Always use a crash mat designed for pole dancing as they can protect you from some nasty falls and injuries. As you’ll be learning pole dancing at home, and not in a studio, it’s important that you take these extra precautions as there will be no one to blame but yourself if the unthinkable happens. Read our safety guide for pole dancing at home (opens in a new tab).
I started Polepeople in 2003 and have never looked back. My inspiration was to establish pole dancing as a life enhancing way of exercising and an amazing, challenging skill. Pole Fitness can be so many things – at Polepeople, we celebrate it as a dancey, acrobatic, sporty, sensual and artistic way of getting fit. Come and join us for a class and discover what its all about!
The standard dance pole typically consists of a hollow chrome, steel, or brass pole with a circular cross section, running from floor to ceiling. Affixing at the ceiling gives more stability, but is not always realized, especially at night clubs with higher ceilings or at transportable devices. In most countries, including the United States, the diameter is usually 50 mm (2 inches), or the now more popular 45 mm (1.75 inches), allowing it to be gripped comfortably with one hand. In Asia, the diameter is usually 45 mm or less. In Australia a 38 mm pole is popular.
Since 2003,[further explanation needed] pole dancing has been transitioning from an exotic performance to a recreational activity. Pole dancing as a sport differs from pole dancing as a recreation as recreational pole dancing is undertaken mainly for enjoyment rather than fitness. Recreational pole dancing can be seen as empowering to women as it can make women feel positively about themselves. This is because pole dancing builds confidence, power and is a way to express one’s self. When pole dancing is undertaken for enjoyment the idea of an exotic performance specifically for titillation is enhanced. Whilst undertaking pole class women will learn a variety of different ways to use the pole to execute spins, tricks, climbs and hangs. Check all studios' credentials before committing to a pole dance studio. It is common knowledge that as the difficulty of tricks and spins increase, so do the levels.
xThere is huge popularity in pole dancing for exercise and many women want to learn how to start pole fitness at home because there aren’t pole dancing classes in every town yet. You can take a ballet or Zumba class in most cities, but pole dancing is a different story. In order to run a pole dancing class, it takes quite a bit of an equipment setup and not all people have that kind of facility to open up classes. Not to mention, there aren’t a lot of pole dance teachers who know how to pole dancing for fitness reasons yet either.
When walking around the pole, you need to pay attention to your body’s position in relation to the pole, as well as ensuring that your shoulders are rotated back and you maintain good posture. The way that you walk is important too, walking on tip-toes or wearing high heel shoes (optional for beginners) will give your legs a killer workout, as well as make you look more elegant. Keep your toes pointed too!
Pole fitness lessons may cost $20-$30 per time, and you should attend once a week to really feel the benefit. The instructor will set the pace of the lessons and choose which tricks to teach you and in what order. In The Art Of Pole DVD, for example, you learn well over 50 moves for around $120, whereas a $120 spent at a pole class would teach you fewer moves. It’s a very good value to purchase online lessons too.
The rock and roll invasion in the 1950s saw the introduction of the pole to a wider audience, with Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" movie and video in 1957. The video featured Presley's famous gyrating hips as well as numerous pole slides, grinds, and twirls.  Eventually the pole dancing moved from tents to bars, and combined with burlesque dance. Since the 1980s, pole dancing has incorporated athletic moves such as climbs, spins, and inversions into striptease routines, first in Canada and then in the United States. In the 1990s, pole dancing commenced to be taught as an art by Fawnia Mondey, a Canadian who moved to Las Vegas, US. She created the first pole training video to use in fitness exercises. Since then, pole dancing classes have become a popular form of recreational and competitive sport, practiced and performed in a variety of sexual, non-sexual, and athletic settings.