What is Pole Dancing?
Pole Dancing is an increasingly popular fitness activity enjoyed by women of all ages all around the world. Fundamentally, it is resistance training – you are carrying your body weight on your arms as you lift or spin around a pole. Not just an upper body workout, pole dancing requires you to develop your core muscles to be able to do more advanced moves. Pole dancing is a great all over body work out that requires strength, fitness, flexibility, co-ordination and balance. You get to improve your dance skills and get fitter at the same time – it’s really great fun!
However, there is much more to it than just the physical benefits. Pole dancing can be quite scary – at times you are upside down on a pole using no hands or only holding on by one knee – you challenge yourself psychologically to do things that you never imagined were possible. Pole dance instructors will ensure that anything potentially dangerous is learnt safely, but occasionally there are moments when you are pushed outside your comfort zone. Also when you are in a dance studio surrounded by mirrors, you get to see your reflection and you look beautiful on the pole. It creates a fundamental change in your self-body image. Every woman has her signature moves that she performs with grace and control. Pole dancing is very aesthetic – we are wanting to create beautiful lines with our body using the pole.
Pole classes may have more of a fitness focus or more of a dance focus. Some women enjoy more the physical challenges that the dance pole provides, others prefer more creativity and self-expression, hence the dance side appeals. It really doesn’t matter – try both. You can dance in bare feet or pole shoes (just don’t call them stripper heels as very few pole dancers are strippers). Even without a dance background you will enjoy pole dancing, it’s not as strict and technical as ballet, and slower than hip hop.
It is an activity that appeals to a broad range of women – many of whom are bored with the gym and are looking for a different challenge. Pole classes are about female empowerment – they are non-competitive, supportive and non-judgemental. All shapes and sizes are welcome, and no dance or fitness experience is assumed.
What are the benefits of pole dancing for fitness?
Pole dancers need to develop specific muscles that will allow them to lift and control their body using a dance pole. Upper body and core strength are developed in particular, but the dance moves also give your legs a great work out. Pole dancers also need to be flexible, so by stretching those developing muscles you end up with a long lean physique, similar to a gymnast. Pole dancing will also improve your posture, balance, co-ordination, sense of timing and dance skills.
Are there any skills one needs before beginning?
Not really, just a desire to try something new and give it a really good go. None of us were born knowing how to pole dance, so we all start as beginners, and the classes are structured accordingly. Likewise, because the muscles used in pole dancing are quite specific there is not a lot of cross over with exercises that you may be performing at the gym, or in other forms of dance classes. At Miss Fit Dance Studio our Beginners classes are called 1 STAR.
Are there any exercises that people can do at home or in the gym (away from the pole) that will help them with pole dancing?
We always advise our students to repeat as many of our strengthening and toning exercises between classes as they can.
We have created an eBook Fit by Choice that provides a pictorial guide to the many exercises that you can do at home to help you to fast track your improvement with your pole dancing. However, nothing is as good as pole dancing to create the lean and toned body of a pole dancer.
You can download our eBook for free by visiting the Miss Fit website
Is there anything people should look for in an instructor to be sure they know what they are doing?
When you are researching pole dancing studios, look for a studio that has been around for a few years, that has qualified instructors and class sizes that aren’t too large (no more than 15 per class). Check that students are not required to share poles. Check that they offer a set curriculum rather than just teaching you random moves. Are they insured?
At Miss Fit Dance Studio our teachers are members of the International Pole Dance Fitness Association (IPDFA), as well as being qualified fitness instructors, and they are all up to date with their first aid training. Safety comes first at Miss Fit. Students follow a set curriculum so that as your strength and proficiency improves you are being taught progressively more demanding moves and lifts. There is no leap-frogging of levels. Our classes are small (no more than 14 per class), the teachers spend time with each student and will spot them when learning more difficult moves. Thick crash matts are available in each studio. Every student is covered under a Accident and Injury insurance policy to meet the costs of physiotherapy and other costs not covered by Medicare. We have been teaching pole dancing in Sydney since 2007 and during that time have introduced thousands of women to the joy and challenge that is pole dancing.
In addition, our students stay connected with our weekly student email newsletter, updates on our facebook page, and benefit from discounted prices on gripping solutions, Miss Fit Pole Wear, practise sessions and pole purchases. At the end of each term, students in our choreography classes have the opportunity to dress up and perform the routines they have been learning at our Grad Nights. It’s a lot of fun and a great motivation to really perfect the routine so it is good enough for a public performance.
Check out the Current Timetable and book yourself into a class!