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]
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).
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]
“I don’t have enough upper body strength.” is one of the excuses often heard for not trying pole dancing. Hardly anyone starts off with all the skills and strength required for advanced pole dancing! Start with a few taster pole dancing classes in Dorchester and see how you like it. Progress only comes with practice, and if you don’t try you’ll never improve!

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. [14] 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.[citation needed] 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.