Pole dancing is a full-body workout. It is resistance training and cardio in one. 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 is a world champion pole dancer who didn’t even start until age 29. Greta Pontarelli is a champion pole dancer at age 63—and she only began a few years ago.

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Stretch before you begin the class or exercise. Just as you would before any other form of exercise, you should do some light stretching to warm before you begin to pole dance. Stand straight and then bend down to touch your toes, roll your neck and shoulders, and stretch your hamstrings by pulling one foot back with your toes touching your butt until you feel a nice stretch on each hamstring.[6]
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]
I started pole dancing after I saw it at a live event in New York City. The women mystified me with their grace, strength and sensuality. I wanted to learn how to move like them. I was convinced it wouldn't be too difficult to learn since I was in relatively good shape. I was proven wrong after my first class, however. Every muscle in my body ached for days.
This is another staple move for beginners to have in their repertoire. It’s also a good way to start building up your pain threshold, as this move hurts – quite a lot! You can introduce yourself to thigh-grip fairly quickly and in a controlled way, by sitting on the pole but still holding on with your hands, then you can slowly remove your hands as you build up grip strength.
Grab the pole with your dominant hand. Start by standing slightly behind the pole on the side of your dominant hand. Position your inside foot close to the base of the pole. Use your dominant hand to grab the pole at about head height. Allow your arm to straighten so that your weight is hanging away from the pole. Keep your other hand down during this time.[7]
Grab the pole with both hands. Stand next to the pole so that it's closer to your weaker side. Then, place both of your hands on the pole so you're gripping it like a baseball bat, with your hands a bit more than 1 foot (30 cm) apart. Put the hand closest to the pole on top, and the outside hand on the bottom. Your lower hand should be at about chest level.[18]
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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]
So if there are no classes in your area, then that might be the reason you have opted to learn how to teach yourself pole dancing at home. Another common reason people learn at home is because pole classes can be super expensive. A private class can be as high as $75 an hour and regular classes in California are as high as $260 a month (for 4 classes in a group). You can take pole dance classes at home for under $20 a month!

Pole dance in America has its roots in the "Little Egypt" traveling sideshows of the 1890s, which featured sensual "Kouta Kouta" or "Hoochie Coochie" belly dances,[9] performed mostly by Ghawazi dancers making their first appearance in America.[10] In an era where women dressed modestly in corsets, the dancers, dressed in short skirts and richly adorned in jewelry, caused quite a stir.[11][12] During the 1920s, dancers introduced pole by sensually gyrating on the wooden tent poles to attract crowds.[13]