Dance poles have two different modes, spinning and static. The spinning mode is when the pole uses ball bearings to spin. This mode can be used to complete more experienced pole moves, make moves easier to complete and to add a more dramatic effect to the move. Most spinning poles can be fixed to static too. The static mode is when the pole cannot rotate and is in a fixed position. The static mode is regularly used when pole dancing is first taught as beginners have little confidence.
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.
Many pole dancers manage to use a dance pole at home without the ideal amount of space, and they do so successfully. However, some moves and combos cannot be performed in smaller spaces, although it is possible to adapt your routines according to the space around you. As a beginner, it is better to be able to move as freely as possible so try your best to make space around you.
Despite progress in the public’s understanding of what we do, many of us still fight stereotypes. Some of pole dancing’s loudest critics have never tried it themselves. Just last year, Marina Heck, a schoolteacher, was forced to resign from her position following controversy that she is a pole dancer. Even if what we are doing is completely athletic and far removed from the type of pole dancing performed in strip clubs, we still need to explain ourselves. Many times when revealing to strangers what it is I do, I find myself hesitating because I don’t feel like justifying my passion to a skeptic.
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).
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, performed mostly by Ghawazi dancers making their first appearance in America. In an era where women dressed modestly in corsets, the dancers, dressed in short skirts and richly adorned in jewelry, caused quite a stir. During the 1920s, dancers introduced pole by sensually gyrating on the wooden tent poles to attract crowds.