Thursday, August 22, 2013

So You Want to Learn Pole Dancing at Home....

So You Have Decided to Go the Route of Being a Self Taught  Pole Dancer Eh?
(My Canadian is showing eh)

Maybe you are doing this because there are no studios in your area, complications keep you from accessing them, money is an issue or you simply prefer to learn in your home. Whatever the reason is, learning to pole at home has it's own set of challenges and it is always worth knowing what you are getting yourself into. So today we are gonna talk about what is involved in learning to pole at home, what you need, what you should consider first, safety issues, strategies, and well how you go about doing it in the first place.

Now let me start this off by saying that for the majority of my poling life I have been a self taught poler. I tried classes, and while they did help me, ultimately I found that learning to pole at home was the best fit for me and my pole passion. I am lucky enough to have a great studio where I live, but the costs of classes and my busy schedule make paid scheduled classes difficult to keep. Learning to pole at home has helped me find my own style, explore different moves, make wonderful friends and progress at my own pace for pole. This may not be the case for everyone and I fully recommend trying a studio out to learn the basics, how to keep yourself safe, and to find the best fit for your poling journey.

1. Is learning to pole at home the best option for you?
When you browse the on-line world for pole advice and you will see time and time again that learning in the studio, is the best and safest way to learn. This is very true. Leaning from a certified and experienced teacher in safe conditions is always the best option. You will likely see a quicker progression from attending class and get the opportunity to make local pole friends.(Pole friends are awesome, this is a good thing)
If there are some studios in your areas, try them out, take a teaser class, or see if they have a drop in night. Meet the teachers and get a feel for the environment. You want a pole studio that you feel comfortable in, so shop around to see what the ones in your area are like. If cost is an issue you can look at adding in one pole class a month with your at home poling to help give you direction in your poling journey. To see some great information on taking your first pole class read THIS.
Learning to pole at home requires self direction and motivation. You have no one telling you to practice on your non dominant side, to climb the pole 3 more times, or to make you do knee tucks. You have to be the one pushing yourself and we all know that that can be hard. When you pole at home you are always facing your own laziness. This is a battle I have to deal with all the time. This is part of the reason that you will not see the same level of progression compared to taking classes in a studio.
Also be honest with yourself. How are you for self motivation with new hobbies? Do you go hard for 2 weeks and then lose interest? You don't want your new pole passion to die out before it even has had a chance, and being a beginner in pole can be frustrating enough as it is. Learning the basics in pole is challenging and you may progress even slower when you are teaching yourself. It took me 2 months to master a few basic spins and pole sits. (and this was frustrating as all hell) If I wasn't so freaking stubborn I may have just given up and thrown my pole in storage. If you have never poled before, please consider all your options to find what is best for you. It may not be learning on your own.

2. Safety issues you should be aware of:
I am not a certified teacher or personal trainer, yet I design my own routines, practices and training session for pole. There is always a risk that I may screw something up and get hurt. Be VERY mindful of this and ALWAYS practice safety first. If you are not sure if something is safe for you, get a professional opinion, talk to a doctor or another expert. Be safe. This is key to learning to pole at home.

 Do your research
Read blogs, watch video tutorials, absorb the shared knowledge from discussion boards, buy DVDs and like all your favourite polers facebook pages in the off chance they share something useful. The more you learn about learning to pole, the safer you can make your own experience. Learn the proper forms for moves, spins and inverts. Improper form leads to injury and you don't want that. Take the time to learn how to do things correctly. If you're not sure if you are, film yourself and watch and correct until it becomes natural.

safe spotting!
 Keeping your safety in mind
 Learn to safely bail out of a move before you learn to do the move if possible. What are the emergency exits for the pole move your doing? How can you safely bail if something goes wrong? Get a friend or partner to spot you when you are trying new or inverted moves. Not sure how to spot someone? Research! Here are some safe tips for how to spot a pole dancer. Read them. Are you poling at home by yourself? Keep your cell phone near by in case you may have to call for help and ALWAYS use a crash mat.

 ALWAYS use a crash mat
This can't be emphasized enough. When learning new moves, we always risk falling. There have been many horrible accidents that have left dancers seriously injured, paralysed or even dead. We participate in a dangerous sport. Respect that and practice safety. Don't have a crash mat? Find some giant pillows, couch cushions or giant bean bag chairs or something. Something is better then nothing. If you ever fall your will be thankful that they were there.

3. What do you need to pole at home?
Well a pole helps...
But you want to get a good pole and that means you may have put up some cash. Yes, I know they are expensive. Yes, it is worth it. No, you should not get a cheaper pole. Yes, there is a difference.
Though don't let not having a pole hold you back!
Don't believe me? Go search YouTube for pole bloopers and you will get to see many a video with poles falling while in use. Cheap poles bought in stores like Spencers are prop poles. Meant to be danced around, not on. They are not built to hold your weight and are VERY likely to come down during a basic spin or invert and will likely cause damage to your home and injury to you.
Check out poles from Lil minx, X-Pole, Platinum stages or other well know and respected pole brands. Not sure if the pole brand you are looking at is trustworthy? Find a pole forum and ask! Research and find the best pole for you! Consider finishes, pole diametres and figure out what fits you best. Check out great blogs HERE and HERE for help.
Other things you will need to pole at home are clothes. You don't have to go out and purchased pole brand clothing. Though it is is pretty and fun to wear. To start just go buy a pair of a short spandex shorts and a tight fitting tank top. As you progress you may find that your clothing needs will change and you can shop accordingly.
Shoes, grip aids, wrist wraps, foam rollers, and other pole tools are not required and most of these you can purchase when you get to a point where you feel you need help one way or another. But again, they are not required for learning to pole.

4. Finding your Pole Teacher:
Me and Veena from studioveena.com
While you are teaching yourself at home, you still need someone to take direction from. You have a few options here. You can go the DVD route and purchase DVD's from one of the pro polers out there and watch them break down the moves for you.
DVD's
Jamilla Deville's Art of Pole DVDS
Leigh Ann's Bespun Pole DVD's
Cleo the Hurricane's rocking dvds

You can also go the route of paid on-line lessons. An experienced Pole dancer or Pole star breaks down the steps of different pole moves for you. These are viewed on-line and will require internet access to view.
Paid On-line Lessons:
This site has many pole stars and guest instructors with a large variety of advanced and signature tricks. There is a variety of lessons on here and it is great to see your favourite pole starts break down their signature tricks but this may not be the best choice for new polers.
Veena gives details breakdown of the steps for moves from beginner to advanced pole lesssons as well as stretching, foam roller, strength training, hooping and lap dance lessons. She often gives multiple methods of
entry into many moves. She also responds to additional questions from members and is active in the free member forums.

Finally you can opt to go the free on-line pole lesson route. The downsides to this method are that you may not always find lessons for all the moves you want to do, you can't verify the training a poler has and it does involve some time researching. The upside is that in viewing how different polers do different moves you may just find a method that works best for you.
Here is a list of free on line pole dancing lessons:
Free Lessons by Studio Soiree
Lina W Tutorials
Live it Up Pole Fitness Tutorials
Online pole dancing lessons
Pole Freaks
Free Lessons by The Pole Dancers Diary

The great things is that you don't have to stick with one method. I personally own the art of pole dvds, have enjoyed Veena's lesson and regularly use the free online tutorials available. Home poling is all about research! find the best tools out there and put them to use!

5. How to maximize your Home poling experience:
I would have never tried the
Russian layback if it were not for some
 encouragement from my pole buddies!
So you have your pole, safe practices, your choice of learning tools, now you just need to find the motivation to keep up your poling schedule. This can be SUPER hard. I struggle with this at times. What has helped me was recording my practices so I can see my progress, blogging about my experiences, and finding on line pole friends who help keep me motivated. Combine all of these and I manage to keep myself accountable, get myself through pole ruts and dry-spells and keep progressing.
 Go join a pole dance forum and make some friends. Many groups have video chats where they pole together, encourage and teach one another moves and spins. The flexines have regular chat nights and stretch, pole and dance together. these are open to all polers too! Just connect with them on facebook for details. :)
My pole friend's helpful suggestions
 helped me get my Brass Monkey!
Take advantage of the home polers secret weapon! Get Skype! skype has been a very useful tool in helping me advance as a poler and learn new moves. With out it I wouldn't have been able to connect with amazing people who saw potential in me for certain moves and encouraged me to try and gave feedback and tips until I achieved them. 
Join the pole community. Is there a pole workshop near you that you want to try? Are there any events that would inspire you?
Check around to see what types of pole events are happening near you. Maybe there is pole competition, showcase, convention or other pole event happening near by. If you can, go to it. I'm attending my very first pole event this year, I'm super stoked to be going to pole expo 2013 in Las Vegas. These events allow you to meet other polers, pole vendors, take workshops from awesome pole stars and expand your pole knowledge.

6. Resources for learning to Pole at Home:
When I first started to pole I was lost in the vast amount of knowledge the internet has and it took me a long time to find the pole related blogs, forums and videos that were helpful. I have already listed many resources throughout this article but here is my complete list of on-line pole resources. These have helped me immensely and I hope they can do so for you as well. Good luck in your home poling journey and if you found something helpful that wasn't in this article please let me know in the comments. 
<3 KiKi
Happy Poling!


On-Line Pole Dancing Resources

FREE LESSONS
Free lessons and trick tips, great information on grip aidschoosing your pole and wonderful pole blogging :)
Contortion training with Emopacesetter
Free lessons on youtube full of stretching tutorials for flexibility
Dakota Fox tutorials on Youtube
Free lessons on Youtube
Free lessons on Youtube.
Free lessons on youtube
Lina W Tutorials
free tutorials and pole and stretching tips
Live it Up Pole Fitness Tutorials
free tutorials and transitions
Online pole dancing lessons
Free lessons on youtube
Pole Freaks
An awesome list of free pole lessons, listed in alphabetical order
Premier Pole Online
Free sample lessons by Rhiannan Nichole
Free Lessons by The Pole Dancers Diary
Written Lessons on Tumblr (you may have to scroll to find moves you are working on)
Free Lessons by Studio Soiree
Free lessons on youtube
Tantra Fitness Free Tutorials
A selection of advanced move tutorials

Paid Online Lessons
Digi-Pole
Online pole instruction in HD
Online instruction on Pole Dancing, Aerial silks and lyra! Lessons feature Jenyne Butterfly, Felix Cane, Marlo fisken , Mai Sato, Erika Lamansat and Brandon Peredya. Great lessons for polers who are wanting to learn advanced or signature tricks
Pole Dancing Fitness
Paid online pole dancing and pole fitness lessons
Pole Freaks Strength and flexiblity Workouts
One time fee to download the workouts
Premier Pole Online
Online pole instruction and lessons by Rhiannan Nichole
Studio Veena
This is an Online pole community where polers share tips, tricks, photos and videos with one another. There are also pay lessons available that come very highly rated. I personally have the lessons and I love her strengthening routines and her lessons.

GREAT BLOGS
*Please note: Due to the high volume in quality pole blogs, a complete list can be found HERE
Video reviews on pole producs and clothing
Pole Dancing Comics
Comics about the trials of pole dancing by Leen Isabel
Portion control blog
A blog about dietary needs for pole dancers
The pros and cons of wearing heels
An article about wearing heels while dancing
Stop the Slippage
Great blog entry by Miss Drusilla about diagnosing grip problems and potential solutions

Pole Dancing References
Find A Pole Studio Near You
use this directory to find a studio near you
 Online Pole Dance Dictionary
I find this is a great tool when you are trying to describe a move to someone
Online Sylibus
Slow Motion Options and helpful Tips
Pocket Pole Dance Studio App
Download an APP to help you learn how to dance!
StudioVeena Gallery
Photos of different pole holds, grips, and moves.
United Pole Artists
A web based news source for pole dancers around the world
Urban Pole Dictionary
A great source explaining some of the lingo typically used by pole dancers

Pole Clothes and Accessories
Bad Kitty Pole Wear
Great pole clothing and accessories
BlackMilk
Gorgeous leggings and other fitness fashions
Body Angel Active Wear
Cute leggings and other active wear
BodyBinds
Sexy dance accessories
Body Rock Sports
Super cute workout clothes, love their shorts for poling!
Derby Skinz
Wide variety of shorts, you pick the pattern, fabric, cut and size
Dirdy Birdy Cothing
Cute shorts and sports bras designed by Dirdy Birdy
Dragonfly Yogawear
Cute and colourful shorts and tops
Femtastic Dance
Custom made up-cycled legwarmers
Glitter Heels
Sparkly pole shoes
La La Land Comfy Wear
Cute fitness clothes
Light Active Wear
Lovely tops and shorts for pole and fitness
lulu lemon
Still my favourite place to get pole shorts
Michi
Athletic wear
Mika Yoga Wear
Great pole and aerial clothing
Rad Polewear
Pole Clothes and really cute bodysuits
Simply Sweet Candles
Get your pole photos on a candle
Sweet Vixen Couture
Great Pole dancing clothing
Point Out Polewear
Cute Pole Clothing
Pole Candy Wear
functional and stylish pole and yoga wear
Pole Dancing Shop
grip aids, clothes and accessories
Poleitical Clothing
Fun Pole Dancing Themed clothing and accessories
Pole Street
Men and Women's Pole fashions
Poleyanna
Pole and Aerial Wear
Shakti
Athletic wear in gorgeous prints
Vertical Edge
Fun and flirty pole clothing
Venm Dancewear
Cute and edgy pole clothing
Vertical Swag Wrist Wraps
Wrist support wraps, waterproof grip bags and shoe bags handmade by a pole dancer for pole dancers
Vile Active Wear
Fitness meets fashion
Wink Designs
Shorts and tops for Men and Women
Zebra Queen
Pole Dancing Grip Clothing

Grip Aids
Sweaty hands? Slippery Grip? These might help...
For a good read on what grip aid helps with what Click HERE
Dew Point
A spray to help your body stick to the pole
Dirty Girl Poletice
Formulated to help with Sweaty Hand Grip issues. This has been recommended as THE BEST grip aid for sweaty hands
Dry Hands
Formulated to help with sweaty hand grip issues
Itac2 Grip
Formulated to help with Hand Grip issues
Mighty Grip
Gloves, and grip powders to help with hand grip issues
Tite Grip
Formulated to help with Sweaty Hand Grip issues
Pole Physics Lotion
A moisturising lotion designed to help you grip to the pole

Get started and buy a pole today!
Not sure what Pole Brand is right for you? Click HERE Not sure which diameter is right for you? Click HERE 
Not sure Which Pole Finish is right for you? Click HERE 
Guide for buying a pole 
Action Poles
LiL' Minx Poles
R-Pole
Pole Danzer Poles
Platinum Stages Poles
X-POLE

<3 KiKi

13 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the great list of resources!!! I have a pole at home, but mostly pole at a studio, however I'm pretty obsessed with online pole tutorials to bring into class!

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  2. I love the article! It's amazing how much you've learned on your own! I just started pole dancing about 2 weeks ago, a few times a week at a studio, but am now thinking about putting up a pole at home to get in extra practice, work more on my weak side, and do some pole specific conditioning. What pole brand do you have at home?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I only hope to share the information I've found with others! I use an xpole but any of the big brand names are good poles to have at home :) Read up a big on them and figure out what one would be best for you :D

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  3. Please I really love to learn pole dancing but I am in Nigeria right now and I have researched all I can still haven't found a pole dancing class. Need your help. Thnks

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    1. If you can't find any studios in your area you may want to look into getting your own pole and learning from home. Check out the links in this article to find a pole and some online lessons :) Good luck!

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  4. Nice article.. quite difficult steps.

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  5. Wonderful website and very very informative. Love all the free links!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you found it helpful :)

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  6. Oh this is a great job means now we can learn pole dancing at our home without any prior classes. Really I am thankful for the post and for the dancing instructions which you have shared in the blog.

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  7. hi!! great idea to list and categorize the videos..very helpful and easy :) can u pls give us tips for back flexibility too??. https://vidd.me/VB1

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  8. I don’t have a good knee hold, but just by reading your posts I can say I have a chance at improving it, along with other tricks .. So thank you. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks I'm glad it was helpful! You can definitely improve your knee pit grip with work! Good luck!

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