Being a pole virgin is an exciting and overwhelming time. You’ve fallen in love with the allure, and now realize that pole dancing is more than a workout. Issa lifestyle! Welcome to the club, my friend. We’re happy to have you.
Unpacking and settling in takes time and effort. This can’t be rushed, there’s levels to it. Phases. With each step forward, you can see your inner pole dancer blossom right before your very eyes. You feel different. Sexier. Stronger. It was there all along!
Here are the 7 phases that I think newbie polers experience when adjusting to their new way of life:
- Mind Over Metal: There is something to be said about getting used to the pole. It is rigid and inflexible, and you must learn to make sweet music with it. Say what?! You’ve gotta adjust to the way the pole feels on your body, and the way your body feels on the pole. Enter physics. Working with momentum and gravity allows you to work smarter with weight distribution, points of contact, and push/pull.
- Shopping Spree: Do we really even need a reason to shop? Well, a new activity is a great one. Since a pole artist is only as good as his/her sexy tools, you can rest easy knowing that your shopping spree is an investment. As with any sound investment, first comes research. Google is that best friend who gives you a ton of options, and it’s up to you to create your must-have list. Here is mine:
- Fitted shorts: The shorter the better, you need skin exposed for points of contact. I find it helpful to get inexpensive cotton leggings and cut them into panties, I mean shorts =)
- Fitted tanks: Tanks, not tees. Again, points of contact. Nice breathable material.
- Sports bras: However many you think you need, triple that. Get a few good ones to start. Then look for sales and go crazy when you find them. You can’t have too many.
- Knee pads: Get two or three pairs to start (support your local pole studio!). If you get down and dirty with floorwork, you will wear them down no question. Also, you WILL forget them sometimes. Keep an extra pair in your car.
- Heels: Pace yourself and work your way up to the 10 inches pretty please. Your ankles will thank you for it! Go straight to the source with Pleaser Heels, or go the sparkly customized route with Glitter Heels and Nightshade Designs. P.S: Keep the mesh bags that your heels come in to protect them in your gym bag.
- Grip: Wonder how someone can perform inverted tricks while hanging on by the skin of their thunder thigh? Grip my friend. You’ll need to try different brands to see what works for you; Pole Smart, iTac2, Dry Hands, etc.
- Gym bag: Invest in a nice gym bag that works for you. I find that shoulder bags are roomier than backpacks. Stock your bag with a serious shower/freshener kit. Oh, and plastic bags for sweaty clothes. Because, ew.
- Sweats: Last but certainly not least, the sweats. After working out all nakey-nakey, you want to protect yourself from cold air; whether it’s winter weather or air conditioning. Remember that Momma always said, “Where the heck is your jacket?!” Keep some sweats on hand that make you feel cute and accomplished after your killer workout.
- Feeling Yourself: Pole is all about being unapologetically free and finding yourself. The less inhibitions the better, and friends help make that happen. Squad up and start the pole journey together! The only thing better than feeling yourself as you pick it up and check up on it, is doing so with your besties cheering you on like “YAAASSSSS!!!”. Then parlay that confidence into cheering yourself on like, “Damn, I look good!” Because you do! 😉
- Giggles & Grunts: You feel like a kid again. Everything is new, surprising, and invigorating. Get comfy laughing at yourself and being cool with that. Grunt out loud as you give that move your best shot. This leaves room for the beautiful mistakes and purposeful triumphs that will motivate you throughout your journey. Trial and error, plus trial and success, equals progression. This is how you become more mindful of your body movements, build on top of skills, and progress.
- A-ha! Moment: Picture this. It’s the end of the semester, last day of class, and you’re like “Oh snap, I just understood what the teacher said!” Yeah, dat way. When it starts to really make sense. You set your mind to do a trick, and it actually happens. You are officially tuned in to your body head to toe. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to level up.
- Smooches!: Points of contact become your lifeline when doing more advanced moves and combos. Brace yourself, bruises are coming. These bruises, also known as pole “kisses”, will show up in various places on your body; wrists (spins), shoulder (mount), behind knee (leg hangs), top of foot (climbing), and more. It is a rite of passage, but you don’t have to go it alone. Ask around (and Google) for advice on minimizing them, as well as caring for them.
- Smell the Roses: Remember to congratulate yourself for the progress you’ve made thus far. Accepting that this journey is a marathon, not a sprint, goes a long way. Of course we look at pole icons for inspiration, but be realistic and give yourself feasible goals. Buddy up with another poler for help with accountability and consistency. Find trends within your favorite moves and frequent triumphs/errors. This helps you uncover your strengths and unique style. Trust the process boo, get to know yourself.
I find it interesting that these phases seem to continue and layer onto one another as time passes. The shopping spree never ends (especially at PoleCon!), nor do the giggles and grunts. You’ll be feeling yourself more each day, and embracing the “kisses” as part of the journey. Continue to smell the roses on the way to your Jade and Ayesha, and keep those “a-ha” moments flowing. You got this!
What phase are you currently in? Which phase is/was your favorite? Did I miss a few? Drop a comment below!