So you’ve fallen in love with pole. You’re twirling and flying through the air with grace a few times per week. But don’t forget, the key to long term, healthy progression in pole dance is balance. A balance of rest and hard work, strength and flexibility, and pole and pole-less classes! But how do you choose the right mix of classes?
Most studios now offer a variety of classes designed to work together to help you build strength, fitness, flexibility, dance ability and many other skills, and it is a great idea to take advantage of these as much as possible. Pole requires such a variety of skills, and if abused, can easily create some serious compensations and injuries. By incorporating a variety of classes into your training schedule is not only amazing fun, but will also help you develop as a well rounded, healthy and strong pole dancer.
A few classes you might consider…
High cardio classes! A huge part of pole is stamina and cardiovascular fitness, though many of us are drawn to pole for its supposed lack of cardio. A student recently put it as bluntly as “I love pole because running sucks”. But love it or hate it, cardio IS important, not only for your life in general but especially to get you through those pole routines you love so much. Whether you take a fitness class like HIIT, maybe a booty boot camp class, or try your hand at a pole grooves style choreography class, any way you can get your cardio fix is great!
Strength classes! Strength and conditioning is an incredibly important part of pole, and building strength in a balanced way is vital to maintain healthy posture and avoid injury. If your studio offers strength and conditioning classes be sure to try some. Taking even one of these classes per week along side your pole classes will greatly improve your performance and help you on your way to a long and prosperous pole “career”.
Stretch classes! Think back to those famous pole dance moves you always remember. Chances are most of them are deeply rooted in flexibility, and even more flexibility than it appears to the untrained eye. Flexibility is also vital to help you avoid injuries throughout your training and to recover faster and more completely.
Dance Classes! It’s no secret pole is hard, and pole routines are possibly the most exhausting 3 minutes of your life! So, a crucial element of every routine, and sometimes the hardest area to put together is the dance. Whether you’ve been a dancer since tiny tots or have never tried choreography without a pole in hand, dance classes are a crucial element of your training. Not only is it incredible fun to try new styles of dance and movement, but the experience will enhance your pole performance more than anything else.
Finding the balance between these and any other classes you may have at your finger tips is a very individual process of trial and error. So do just that, try different classes, try different combinations, and take note of how the mix of classes effects your training, recovery and performance. Maybe you will benefit most from 2 pole classes, a dance and a stretch class. Maybe you need as much focus on flexibility as you do other classes to help you recover. Or maybe you have your classes down pat but need to find the best way to incorporate rest into your schedule. Whatever it is, try to dedicate some serious attention to it, try chatting with your instructors about your future goals and how best to achieve those, and most importantly, avoid comparing yourself to others. This balance is purely about you!
Written by Toni Hearn