Published: Sunday, 28 February 2016 19:30
Written by Jamie Taylor
Even though all women are welcomed into a Pole Dance class, and many have joined Defy Gravity this year already! But there are still some who are not sure what goes on inside a Pole Dance class. This has lead to a few myths about Pole Dance. So lets rectify them here.
1- You'll get Blisters on your hands.
Very,very rarely will you get a blister. Over time, and I mean a long time, of consistent practice, you will start to get very UN-NOTICABLE rough skin in VERY small amounts just below the fingers on the palm side of your hand. Pole Dancers who train for competitions in a serious way get much more noticeable rough skin on parts of the palms. Someone who enjoys a pole dance class once or twice a week, will not.
2- You get covered in bruises.
For the first few weeks, you may notice a few small purple pole kisses on your legs or ankles, until you smooth out your spins. Further small, singular bruises may arrive once you focus on one particular new move. Many bruises and raw patches are, again,more `professional pole athlete in competition mode` territory and should not be the main worry of someone who loves pole dance as a fitness hobby.
None of the Defy Gravity Members walk into class covered in bruises with really rough blistered hands.
3- Its REALLY hard.
Pole Dance Instructors know that holding yourself off the floor, even for a second, on a vertical metal pole, is not like anything you will have done before. We also know it takes about two or three weeks for it to not feel so alien. We understand.
This is why we structure our BEGINNER classes for those who have never tried pole dance, or any kind of dance before. In other words, we make it easier for you. We want you to have fun learning the skill. In beginner classes, you stay on the floor, with both feet, A LOT. The off the floor stuff, is built in, slowly, over time. So you are ready for each move. We make sure that everyone is capable before introducing anything new.
4- You dance around the pole in a sexy way for men, and then you hang off it upside down.
O.k. I am not sure which one to tackle first. So I will start with: NO! You will NOT be hanging upside down in Beginner classes! You will have to remain the right way up, for a very ,very long time.
Pole Dance classes are split into levels. At Defy Gravity you start at Beginner level. You learn easy dance steps, easy spins, a sit, a climb, and we have fun putting it all together. There is also of course a warm-up, and cool-down and some conditioning exercises and stretching. It's normal to stay at this level for a while. Until you are ready for...
Improver Level. This is where you work on harder variations of everything you learned in Beginner Level, and also start to prep for...
Intermediate Level. Ok NOW we go upside down. But still slowly. And only when your body is ready.
So no need to think your friend will have to call A&E during your first class. No need to think you might fall off (you cant fall off when you are still on the floor), and no need to think you have to be a gymnast, or are not strong enough for pole dance class.
It is not your job to be strong enough for pole dance class, it is your instructors job to make you strong enough DURING class. Over time.
Ok, the first bit. There is nothing wrong with realizing that the quiet confidence that comes from knowing that you can pole dance, makes a woman stand out from the crowd. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to get that allure via pole dance classes.
There will be no men in class watching. I assume the only man you will wish to dance for at home would be yours? And that is no ones business but yours. For anyone saying pole dance hobbyists only do it for men need to inform me where all these men that are near poles are? Unless you are a paid professional, the only time you will be near a pole is at class. Where are there are no men watching. This is a silly myth.
5- It's dangerous.
Being drunk and flinging yourself around a pub pole is dangerous. Never attending a pole class before putting up a cheap home pole and trying to copy from pole dance videos on the Internet can be dangerous, especially if you are in a rush to `go upside down`. Classes run by well respected and experienced instructors are not dangerous (as long as you listen to your Instructor ). The poles you see crashing down on Internet videos are not the same kind of poles you will find at class. Also, any pole dancer will tell you, unless you really don't know what you're doing, or unless your self preservation reactions are out of whack- it is difficult to fall off. It is much easier to get `stuck`. Also the poles we use in class are quite grippy!
6- Its only for young, thin people.
Coming to class just once will help you realize than this is NOT the case! I have all shapes and ages in ALL levels of my classes. Not just in my beginner level, all the way up. Learning pole dance, like any other skill is less about age or body shape and all about mentality. You will find some things easy and some things challenging. The person on the pole next to you will find challenging what you found easy. It's the same for everyone. If you can relax and have fun with knowing that, then pole success will always come your way.
7- You have to wear underwear and dance in front of people.
This is actually NOT recommended in my classes. Underwear never stays in place and is really awkward to pole dance in. Also dancing in front of people is reserved for our Freestyle Club, where if anyone wants to, they can. In a warm, supportive, positive environment. Nobody has to dance by themselves at class. Oh, apart from the Instructor.
8- You have to wear really high heels!
Shoes are not compulsory! It matters not if you never ever want to pole dance in any of the over the top, sparkley, platform high heels. Although if you do, you will find 5inch heels will be too short, and will soon upgrade to 6 and even 7 inches!
9- It Hurts!
Ok, this one is not a myth. But gripping the pole with your legs, waist or armpit hurts way less than a tummy or a head ache. It hurts way less than banging your foot on the table, it even hurts less than a hangover. Pole grip is also not permanent, over a few weeks your brain switches off from telling you about the part of your body that is touching the pole, as reminding you has become pointless, because you keep on putting that part of your body on the pole! Because its so much fun!
My Defy Gravity Members keep telling me that kneeling on a hard floor hurts more than pole grip. So, there you have it.
10) You have to be strong and flexible to start.
This is similar to saying that you have to be fit before you join a gym, or flexible before you join Yoga, or be able to swim before taking swimming lessons. Pole Dance makes you strong and flexible over time, its one of the great things about it. Allow yourself to start something new. Even the most famous pole dancers started out not being able to do a simple spin.
Do you know of any other pole dance myths?
Be sure to tell us at class! :)