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.[27][28]

Some people don't learn from from certified instructors and instead try to figure it out with an improperly installed home pole and a YouTube instructional, which is a recipe for disaster. Some people can be too eager to flip upside down. This can be especially dangerous and can lead to head or spinal cord injury. This caution isn’t meant to scare away hopefuls, but rather to encourage everyone to go through gradually progressive training.
Wear clothing that exposes your skin and arms. As you prepare to pole dance, wear comfortable clothes that expose your arms and legs. Baring your skin will allow you to get a much better grip on the pole with your arms and legs so that you can perform these moves safely. You can wear heels if you're comfortable with the pole and want to feel sexy. If you’re new to pole dancing, wear sneakers to get a good grip on the pole.[4]

Wrap your leg around the pole. Bring up the leg on the same side of your body as the hand that is holding the pole. Then, bring your leg up to the pole as you wrap your other hand around it. Flex your foot and place it on one side of the pole, with your knee on the other side. You'll need to use this leg to really anchor yourself to the pole, and create a sturdy base for your other foot to land on.[13]
K.T. Coates, a famed competitive pole dancer, and the International Pole Sports Federation, are currently promoting a campaign to include competitive pole dance in the Olympics and an application was made to the International Olympic Committee to recognise pole as a sport in September 2016.[15] Numerous competitions exist, including the World Pole Sport Championship, U.S. Pole Federation Championship, Pole Art, Miss Pole Dance America, and the International Pole Masters Cup Championship.[16]