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Get a Grip


If you have ever wondered what your grip does and why, and what goes where? Then here is your basic break down of the most used grips in UK Pole Dance classes.

Chalk balls sold as mountain climbing chalk is the cheapest way to keep your sweaty palms from getting slippery. Usually got from Ebay for less than £3.
It is messy, it will get on your pole clothes and all over the floor, but it IS very cheap. GENTLY pat your palms onto the ball, then lightly rubbed your hands down the pole to get rid of any excess before you spin. Pole Dance is not in the Olympics yet, there is no need to bash the poor ball like a gymnast and emerge from a dramatic, 80s style cloud of white smoke.

Known as Mega Grip, Liquid Grip, Liquid Chalk. A less messy version of the above. Obtained from weight lifting online stores. Usually over double the price but will not end up all over your clothes or the floor. Some solutions include Rosin, which is pine resin that becomes sticky when hot (Ballerinas use it on the pointe shoes to prevent slipping). Rosin bought on its own, is about the same price as a Chalk Ball, smells like pine, but is a light brown powder that looks more dodgy in a bag than loose chalk does!

This powder is thermoplastic, which means when it heats up in your palms is creates a sticky grip. It is usually prices between £8 and £10. Mighty Grip is great for tacking up a humid pole, and also for drying places that refuse to stay dry when you work out, such as inner thighs and backs of knee’s. When using a grip like this on an invert grip point, such as knee’s, though; always use sparingly and remember that skin grip is a lot more reliable than a fake grip aid.

These widely used liquid grips are an anti-perspirant for your palms. Usually around £10, a small drop rubbed between both hands can last between 5 and 30mins of training. Depending on how wet your palms get. Out of all the palm grips listed I recommend Girlie Grip.

My all time fave grip aid!! Long gone are those cold Winter days when your legs would never tack up enough to do a simple Leg Hang. We now have Dew Point! Unless you have extremely dry hands, Dew Point is NOT for your palms!!
Dew Point is a pole friendly `moisturiser` that helps the dry skin on your legs or waist, or any other grip point that is not your hands, mimic the tacky feel of hot Summer skin.
I bought the large £40 bottle 3 years ago and am only now half way through, so a little goes a long way.
It comes in 3 different strengths: Red/Ultra for Winter. Green/Medium for Autumn and Spring. And Yellow/Light for Welsh Winters that are very similar to Autumn, but with more flowers.

Unless you are competition training and have some super scary, barely there grip point tricks in your routine. I would avoid Itac2. It is a painful, super glue type grip that is really difficult to get off the pole. I am not going to tell you where to buy it from. But I have some samples going spare at the studio if you would like to find out how difficult it is to get off YOUR home pole?

There are now 3 different preparations of this product. Usually around £10. The original 2 powders, are to be mixed with water to form a paste for your palms, which once washed off creates a barrier on your palms that sweat cannot penetrate. It is for those who have serious problems with hyperhydrosis and need to use something stronger than Girlie Grip or Dry Hands. The latest version is a no-rinse preparation.

Smells like minty lavender! I wish this stuff worked on me because it smells so nice. Costs £7.25 from its store. This is another anit-persperant, but a cream version. I have heard from Defy Gravity members, that it is best to apply it a few hours before class or training, as for some reason it takes a few hours to work.

There are other grip aids available, such as Gorilla Grip which is made from honey and wax, meant for the body. Not the palms and totally messes up your pole.
And also Stickum, which is a spray for the body that creates such a good skin grip, it mimics the pain of a bikini wax.
Back in the early days, before pole dancing classes were even thought of, we used sugar water, hairspray, shaving foam and even put Rum on the pole to make it sticky.
Now imagine using all of that on your body then doing floor work on the dirty club floor?
This is one of the reasons why you should never try to lick a stripper!


Interview with a Poledancer! - with Kara Owen from Opal Dance and Fitness Studio in Wigan

This week, with the run up to the Authentic Pole Dance competition in June. in Interview with a Pole Dancer, we ask Kara Owen, owner of the competition, about her inspiration for creating the comp.

Kara runs Opal Dance and Fitness Studio in Wigan.

How long have you been a Pole Dancer?

Hey guys, I started pole lessons is 2009, starting off as a student trying to nail a forward hook. So it has now been 6 years and 1 month to date, but from April 2014 to March 2015 I had a year out to have baby number 3. So at the moment it feels like I have only been pole dancing for a couple of months. Starting at the beginning again.

What made you start Pole Dance classes?

An old friend was a lap dancer, I wanted to tone up after baby number 2 so I bought a pole and set it up at home. It was so much fun and having no pole schools local, we set up the first in the town. I was still a student though and was pole dancing amazingly 5 nights a week.



What made you decide to compete?

I did my first competition before I became a professional. I dressed as a vampire and danced to 'Lost Boys' Cry Little Sister, back in 2009, to this day I still perform to this song, it's amazing. I didn't place but I wasn't fazed by this as I had so much fun. Creating a creature and then dancing to my all time favourite movie/song made me giddy. But then I became a professional as I started to teach beginner's and assist in late 2010. I started to dance more in my heels, discovered floor work. I then entered my first professional competition, again Vampire but used Marlyn Mason 'If I Was Your Vampire' ( I have a massive love for vampires and rock/indie/metal/ music ) Again I didn't place and this didn't bother me, but I got to see the girls back stage, the organisations of things and that was when it clicked... I'm a Authentic Pole Dancer, my style restricts me when competing, but I don't want to compete again, so this is when my idea of DO YOU OWN! I wanted to comfort and praise the girls back stage, give them a competition they wanted to come back to. So with a lot of work and time to put together The Authentic Pole Dance came to light in 2013 for the first of its kind in 2014.

What do you get out of it?

As I said above I got the buzz to organise a competition to draw the authentic of the pole world in. Give women and men to chance to not hide how they truly want to dance and in what clothing. I am so glad I had a go at competing as I feel you need to know how the competitors are feeling, have some respect and courtesy for how their feeling and being able to connect to them and reassure them how ace they are.

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Interview with a Poledancer! - with Helen Green

This week, with the run up to the Authentic Pole Dance competition in June. in Interview with a Pole Dancer, we ask Helen Green about her upcoming competition experience. Helen attends the Advance class at Defy Gravity.

How long have you been a Pole Dancer?
I've been Pole dancing for exactly three years now. I started classes after compering for a Defy Gravity Showcase for Jamie,introduced by my sister Nicola,who had already been pole dancing for some time.

What made you start Pole Dance classes?
I always fancied the idea of pole dancing but kept putting it out of my mind, making the excuse that I wouldn't have the time being a single,working mum. After the show I was so excited and inspired by the performers, I knew I just had to do it!

What made you decide to compete?
I decided to compete about six months into pole lessons,after watching hundreds of pole videos,and hours imagining myself performing to music that moved me. One minute I would think"I could do that"  the next"I could never". I entered the All Wales Pole Comp and did my best. I didn't place,but it hasn't deterred me. In June I'm competing in the Authentic Pole Comp 2015 in Wigan.


What do you get out of it?

It's been hard work training,all worth it though,I am nervous but so excited too! I moan to myself quite a bit during comp training,but the rewards are worth the hard work. Apart from dramatically improving fitness,polishing tricks and improving dance skills,it totally highlights my emotions and personality traits...I procrastinate...a lot.I'll practice a section of my routine I already have nailed twenty times before I move onto the bit I need to work on!

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out?
Go at your own pace.there are weeks or months when you improve at a rate of knots...and the same when you don't seem to get anywhere.resist comparing yourself to others,and video yourself so you can see just how much you improve with time.

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Interview with a Poledancer! - with Emma Nicholson from Studio Boutique in Hull

This time we have the sexy, flexi Emma Nicholson from Studio Boutique in Hull.


How long have you been a Pole Dancer?
It’s been around 9 wonderful years now I think!


What made you start Pole?

My friend and I wanted to try something new one summer, we tried pole and I was hooked! I quickly got a pole at home and what started as a weekly lesson soon became a passion that I devoted time to almost every day and night, my life rapidly shifted to revolve around pole dancing – I embodied that cliché – ‘eat, sleep, pole, repeat’!

What do you get out of it?

Thinking about this question I realised that there isn’t much that my Pole life doesn’t provide me with – it’s my job now, it’s where I seek my challenges, it’s how I express myself, it’s how I lose myself – I’m such a pole geek - it’s everything!

To narrow it down, I think that for me, what I love the most about Pole is the opportunity it gives me to express myself. Through clothes, music and movement pole provides me such scope for self expression, I’m not sure there’s anything else that could provide me with that. Running my studio is an extremely exciting channel for my creativity too – I have the most fantastic students and instructors, encouraging their creativity and expression through Pole life is one of the best things about running my studio.

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Defy Gravity - Jamie Taylor
Defy Gravity - Jamie Taylor
Defy Gravity - Jamie Taylor
Defy Gravity - Jamie Taylor

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Certified Anotomy & Physiology
Certified Pole Fabric Instructor