Frequently Asked Questions About Pole Dancing
Q: What can I expect from my first pole class?
A:We start each class bouncing on yoga balls. This serves to warm up our bodies so that we don't injure ourselves. Plus, it's fun! We then move to hip circles, figure 8s, and rib circles which will increase our mobility and body awareness, as well as teach us how to isolate our muscles and emphasize our moves.
Then it's time for a Pilates based warm-up designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles required to safely and effectively execute pole moves and tricks. This part of the warm-up will always be a little different in order to prevent our bodies from "plateau-ing" or becoming too accustomed to a particular set of exercises.
After we warm-up and work out, the real fun begins! The remainder of class is spent on various aspects of pole dancing. You may feel awkward and struggle with getting your body to cooperate. This is normal. Be patient with and forgiving of yourself and your body (it's just doing its job) and before you know it you'll be surprised by how much easier the moves become.
What to expect? Expect to have fun, get an incredible workout, make some new friends, feel awkward, laugh, and maybe even surprise yourself with what you are able to do with your body.
Q: Are only women allowed to attend classes at Pole at Play?
A: Pole at Play welcomes anyone who has a genuine desire to learn the art of exotic pole dancing, regardless of gender identity, sex, color, religious affiliation, ethnicity, sexual orientation, shape, size, you get the idea. Exotic pole dancing is a hyper-feminine style of dance and therefore tends to attract individuals whose gender identity falls somewhere along the femme end of the spectrum. But just as femmes can benefit from participating in activities that have traditionally been reserved for men (like kick boxing, MMA, or weight lifting) so can non-binary and masculine individuals benefit from exploring their feminine side via exotic pole dancing.
Q: Can I attend classes if I'm under the age of 18?
A: Due to the implicit sensual/sexual nature of the exotic pole dance style taught at Pole at Play, students must be 18 or over to attend. We will make exceptions to this rule in certain circumstances. If you are 16-17 years old and would like to attend classes, please have your parent/guardian email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our classes and determine if they would be a good fit for you. We ask that your parent/guardian accompany you to your first class to complete the student medical waiver and sign the consent form in person before leaving you with us. For the comfort and privacy of the other students, we do not allow class observation.
Q: Will I fit in? Is everyone in class a perfect, young, thin, fit, Barbie doll?
A: Our classes are made up of a diverse group of individuals. We've had nuns in their 70s attend our classes! Since we began offering classes in 2004, we have had students ages 16 to 80 years old, every race, body type, color, shape, weight, breast size, gender, physical ability, religious background, socioeconomic level, sexual orientation, etc. Every single person has their own unique style, talents & challenges. You WILL fit in because you are brave, unique, beautiful, & interested in pole dancing!
Q: Do I have to be in shape/lose weight/strong/flexible/coordinated to take pole dancing classes?
A: No No No No & No. The only prerequisite for taking pole dancing classes is a willingness to try. Your strength, stamina, flexibility and coordination will increase/improve while taking classes. Most pole students also report an increase in confidence, self acceptance and improvement in their overall mood while taking pole classes. Just be patient and attend classes regularly and you'll be falling in love with yourself in no time!
Q: Do I have to be naturally sexy to pole dance?
A: The same as above. Everyone feels awkward, clumsy, goofy when learning new moves. It takes many people a while before they feel comfortable enough in their skin to begin exploring the more sensual moves pole dancing has to offer. Many worry about taking themselves too seriously, not being able to pull off "sexy" & instead looking silly. Once you get the mechanics down & start having fun with the dance aspect, you'll begin to notice an increase in self confidence & a decrease in self consciousness. You'll start to wonder what your body can do now that you have given it permission to explore movement. It is from this curiosity that your own unique sexiness is born!
Q: Will the other students be snobby towards me?
A: We have been and continue to be humbled by our students' compassion and support. In the 17 years we have offered classes, we have never had a more lovely group of students. Cattiness/bitchiness is a coping mechanism for insecurity and is completely unnecessary in our classes and would not be tolerated if ever it did occur. Everyone is nervous and self-conscious in their first pole class, worried about how they’ll measure up to and get along with the other students. You will quickly discover that the only person you are competing with is yourself, and your fellow students are eager to help you succeed. Once you have settled into the community and no longer feel like the new kid (which is usually after only a couple of classes, at the most), you too will begin to offer your support and encouragement to those who need it. That said, if ever you feel mistreated at Pole at Play, please let your instructor know.
Q: I'm afraid that I won't be able to do ANYTHING and I'll just feel discouraged and humiliated.
A: When an aspiring pole dancer attends their first pole dancing class, they are more often than not surprised and a little intimidated by how challenging even the most basic moves seem to be. It's your body's job to keep you alive and safe. So when you first introduce it to the pole, it interprets your initial apprehension as mortal fear and attempted spins as falls and does whatever it can to prevent you from getting hurt. As you get more comfortable on the pole and your body realizes that you're determined to continue this new activity, it will step up to the plate and start utilizing the necessary muscles to support your weight, grip the pole, and safely execute tricks, spins, poses, climbs, and transition moves that you were convinced you'd never be able to do. Everyone is different and so this breakthrough can happen as early as your second class or may take a little longer. We promise it WILL happen. Just be patient and persistent.
Q: What if my friends/ family/ coworkers/ church/ etc. find out I'm taking pole dancing classes? I'll be labeled a SLUT!
A: Who cares what people think? Haters gonna hate. And honestly, there has never been a better time in history to be a pole dancer. It has become a socially acceptable form of fitness and even a globally recognized sport! You choose who has the privilege of knowing that you're taking pole dance classes. It's far more likely that whoever you choose to share this information with will be curious and inspired to try it themselves (if they haven't already). If you choose to keep it a secret, that's ok too (it's like wearing sexy panties under your sweat pants). Whether you shout it from the rooftops or keep it to yourself, just know that this is for you. If it makes you happy and doesn't harm others, who cares what anyone else thinks?
Q: Is pole dancing painful?
A: Some moves are....at first. Your skin has to get used to gripping the pole. The friction can be uncomfortable, but the satisfaction you get from attempting and eventually achieving those moves outweighs any pain and makes it well worth it. The beginner moves are not painful, however, and you never have to do anything you don't want to do or don't feel comfortable doing.
Q: Are the sexier pole moves easier than the crazy tricks?
A: Although the gymnastics inspired aerial moves— Inversions, Butterfly, Ayesha, Brass Monkey, Flag— are more physically demanding, the sexier moves— hip circles, body waves, figure 8s, and floorwork—are challenging in a different way. These moves require us to be able to comfortably and confidently linger in the overt sensuality that defines these moves, something that isn't easy for most people in today's insecurity-driven consumer culture. These moves also rely on muscle isolation, spinal articulation, and body awareness to look and feel the way they're intended to. We have had students who could flip upside down without much effort, but who struggled with the intricacies and subtleties of a proper serpentine as well as students who were the envy of their classmates on account of their flawless execution of figure 8s, but who found climbing difficult. Everyone is different and every move presents its own unique rewards and challenges. We guarantee that when you successfully master a move, regardless of the perceived difficulty of the move, you'll feel on top of the world!
Q: I'm worried I'm too heavy to pole dance; can big girls pole dance?
A: Abso-f@#$ing-lutely 100%! Exotic pole dancing is all about curves, jiggle, and owning it. In fact, fuller figured individuals actually have an advantage when it comes to certain moves. Thicker thighs mean better grip. And the juicier the booty, the better the Ass Clap.
Learning to pole dance is a process. It is challenging, physically demanding and it forces us to rethink our self imposed limitations. We all have that voice inside of us that tells us we can’t do something. Once you stop listening to that voice, it grows quieter and the voice telling you that you CAN do it begins to drown it out. That’s when we start seeing the most progress and the most profound transformations. Stick with it and we assure you that you will surprise yourself. But you don't have to take our word for it. Check out these links: