ClassPass 101: Everything You Need to Know About Pole Dancing

Whether you’re fretting over exercising in high heels and skimpy clothing or worrying about having an embarrassing fall, the thought of taking a pole dancing class can be scary. Truth? Pole dancing is actually a perfectly safe class where you can embrace your inner acrobat and enjoy a full-body workout. Plus, you’ll gain confidence, strength and moves that none of your friends have seen in real life.

Here’s what you need to know:

How to prepare

A few basics: Don’t put on any body or hand lotion before class—it could make it nearly impossible to get a grip on the pole. And since this is a challenging core workout, make sure to give your food a few hours to digest before heading to class. You should be well-hydrated, but not full, when going to a class where you could potentially end up upside down on the pole.

On the way to class, gear yourself up by listening to upbeat music, because you’re in for a party once you get there. You will laugh at yourself, as well as with others in your class, and most likely walk out of their with some new friends.   

What to wear

The reason pole dancing is immediately associated with, well, nakedness is because you need to expose some skin to get a grip on the pole. Forget the full-length yoga pants and opt for yoga or bike shorts instead so the knees, calves, and ankles are able to make contact with the pole. Your instructor will most likely be wearing short shorts and a sports bra, as it’s a major workout and things can get sweaty. If you’re uncomfortable in just a sports bra, then a regular tank top or even a short-sleeved t-shirt is perfect. Your best bet for footwear is none at all, as bare feet give you good grip on the floor and pole.  

What to bring

You don’t need to bring much besides yourself and a filled-up water bottle. The poles are already set up in the studios and bolted to the floor and ceiling for your safety.

When to arrive

Arrive 15 minutes before class and make sure you introduce yourself to your teacher. Let them know if you have any injuries or limitations so they can help you modify moves during class, if needed. Also be sure to let your teacher know it’s your first time, though you can be sure there will be plenty of beginners in the class. Being on time to class is important because the teacher will go over some basic safety precautions and moves at the start of class.   

What to expect

You’re not going to be an expert after the first class. The first class will focus on a lot of dance moves and basic spin techniques on the pole. It will take multiple classes before you can flip upside down and inside out like the teacher.

You will probably feel incredibly silly at first when trying to acclimate yourself to gripping and spinning on the pole. But rest assured, feeling silly is all part of the fun, just like any dance class. Your first class will be filled with other beginners like yourself, so don’t worry about anybody judging your moves. Everyone is looking at the teacher and trying to replicate their moves.

What to do next

You may not feel sore immediately after class, but you can expect to feel some soreness in your abs and legs the next day, so take time to stretch after class. And as with all workouts, hydration is important.

You may want to schedule a yoga class as your next workout since legs—and particularly hamstrings—might be in need of a good stretch.

There is such a thing as “pole burn,” since skin is coming into direct contact with the pole, but it goes away after a day or two. Skin care balms like Aquaphor can help, or you can try rubbig some coconut oil on any tender spots.    

Studio recommendations:

Atlanta
PoleLaTeaz

Baltimore
Pole Pressure – Ellicott City

Chicago
Flirty Girl Fitness
Chicago Academy of Pole and Dance
Flight Fitness

Dallas
Altitude Fitness
Choice Training
Mind Body and Pole Fitness Studio

Denver
Rockstar Pole Fitness
Tease Studio
Barre Forte Southmoore

Fort Lauderdale
Power Pole® Sports

Houston
Axis Pole Fitness
Verticality Pole Fitness
S Factor Houston

Las Vegas
Pole Fitness Studio
Shine Alternative Fitness

London
Pole Sport London
Ecole De Pole

Los Angeles
BeSpun Pole Dance
Jagged Vertical Dance & Fitness
PinkPoleParty.org

Minneapolis
Dollhouse Pole Dance Studio
The Pole Barn

New York City
Body & Pole
New York Pole Dancing
Femme Body Fitness

Orange County
Embody Studios
Rok Your Assetz Fitness
Smoke and Mirrors Fitness

Orlando
Foxy Fitness Studio and Pole

Phoenix
Express MiE

Raleigh
TML Turn Me Loose Fitness
Aradia Fitness

San Francisco
Vertical Barre Studios
Sheila Kelley S Factor – San Francisco
San Francisco Pole and Dance

Toronto
Brass Vixens
Redefine Fit
Aradia Fitness Mississauga

Washington, D.C.
F.I.T. 4 Pole
Divas and Dolls Fitness
Pole Pressure – Downtown DC

 

Lisa Bensley is the founder of BeautyByBenz, a health and beauty blog that is really just an excuse to buy too much makeup. When she is not writing, she's probably boxing, obsessing over her Dachshund, Stanley, reading, or binge-watching Law & Order: SVU. Follow her (and Stanley's) antics on Instagram.