ClassPass Glossary: Pole Dancing from A to Z

Pole dancing may be considered a more, uh, unconventional type of workout than most, but that doesn’t make it any less of one. In fact, the exercise was recently deemed an official sport and could one day make its way to the Olympic Games. And once you dive headfirst into the workout, you’ll soon understand why. The full body workout is equal parts cardio and toning, and is even a great confidence booster. So if you’re interested in giving it a spin, keep reading to familiarize yourself with some of the most basic need-to-know terms. While you’re at it, bookmark this article that will tell you what to wear, what to expect and more before you book.


Back Arch: A type of move where you are standing on the ground while holding onto the pole and arching your back.

Back Bend: A type of move where, with one hand holding onto the pole, you lean backwards into a backbend towards the ground.


Carousel Spin: A type of trick where you spin around the pole with your legs bent behind you, with your feet reaching towards your glutes.

Chair Spin: A type of trick where you spin around the pole with your legs bent inwards toward your chest, as if sitting in a chair.


Dance Class: A type of pole dancing where contemporary dance moves are incorporated into your workout.


Exotic Class: A type of pole dancing that incorporates exotic moves and emphasizes the sexiness of pole dancing.


Fireman Spin: A type of trick where you spin, keeping your legs wrapped around the pole.

Fitness Class: A type of pole dancing that focuses more on the fitness aspects of pole dancing, such as cardio and building muscles.


Grip Aids: Can include powders, socks and more, these tools help improve one’s grip on the pole.


Inversions: A type of pole dancing trick where you are upside down while on the pole.


Knee Pads: This accessory can be worn to protect sensitive knees during class.


Legwarmers: Recommended for first-timers, these can be worn on the legs to prevent burns.


Pole: Bolted to the floor and ceiling for your safety, this is the primary object that you will be performing moves on during class.

Pole Sit: A type of trick where you are sitting stationary on the pole, with your legs wrapped around it.


Safety Mats: Often found underneath the pole, these offer protection from falls. 

Spins: A type of pole dancing trick where you use your body to move around the pole.

Stage Poles: A type of pole that isn’t mounted to the ceiling, but instead includes a small stage towards the bottom of the pole to keep it steady.


Tricks: The moves you perform during a pole dancing class.

Stephanie Limiti is a born and raised New Yorker living out her dreams of palm trees and sunshine in Los Angeles. When she's not zenned out in yoga class, she's reading biographies and volunteering at dog rescue shelter. Follow her on Instagram.