (yes, sport).
After the jump, learn how Demi Moore accidently redefined pole dancing, why there's no gluteal fold in competition attire, and what to expect if you take a class with Michelle at Body & Pole.
How did you get into pole dancing?
I got into pole dancing through one of my co-workers when I worked at a design organization. She and I used to take dance classes all the time—hip hop, jazz, ballet, whatever. She took me to this pole dancing class at Crunch and I really liked it. It was really hard—I thought I was going to be good at it because it was a dance class and I thought, "Oh, I can do dance classes." It was surprisingly difficult.
When did you take that first class?
That was in 2008.
So you really haven't been pole dancing for too long, considering you've won championships.
No, not at all. It's been just a few years. It's hard to find people who have been pole dancing—in this way—for more than eight years. It just hasn't been around for that long.
How have you seen pole dancing transition from entertainment for men to a legitimate fitness workout?
The program at Crunch—where I took my first class—originated because one of the directors at Crunch met Demi Moore when she was training for that movie Striptease and watched [Demi's] body completely transform just because of the movement of pole dancing. She was studying to be a stripper in a movie but her body just became slammin'. Crunch is always thinking outside the box so they decided to create a [pole dancing] class. It was starting to become an all-women's fitness class in various places around the country.
The fundamentals of pole dancing if you're a stripper in a strip club or a pole fitness athlete are the same. The audience and the purpose are completely different.
[Fitness pole dancing has] changed in the past few years—it's growing. There are more competitions, there are more performance opportunities, there are more media outlets and magazines, people are doing it at sport events and fitness events. [Fitness pole dancing is] starting to become more in the public awareness for what it really is instead of what people kind of condescend it to be. Awareness is getting better.
[The fitness pole dancing industry] went in a dramatically fitness avenue for a minute to legitimize itself, to prove itself as a sport. Like, "We're not doing this to become strippers, we're trying to take the sexual nature out of it." [It became] very strictly fitness.
What characterized that movement?
For example, these competitions that I'm talking about, you have to wear very specific [outfits]. You can not show gluteal fold—that's the term for it. You have to keep it covered at all times. You have to wear a certain type of top, it can't be too revealing. You can't do any kind of sexual movement: You can't whip your hair or do a body wave. I think it went in that direction to help legitimize [pole dancing] as a sport but I'm hoping we can open pole dancing to dancers and artists and athletes and bringing back the sexual content, if someone chooses.
What we're doing is not part of the strip clubs, anymore. It came out of that and it will always be part of the legacy of pole dancing but now it's a completely different entity and you can make it as fitness as you want or as sexual as you want or as artistic than you want. It's still completely different from where it was when it was in gentlemen's clubs.
What kind of experience does someone need prior to their first pole dancing class?
There's nothing required to be able to do it. If you come into pole dancing from a dance or gymnastics background, you will advance more quickly, but it's not required. As long as you have a good teacher, a good coach, and a good studio, you can become excellent.
Would you say there's a certain body type that's better suited to pole dancing?
If you have the rare opportunity to have very broad and strong shoulders and teeny, tiny, skinny legs then you will find that a lot of things will be easier for you. You do so much of inverting your body over your head with the strength of your arms.
It's very rare that people have those proportions. Just as long as you're fit. There's a definitely element of flexibility and strength that comes with pole dancing, so you have to be able to work at those things. For me right now, I'm working on my flexibility. I know there's so much more I could do if I could just open up my shoulders and my lower back more.
What muscle groups does pole dancing target?
All of them. It's a common misunderstanding that you don't use your legs as much, but especially when you get into more advanced moves you use your legs a lot in pole dancing. In the beginning, you will use your arms a lot—your shoulders, back muscles, and core. Upper body is definitely targeted.
How long does it take for a new student to "get it"?
That varies per student for sure. Some people get in the groove right away. For someone who leaves their first class a little unsure, maybe after three months of doing a beginner level class they'll start to kind of get it. Once you start surprising yourself with what you can do you're hooked.
What does one wear to a pole dancing class?
It is essential when you get on the pole to have shorts on. You want to have exposed leg skin—so short-shorts, not bicycle shorts. A tank top or a sports bra—you need to have your armpits exposed. You probably need your waist or your belly exposed for some holds.
What about on your feet?
Mostly bare feet. Shoes can be an optional choice later. But you should learn in bare feet. We do teach some speciality classes in heels.
Do you cover the pole or yourself with anything for traction?
You don't want to put anything on the pole, you want to keep the pole clean and dry. On your body, if you feel like you need a grip there's a lot of different types of grip aids. For example, there's this product called Dry Hands that's basically like a liquid chalk a gymnast would use. Your palms sweat, especially if you're nervous. If you're getting into more advanced moves and you need a little more extra grip, there's a beeswax type of product you can use in tiny doses to give you more tack on the pole. You don't want any kind of lotion or oils on.
Are there any other types of workouts that you think complement pole dancing well?
Crosstraining of any sort is promoted to keep yourself fit. I think a good complement to pole dancing is a yoga class or a flexibility class because that's going to focus on your body awareness, alignment, and flexibility. A lot of the moves you do in a yoga class will transfer directly to moves that you would do on the pole. I do a lot of indoor cycling classes because I love cardio and also as a balance for the lower body.
Lastly, do you ever feel the urge to practice on the subway?
Oh, definitely. That happens all the time. You can't resist it. Then you see the guys that come through and do their performances and they have no real pole dancing experience and they do the craziest tricks! They're so dope at what they do and I'm like, "Oh I gotta try that."
· Body & Pole [Official Site]
· Everything You've Ever Wanted to Ask a CrossFit Instructor [Racked NY]
· All Fitness Week 2014 posts [Racked NY]
115 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Pole Dancing
Most pole dancers, regardless of age, are in the best shape of their lives.
Pole dancing is a full-body workout. It is resistance training and cardio in one, and flexibility is improved as well. Pole dancers perform acrobatic tricks either suspending their weight or propelling it around a metal pole. The simple act of climbing a pole is an incredible display of strength. It is no surprise, then, that most pole dancers insist they have never looked or felt better.
Natasha Wang, a world champion pole dancer, didn’t even start the exercise until age 29. Greta Pontarelli is a champion pole dancer at age 63—and she only began a few years ago!
There are many different types of pole dancing.
Pole dancing is extremely versatile. There are three main branches: sport, art, and sexy:
- In sport, you have the serious athletes performing difficult tricks and displaying unfathomable muscular strength. (Some have even petitioned for pole to become an Olympic event!)
- Then there are also those who embrace the artistic side pole has to offer. The simplicity of a vertical apparatus like the pole is appealing in that there is no shortage of creativity—so many stories can be told. Many pole dancers perform barefoot and have been known to incorporate modern dance, props and costumes into their routines.
- Finally the sexy side of pole is still practiced by many. These dancers usually wear heels and favor more sensual, erotic movement.
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Although there is some debate within the community about which direction pole is heading, all three forms flourish, and many pole dancers enjoy all styles. There is something for everyone!
You need your skin exposed to grip the pole.
Pole dancers must have their legs, arms and stomachs exposed to safely grip the pole. There are some grounded spins, poses, and floor work that can be performed while wearing pants, but in order to perform more advanced moves, we must have the proper amount of skin exposure.
At first, the idea of working out in a sports bra and tiny shorts may seem intimidating. But most new pole dancers quickly discover they are having too much fun to worry about what they look like. Their focus shifts instead to what they can accomplish—a freeing notion, really, that can help build confidence.
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It can be dangerous without proper training.
Although pole dancing is fun, it is a serious athletic endeavor that should not be taken lightly. Some people do not realize how challenging pole can be on a first attempt (re: every muscle in my body ached for days). In addition to bruises, pole dancers can experience shoulder or back pain with improper technique or overtraining.
You should always learn from a certified instructor. If training from home, take time properly installing your home pole according to manufacturer instructions and vetting a reputable online learning platform. If you're too eager to flip upside down, it can be especially dangerous and can lead to injury.
That said, I encourage everyone interested in pole dancing to go through gradually progressive training with a professional.
Men can (and do!) pole dance.
The number of men pole dancing continues to grow every year. There are men’s divisions in competitions now, and I see more men joining classes I take or teach than ever before.
Men’s natural inclination toward upper body strength makes them ideal candidates for the sport. There are many ancient forms of pole dancing such as Mallakhamb, a traditional Indian sport where the practitioner performs yoga postures on a wooden pole—and has actually been performed exclusively by men throughout history.
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“Not having upper body strength” is not an excuse to avoid it.
I understand that you may be nervous to try pole dancing. Maybe you don’t feel you are at your ideal weight, or you think you have no rhythm, or you think you're too old. But I encourage you to stop creating roadblocks for yourself. The best way to get better at something is to work on it! Every athletic journey requires a first courageous step. You'll grow over time as you build skills, strength and body awareness. Overcoming feats is part of what's so inspiring and empowering about pole.
Whether you’re uncoordinated and can’t lift your own body weight or you're an athlete with gymnastic capabilities, there is always a new trick or transition to learn with pole dancing. The process of growth never ends, and the possibilities can be as creative as your imagination allows them to be.
It’s not always so sexy.
Pole dancing is not always as overtly sexual as people may believe. The process of training is often full of awkward and unglamorous moments. Many of us end up with bruises, burns, and scrapes from trying new moves. And although we may wear sports bras and tiny shorts when performing, most dancers opt for comfort over fashion in between training sessions.
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But it can be very sexy.
The seductive allure of pole dancing still remains steadfast. There was a period of time when pole dancing first became mainstream where many pole dancers sought to distance its association with strip clubs. They felt this link delegitimized efforts to be taken seriously. The community has since evolved to understand this denial as a form of appropriation and recognizes with respect the roots this art form holds in exotic dance.
While many styles of dance and movement currently inspire modern pole dancing, the kind we practice today would not exist without strippers. Many of the first informal pole dancing classes in the US took place in strip clubs and many of the first pole studios in the US were founded by strippers who became small business owners and entrepreneurs.
The community is very tight-knit.
Because what we do is still considered taboo by many, there is a unique closeness that bonds us together. There are pole dancers of all professions, ethnicities, religions, cultures, sizes, and ages. I have friends all over the world because of pole dancing, and I have friends who have been able to travel the world because of it.
We support each other through learning new moves. We share each other’s videos, and we watch each other perform. This shared interest bonds us with a special understanding, just like any other team sport.
Pole dancing can be emotionally healing.
This is one of the biggest reasons I've stuck with pole dancing as long as I have. The physical benefits are great, but the feeling you get from mastering a move or expressing a particular emotion is indescribable. For example, when I am able to assist a student without any fitness background in their first pole climb, it is an honor to witness their feeling of accomplishment and resulting boost in self-confidence.
You can dance out any emotion in class, whether joyful, angry, or sad. The combination of athletic skill and artistic influence makes it unique to any other form of dance or sport. To me, it is both dance and sport woven together into one beautiful, athletic art form.
How many times a week should I dance
Dancing is a great way to express yourself and keep fit at the same time. Having decided on the direction, almost every novice dancer is interested in the only question: how much time will it take to devote to classes to achieve a good result? It will not be possible to unequivocally answer this question, since much will depend on the goals set, the level of training and the personal interest of the student.
Regularity and consistency is the first rule for achieving good results when attending dance classes. You should not try to devote all your free time to dancing from the very first lesson, as this can lead to the opposite effect - the body's strength will quickly be depleted, and interest will be completely lost. In order to prevent this from happening, it is advisable to choose the optimal schedule for yourself, in which a stable result will be achieved gradually. There are several factors to consider:
- Purpose of attending classes. There can be many reasons for attending dance classes - the desire to lose weight, become the owner of seductive forms, gaining confidence, participating in competitions. Depending on this, the time for training can vary significantly. If two or three classes a week are enough to maintain good physical shape, then in order to become a real professional, you will need to devote the maximum possible amount of time. To perfectly perform the dance elements, you need to constantly hone your skills and repeat the movements many times in a row. If you want to become a professional dancer, you will need to attend four to five classes a week, while working at full strength.
- Level of training. Of course, it will be much easier and faster to train those people who have already been dancing or have a sports background. Body skills and muscle memory will be real helpers in achieving good results, but this is absolutely not a cause for disappointment for beginners. Beginners need to understand that in order to gain flexibility, endurance, muscle strength, additional time will be required. In addition to the standard two or three dance classes per week, an additional one or two lessons can be added, during which it will be possible to devote time to stretching or performing strength elements.
- Individual features. An important role during dance lessons is played by the predisposition of a particular student to master the elements. Sometimes you can meet a beginner who literally "grabs all the movements on the fly" and skillfully repeats the dance elements after the teacher. For such active dancers, we can recommend the optimal number of classes - two to three lessons per week. If there are no such tendencies, you should not despair - one or two additional workouts and perseverance in achieving the goal will help to achieve remarkable results.
Beginning dancers often make the same mistake - they want to master all the links and elements right now. Unfortunately, this does not happen in life, since each dance movement is a combination of proven technique, skill and experience. It is worth remembering that everyone can develop physical skills, but this is not always enough to achieve their goal. It is necessary to have a great desire, which will give strength on the path to self-improvement.
How to start pole dancing
opened a half-dance studio
I taught half-dance for six years, five of which I ran my own pole dance studio.
To do this, I completed two special courses and participated in several master classes, my productions won prizes in regional competitions more than once.
I'll tell you how to start practicing for a beginner, what to buy, why half-dance can replace fitness and how to choose the right pole dancing studio.
What is pole dance
Pole dance is a pole dance that combines elements of choreography, gymnastics and acrobatics. In fact, this is a general concept. Now there are several directions that differ from each other: Exotic Pole Dance, Pole Art and Pole Sport. I will tell about them further.
Pylon, or pole, a polished metal tube for grasping with hands and clutching with legs or other parts of the body. Its diameter can be 40, 42 and 44 mm.
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Usually made of stainless steel, this ensures a smooth glide and at the same time a good grip on the skin. Pole dancers don't like it when a pole is called a pole.
There are static poles - about tricks that are performed on such a pole, they say "in static", and also rotating ones - dancers say "in dynamics". In what follows, I will use these concepts.
Most often, poles in professional studios have two modes at once. Due to simple manipulation, "dynamics" turns into "statics". In competition, dancers must be able to do tricks on both static and rotating pylons.These are poles, or pylons - such were in my studio. I twisted the pylon from dynamics to static with the help of a key. Photographer: Vyacheslav Ruchkin
They fix the pylons in different ways:
- Spacing between floor and ceiling.
- With one fixed fixing to the floor or ceiling only.
- Two fixed fixings at once. This option is the most reliable.
One fixed mount in studios is also acceptable. If the pole is installed only at a distance in a dance school, I do not recommend doing complex tricks there or spinning strongly.
There are also portable pylons - these are structures that can be transported with you or quickly assembled on site. Usually they are used for performances, since it is not safe for students to study on them in a constant stream.Pylon supports that are fixed to the floor and ceiling. Source: Pilonexpert Portable pylon. Source: thepole.eu
Elements of are tricks that are performed on a pole. There are several levels of the pylon where they are performed:
- Upper - acrobatic stunts are performed here at a height of more than two meters above the floor.
- Medium - perform rotations, plastic or dynamic elements at a height of 1-1.5 meters above the floor.
- The lower one is the stalls. Usually this is plastic or acrobatics, which is performed both with and without a pylon.
In 2021, pole sport was officially recognized in Russia. This means that the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation will coordinate all the rules by which half-dance competitions are held, there will be sports categories for participants, judges will have to undergo certification, and half-dance federations will have to be accredited.
Order of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation, in which half-dance was included in the register of sports
Dance schools offer half-dance classes not as a sports discipline, but as exercises for stretching, working out the muscles of the legs and arms.
|These are elements on the pylon, or tricks|
Half-dance directionsPole Sport or Fitness
In this direction, most of the time is devoted to trick and power elements on the pylon. There are about 70% of tricks in the performance, and 30% of the choreographic or parterre part. To simplify, half-sport is similar to gymnastics.
Competitions are often held in this direction. Mandatory elements are defined for them - those that a dancer must be able to do and show at the competition. Each element is evaluated by points: they look at the purity of execution, clarity of lines, and other criteria. Sometimes there are restrictions on touching the floor during a performance.Pole-sport is most similar to artistic gymnastics
Pole dance directionsExotic Pole Dance
This is a dance direction where the emphasis is on choreography, plasticity and musicality. Exotic is danced in special shoes - strips, they have a high platform and heels. This is the most feminine direction. If compared with others, we can say that exotic is strip plastic with a pylon, where there is a trick part.
Important: in exotic pol-dance one does not completely undress. You can take off some item of clothing in the room - gloves, a neckerchief, ears from your head. But it is forbidden to expose the genitals or breasts.This is what special shoes for exotics look like - strips. Photographer: Sergey Patrushev
Exotic pole dance is also divided into several types.
Exotic Flow features smooth and slow movements. The ratio of tricks and choreography is about 20/80. It does not require complex elements, but acrobatic stunts are more like dance accents. The main thing in this type of dance is the choreography at the pylon and the parterre technique at the very bottom.Smooth slow dancing exotic flow
Exotic Hard - more energetic and sharp dance. The ratio of trick and choreographic parts is 70/30.
The main thing here is the ability to perform acrobatic elements on the pole in strips. The image and idea of the dance are also important.Energetic exotic hard
Old School is the most sensual and feminine direction. The ratio of tricks and choreography is 40/60.
Particular attention is paid to musicality, dance elements, and tricks are chosen as smooth as possible.Sensual old school direction
Pole dance directionPole Art
This is a harmonious combination of power elements and choreography, that is, 50% dances, 50% tricks. Artistry and presentation are important here. For example, sometimes they dance a modern stage dance, only with a pylon. At pol-art competitions, revealing and defiant clothing, sexual movements are prohibited.
The main difference between half-art and exotic is that it is not a seductive dance that shows sensuality and femininity. Half-art is danced not in strips, but barefoot or in special shoes, the clothes are strict, not sexy, there are no playful movements or coquetry with the audience. If in exotic the task is to seduce the viewer, then in half-art it is to tell a story, show the emotions and experiences of the hero.
All directions of half-dance are intertwined with each other. It will not be possible to dance exotic or art without tricks, so the basic elements of half-sport will have to be mastered. At the same time, staging a half-sport number will not do without choreography.
I recommend combining two directions: trick part and dance part.Pole art is reminiscent of stage dancing
Benefits of pole dance
Half dance seems to be easy because the dancers' movements are light. In fact, you need endurance, flexibility, coordination.
Calorie consumption calculator for half-dance classes
One session actually replaces a circuit training, where exercises for different muscle groups are repeated several times - the same number of calories can be spent.
In addition, pole exercises train the skill of controlling the whole body. You need to be able to keep yourself on your hands, on your feet, to maintain balance in static. Different muscles work, over time the body becomes toned. Due to twists on a rotating pylon, the vestibular apparatus is trained.
Abs and back. Many tricks must be done statically. For example, handstands. In this case, all the stabilizing muscles are involved, the press and back work, the ligaments are strengthened, strong core muscles are formed.
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Upper body. With the help of your hands, you need to climb the pylon and hold your own weight. Shoulders, biceps and triceps, pectoralis major and other chest muscles, upper back work.
Lower body also works. For example, there are hangings on the legs - if you do not strain your leg muscles, you can fall off the pylon. Body weight must be maintained with the help of the muscles of the thigh and calves, gluteal muscles. Some entry-level twists work the upper thighs, glutes, and lower back at the same time.
Stretch - there are beautiful elements that require stretching the legs and a flexible back. I recommend attending stretching classes separately. If this is not possible, performing tricks on the pylon will eventually develop plasticity anyway.
In addition, tricks must be constantly practiced - this requires stamina.
I will also note: many people gain self-confidence, because each mastered trick is a small victory.
Who suits half-dance
The most difficult thing is to decide to come to the first lesson. Popular newbie fears:
- I can't do it;
- everyone already knows how, but I don't know anything;
- I don't have enough strength, I won't lift myself onto the pylon;
- I don't have the ear to dance;
- I am overweight;
- everyone has splits, but I don't have a stretch.
In fact, everything is not so difficult. You can start from scratch without any preparation.
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Even if a person was a professional athlete or dancer, he too may fail at the first training session. And this is absolutely normal, because pole exercises are a special load: the work of the whole body, coordination, grip due to the skin.
Usually students are divided into groups of beginners and those who have been studying for a long time. This is done for convenience: everyone works out the same tricks, can see each other's mistakes or direct a neighbor on the pylon in the right direction. Beginners can safely join groups of beginners: they are not far behind in the program and will quickly catch up with their level.
I note that the pole is an amazing thing: at the very first training, a person understands whether it is him or not. In six years, I have never met a person who quit half-dance after three, five, ten classes. Usually a student lights up and stays for a long time, or realizes that he is interested in another sport, and is no longer interested in half-dance.
Development is gradual. First you start to hold on to the pylon, then you know how to spin and climb it correctly, and then a whole world of tricks and combinations opens up. I want to do and try everything, capture it in a photo or show it in a dance number. I would say that the excitement turns on: can I do it. It moves forward, so classes are rarely abandoned.
But half-dance is hard. You have to work on yourself, laziness, fears and pain. Sometimes you have to work out the same element twenty, thirty, forty times - this can get boring and exhausting. You really need to catch fire and be hardy - without this, nothing will work. Sometimes you have to wait a long time for results - both in tricks and in terms of physical form.
Dance studios often hold open lessons or give the first lesson for free. It is better to use this opportunity to try half-dance and understand whether you like it or not.
How is the half-dance class
Warm-up. At the beginning of each class, regardless of direction, 10-15 minutes - warm-up from head to toe.
If the student is late, he warms up on his own or is not allowed to the lesson. Without warming up the muscles, you can get injured - this part of the workout is mandatory. In semi-sports, attention is paid to the joints, and in exotics, they can include light basic dance elements: various waves, hip and chest rotations.
Main part. After the warm-up, the main part comes: in exotic or art, they learn the movements and the connections between them or repeat what they learned earlier. As a rule, it takes from three to six lessons to practice the dance, and from two to four, depending on the complexity, to practice the dance.
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In a semi-sport, the lesson is different: the trainer explains and shows the trick that needs to be mastered and done. Up to two people can practice on one pylon. If more, the students are already uncomfortable: they will not have time to fix the element.
Periodically repeat old tricks or spins. This shows progress well: you can compare how the element was done before and how it is done now. If the student already knows several tricks, the coach comes up with combinations - when you go from one element to another.
Learning goes from simple to complex. For example, at first there will be simple elements like a “barrel” - they are needed so that the student gets used to the grip with his hands and steps over the fear that he will fall from the pole.
At the first lesson, it seems that you are not holding on and constantly slipping, this is normal. Then the hands get used to it, stop sweating, there is strength in the muscles and self-confidence.
For half-sports, there is an example program for students to learn tricks. Of course, everyone goes at their own pace, but after a month or two you need to be able to do the simplest grips, for example, hanging on the far and near leg, on the elbows.Beginner's version of twist - "barrel". Source: body-bar.ru Hanging on the far leg is already more difficult
Every studio must have safety mats: you learn to perform complex tricks only with them. But beginners are also offered to take a mat so as not to get injured.
There is always alcohol or vodka and a rag in the studio - this is necessary to degrease the pylons, otherwise there will be no adhesion. Students can also use talcum powder or powder that dries their hands or feet so that they do not slip on the pole and do not roll off it. There are also other means for this, such as magnesia.
I don't recommend using talcum powder or anything else, otherwise your hands and feet won't get used to the grip - it's better to learn how to hold on right away without traction aids. Moreover, it is forbidden to use them at half-dance competitions.
Cooldown may vary between dance studios. Usually, after the dance part of the exotic, there is a slight stretch, and in half-dance they finish off the muscles: they pump the press, sometimes with a pylon, do push-ups, stand in the plank.
How are performances and pole dance competitions
Reporting concerts. Each studio holds reporting concerts, in which everyone can participate. Coaches prepare group numbers - not only dance, but also stunts, as well as solo performances when a person performs alone.
As a rule, they start preparing for the reporter in advance - several months in advance. Sometimes concerts are held not in the studio, but in a cafe, restaurant, or even in the Palace of Culture. These are bright events in the life of students - their relatives and friends come to support them, and the dancers receive applause and a sense of the stage.Reporting concert of my former studio. Photographer: Sergey Patrushev
Competitions. They are held in all directions of half-dance.
In half-sport, you need to show combinations of tricks that are included in the mandatory program. They must be performed on two pylons: static and rotating. There must be a dance part, but it rather fills in the gaps between the tricks.
Participants usually qualify for local city competitions or video selection. Competitions are easy to find: you can simply google or search for groups of competitions in social networks. The coaches themselves also follow the latest information and invite students to participate. Anyone can apply for the competition.
How to apply for a certificate for participation in competitions
There are several categories: beginners, intermediate level, pros, children, duets, group performances. Well-known coaches and dancers are invited to the jury. All participants receive certificates or diplomas for participation, and the winners receive medals and prizes.
In exotic there is no obligatory condition to dance with two poles, the dancer can choose the pole mode independently. But you can only perform in strips - the jury evaluates how well the dancer knows how to use shoes. There are also categories here, and sometimes participants are divided into areas: old school, flow and hard.
As part of the competition, invited jury members often give master classes and hold demonstration performances.
Preparation for competition takes at least three months. With pole-sports, the most difficult thing is to wait until the pole-dance organization hosting the competition releases a list of required elements, and then choose the required number of them. Each element is worth a certain point. Therefore, the dancer collects the maximum number of points from the elements that he can do.
In addition, you must perform all the tricks according to the requirements: hold out for a specific number of seconds, enter and exit the element correctly, observe lines or corners. If the participant fell, did not get the trick right the first time, slightly slipped from the desired position along the pylon, or did not hold out for the required number of seconds, he receives a penalty.
The jury also evaluates the choreography, artistry, image, presentation. For example, you can’t sing along during a performance or look at the floor. If something went wrong and the participant left the stage during the performance, his candidacy is removed.
Competitors in semi-sports have strict appearance requirements: a swimsuit or shorts must be of a specific length, hair must be tied up, make-up is not bright. If a participant has underwear visible, he receives a fine for this.
Such stringent requirements are due to the fact that half-sport federations have been fighting for a long time to be included in the list of Olympic sports - and in 2021 it happened.
Exotic competition rules are not so strict, preparation for them is easier. But even here there are requirements: to do a certain number of tricks in conjunction, to follow the rhythm of the music, to include choreography and acrobatics in the stalls.
What you need for pole dance
Patience. The main thing is the desire and understanding that everything will not work out right away. Any coach also once slid down from a pole, could not climb a pylon and was afraid to hang on one leg upside down.
Clothing. For training, you need to take short shorts, a top or T-shirt, socks for warm-up and cool-down. Tricks in semi-sports are performed barefoot, and in exotics - in special shoes.
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The more revealing the clothes, the better: you need a good grip on the pole, which comes at the expense of the skin.
Shoes. Exotics need shoes - strips. It is not necessary to buy them right away, but you need to bring at least high heels with you. Sometimes in studios they are not allowed to dance in ordinary sandals, as they scratch the parquet. Or they ask you to seal the heel with adhesive tape - this can be found out in advance when signing up for classes.
Strips vary in height: from one, which has a heel height of 15 cm, platforms - 5 cm, to five, which has a heel height of 25 cm, platforms - 15 cm. There are sandals, boots and even over the knee boots.
Beginners should start with ones. In the classes, you will not only have to learn how to stand and move on them, but also work out the elements on the bevels, that is, on the tips of the platform.
Knee pads. They are needed for exotic. There are many elements that must be performed while kneeling at the pylon. There are also tricks with jumping on your knees - here knee pads help soften the blows.
Bruise remedies. It is better to take care of possible bruises in advance - they can be in the most unexpected places. But this is temporary - as a rule, after two or three months, bruising is no longer a concern. Even at first, calluses may appear on the hands due to practicing the grip. Later, the skin will get used to it, and this problem will go away.
For accelerated healing of bruises, you can use ointments with heparin, and for the treatment of corns - a moisturizer and cream with urea in the composition.Form for classes. Source: pilonia.ru This is what exotic strips look like. Source: pdmarket.net
Who shouldn't practice half-dance
People with severe chronic diseases, in particular, diseases of the heart, lungs, nervous system, kidneys, diabetes mellitus, should not practice half-dance. That is, for those for whom any intense physical activity and leg injuries can be dangerous.
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In addition, classes may be contraindicated for people who have diseases of the spine and joints when they should not be overloaded, or severe skin diseases that may interfere with pole training or be aggravated by friction.
This sport is also not suitable for pregnant women, as during the performance of tricks you can fall or hit your stomach.
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In other situations, everything is decided individually. I have low blood pressure and problems with the vestibular apparatus, but I have been doing pole sports for six years. In any case, you first need to consult a doctor, explain what the loads will be, so that he gives permission for classes. Usually, studios do not require a doctor's certificate, but I recommend that you insure yourself and take care of your health on your own.
Safety precautions for half-dance classes
Half-dance classes are classified as traumatic, so safety precautions must be observed. Each studio introduces the student to the signature requirements.
Leather. On the day of class, you can not use cream, lotion or body oil, go to the solarium or sunbathe - in this case, suntan creams or sunscreens are also applied. Any substances on the skin impair grip on the pole and increase the risk of slipping off the pole.
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Jewelry. They must be left at home - they will interfere. For safety reasons, the coach must ask to remove all rings, earrings, beads, chains, bracelets, sharp hairpins and piercings.
Hairstyle. For semi-sports, it is better to collect hair, as it will interfere, and can also get tangled behind the pole.
For example, at one performance, my student's hair got caught in the bottom of the pole. Since she was twisting upside down, her hair was wound and caught. She was not injured, but she had to hang upside down while we pulled her hair out.
But on exotics, hair is usually left loose, because it is used for dancing: they twist or wave their heads, playfully throw their hair back with their hands.
Food. The last meal should be approximately two hours before training. Otherwise, twists on the pylon can make you feel sick.
Behavior in class. You can start training only after a warm-up, perform elements on mats and with a trainer's insurance. You can’t jump off the pylon, if it’s not provided for by the trick, it’s unacceptable to relax the holding muscles - you can slide off the pylon, dropping onto your shoulders or forearms.
When performing tricks, it is important to keep a distance between yourself and other participants. In exotic classes, you need to work out the trick first with bare feet, and only then in strips.
What kind of injuries can you get during half-dance lessons?
Half-dance lessons require attention and concentration. There were cases when the dancers spun strongly, flew off the pylon and got a fracture. Sometimes equipment failed: it was not installed securely enough or poorly secured.
The most common and minor injuries that you can get in class are bruises or abrasions from hooks and hangs. At the beginning of training, until the skin is used to it, they will occur much more often. I have sensitive skin, so even after a few years, bruising periodically appeared.
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There is a high load on the joints and ligaments during the classes. For example, when performing some elements, the arms should be straight - in fact, the emphasis is on the wrist. If this causes discomfort, wristbands or elastic bandages can be used.
Six years later, I had a problem with the wrist of my left supporting hand - I always focused on it for racks and other elements.
It is very important to control your feelings: there should be no pain. If something hurts after completing the element, you need to rest. If the situation persists, you should consult a doctor.
And if a sprain or other minor injury occurs during the session, the training must be temporarily stopped. Until the body recovers, loading on the pylon is prohibited.
To avoid a fracture, it is important to follow safety precautions. The main thing is to never do tricks without mats and not let go of your arms and legs if the clutch has not happened. When it is clear that you are not holding on to the pole upside down, you need to tilt your head to your chest and slide down the pole to the floor on your shoulders. You should never tilt your head back to your back, so as not to fall in this position and injure your neck.
How to choose a pole dance school and coach
Equipment. It is necessary to check if there are mats, and ask how the poles are fixed, what company the pylons are installed. The highest quality ones are from Pole4You. Your health and life depend on it.
Teacher training. It is important whether the studio coaches have certificates confirming the right to teach half-dance. Otherwise, they may not properly apply the load, causing injury.
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It is necessary that the coach learn the methods of teaching half-dance, go through theory and practice, pass tests and exams. Training cannot be less than 96 hours, because otherwise you cannot master the program.
Certificates are issued by half-dance studios with titled teachers and extensive experience. Typically, such organizations belong to a pol-dance federation or represent it themselves.
Competitions. It is important what competitions teachers and students of the studio take part in and how often: if the school is active in the outside world, then it will be more interesting to study there.
Number of students per pylon. There should not be too many students in groups - a maximum of two people per pylon. Otherwise, there will be no time to practice tricks.
First conversation with the trainer. The teacher needs to know about the physical condition, diseases and contraindications. You must be told what you can and cannot do in class, and you must sign an agreement with the safety rules.
Communication with the trainer. It depends on him what mood the student is in, how he progresses, what results he achieves. You should be comfortable with the coach. If this is not the case, you need to change the coach, otherwise effective training will not work.
Coach qualification. He must have completed half-dance courses. It is also worth asking about experience: how many years he has been teaching, what successes his students have. It is good if in the past the coach was involved in professional sports or dancing, usually in this case the quality of teaching is higher.
It is also important how clearly the coach explains the technique of performing tricks and how he monitors safety: does he insure each student, does he require the use of a mat.
How much does pole dance cost?
Regular lessons. Usually dance studios offer several subscriptions to choose from: 8, 12, 16 group lessons. It makes no sense to go to training less than twice a week, that is, you need at least eight classes a month.
To practice semi-sports, you will need to spend money on a uniform and a subscription. Exotic half-dance requires a lot of money: you will also have to buy special shoes and knee pads. Then you will only need to pay for a subscription to the studio and change clothes and shoes as they wear out.
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Half-sport classes in the first month cost from 6500 R
|Subscription for 8 lessons||2500-5000 R|
|Form: top and shorts||3500 R|
Subscription for 8 lessons
Uniform: top and shorts
Semi-exotic classes in the first month cost from 13 000 R
|Subscription for 8 lessons||2500-5000 R|
|Form: top and shorts||3500 R|
|Knee pads||2000 R|
Subscription for 8 lessons
Uniform: top and shorts
Expenses For example, the participation fee starts from 1000 R. You also need to sew or buy a special suit - this is at least 3000 R. New strips for competitions are usually not bought. The dancer gets used to those in which he trains, in new ones there is a higher risk of falling.
You also need to pay for individual lessons with a trainer to work out the number and rent the studio hall for independent training - they are needed to consolidate the result.
A personal lesson with a trainer costs an average of 1500 R, but its price can reach up to 3000 R. The number of lessons depends on the competitions themselves, the level of training, the complexity of the number. The minimum number of trainings for setting a number is four. Renting a studio for self-training will cost about 5,000 R for 10 times.
Preparation for the pole dance competition will cost about 15,000 R
|4 personal lessons with a trainer||6000 Р|
|Room rental for 10 self-study||5000 R|
|Special suit||3000 R|
|Participation fee||1000 R|
4 Personal classes with a coach
Hall rental for 10 independent classes
Special costume9000 3000 3000 R
Fund for participation
- Pole dance is a pole dance that combines elements of choreography, gymnastics and acrobatics.
- All directions of half-dance are intertwined with each other. You can't dance without tricks or choreography.
- One session actually replaces a circuit training, where exercises for different muscle groups are repeated several times - the same number of calories can be spent. In addition, classes on the pole train the skill of controlling the whole body.
- You can practice from scratch without any preparation. Usually, students are divided into groups of beginners and those who have been studying for a long time.
- At the beginning of each workout, a mandatory warm-up, and after it - stretching or exercises without a pole.
- To start doing semi-sports, you only need a uniform, and for exotic you also need special shoes and knee pads.
- Training is contraindicated for people with severe chronic diseases and pregnant women.
- Pole dance is classified as a traumatic sport, so it is important to follow the safety precautions that you should be introduced to in the studio.