“I don’t want to pole dance. I know I will fall on my head!” This is something I hear often and I understand. You see someone up in the air holding on to a metal pole and you think “Heck no!” So let’s talk about staying safe while pole dancing so you don’t bust your head. I don’t want anyone to fall off the pole!
Stretching and warming up properly will be your best friend pole dancing. Stretching before AND cooling down after you dance is super important. I had a friend tear her ACL doing a split because she didn’t stretch that leg very well. No no no! Stretch both legs especially if you have one leg that isn’t as strong or flexible as the other. Stretching and warming up also helps when you are learning new moves for the first time, you will want to get your body prepared for that. To warm up, I typically do simple moves such as jumping jacks or running in place to a fast song to get my blood moving and then I stretch the muscles piece by piece. I can spend anytime from 10 to 20 minutes warming up depending on how active I have been through the day. I feel so much better and more prepared to dance after a good warm up and stretch session!
So you have learned a new move and you want to practice it so you keep saying to yourself one more time. But then you say that to yourself again and again. Eventually your body will get fatigued which isn’t good at all. Both times I’ve fallen off the pole was simply due to body exhaustion. STOP WHEN YOU GET TIRED! Our bodies are amazing machines which can handle a lot of stress, but your body does get tired. It is also important that you shouldn’t force your body to do anything it isn’t comfortable with. There are some moves I have completely given up on learning because my body won’t do it, nor am I going to force it to. There are plenty of pole dance moves in the sea!
When I teach beginner classes, I show the importance of keeping your distance from the pole. Walking too close to the pole means you can accidentally bang into it, on the flip side, walking too far away can overextend your arms and underarm area causing an injury. Beginners tend to stay really close to the pole and have the urge to hug the pole too close sometimes. Trust me that pole isn’t going anywhere. No need to hold on to it for dear life. You are much safer keeping a comfortable distance placing your body exactly where your instructor tells you to place it.
Spotting in pole dancing is just as important as spotting in weight lifting or any other strenuous activity. When you are learning new moves that require you to be off the ground always have a spotter present until you have that move 100%. Never practice new moves without any kind of supervision and always use a crash mat. Even if there isn’t an instructor present make sure someone is there watching you when you are trying something not as familiar. I have been without a studio for a few years now and do a lot of at home dancing. When I try something brand new I always call a friend over or go to someone’s house. It is just safer that way. Studios will make sure their instructors know how to spot properly which is also very important! There are good spotting techniques and bad spotting techniques and good instructors know the difference!
Do not attempt to go upside down until you feel strong enough. Do not attempt to go upside down until you feel strong enough. Do not attempt to go upside until you feel strong enough. I said that three times because it is very important. Everyone wants to learn how to invert or go upside when they start learning pole dance and why not! It is a very cool thing to do! However, inverting requires core and upper body strength and everyone isn’t ready to do it right from the very beginning. There is a lot that goes into it so take the time to develop your body and get those muscles stronger first. If inverting is taking a lot of effort and you aren’t lifting your body up into it chances are you aren’t quite ready for it yet.
Final tidbits about staying safe for pole dance. General fitness rules such as no alcohol or medication that makes you drowsy also apply to pole dancing. If you do happen to get injured dancing or some other way make sure to give your body ample time to rest and heal before dancing again. No lotion, oils, or body makeup before pole dancing because it can make you too slippery! If you are a person that gets really sweaty there are grip aids to help you stay on the pole.
I hope this blog post gave you some good tips on how to stay safe while pole dancing! Following these tips will help you prevent injuries and dance for a very long time! Stay safe out there and happy pole dancing!