Well there are a few options available to you:
When working with your teacher, treat it more like a personal training session. Ask her what she’d like for you to work on in the mean time and if she has any goals for you as a student. Maybe you’re super flexible or strong—does she see that as an indicator of someone who will one day rock a Spatchcock? Is a Fonji in your future? Ask her!
When she’s explaining the harder stuff, make it very clear that it’s still coming off as confusing. Ask her what points on her body is the skin contacting the pole and ask her to go SUPER slow. Ask her what’s gripping, what you should be flexing or engaging, and where the weight is being held.
I’ve definitely been in the same position as you. I outpaced a good amount of teachers in my first year! What I did realize is that each teacher brings something special to the table. I had so much more to learn about their style than I did about the tricks they were teaching.
For example, there’s this one teacher who teaches the Exotic dance classes at our studio in addition to pole. Every move she makes is sensual, even if she’s not trying! I’m not a sexy dancer by any means; if anything, my dancing is very gymnastics oriented and at times too sterile.
I was able to learn about her implicit movements by studying the way she dances rather than “what” she is dancing. Doing this will help you develop a dancing “vocabulary” of sorts that will really aid in formulating a style that fits the way your body wants to move.
In regards to strengthening outside of pole: start cross-training in another sport. I cross train in parkour! It’s helped a lot because of my style of dancing requires a lot of weird grips and movement while being comfortable with dropping. Cross fit and ballet (or any form of dance) is extremely beneficial.
I’m editing a pole workout video for my youtube channel that I’ll have up soon! Work on your grip strength too since it takes so long to acquire. Try squeezing a balloon filled with sand in your off time or getting a Dynaflex. You’ll be amazed with how easy one handed spins or spinning pole will be after a week with grip training :)
I hope this helps! Thanks for your lovely question. Keep dancing!
They’re 2x2’ squares of wood that are mounted to the ceiling. I don’t think our studio has beams that run the way we would need in order to mount the poles in that direction. The wood helps distribute the pressure so that the ceiling doesn’t crack.
At home I have a popcorn ceiling and my xpole doesn’t leave any marks but I have mine directly under a beam. Whenever possible, it’s more important to have the pole under a beam than assisted with a cover. I think Dirdy Birdy uses the same technique, hers is a white 1” thick rectangle of wood. It’s very visible in this video.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED HERE?!
Prompted by a question in my inbox earlier, I decided to write out a nice lengthy entry on when you should decide you’re ready to “go up a level”. Here’s my take of the typical progression of a pole dancer:
Please keep in mind that although I only listed out 4 stages, I’m not saying it’s impossible to progress without meeting one of the things I’ve listed. I’ve definitely met girls who have been dancing for years and still hate doing a side climb. Part of pole dancing is also realizing your weaknesses and body limitations (and hopefully overcoming them!) while playing to your strengths.
If you have any questions, inbox me! Let me know if you want me to respond privately as well :)
and keep on dancing!
Pole dancing accommodates all skill levels!
My friend and I started with a Groupon at a local studio and decided that we loved it. Going to a studio was really nice because we had a great community of people who loved it around us. It’s a wonderfully positive environment that encourages any style of dance.
You can also start at home with youtube videos and an at-home pole (this is how pole professional Nadia Shariff started)! This is a little harder to do since you have to mount your own pole (or set up if it’s a freestanding pole) and you won’t have a spotter or classmates. But if it’s a safer or more comfortable environment for you to practice in, go for it!
Jennifer Kim during her Girl Next Door photoshoot. Such beauty and grace!
Remember to look up at the ceiling, chest out. Just start getting comfortable and flexible in your shoulders by pushing out (right side of the attached image). It’s an incredibly hard lift to do if you’re not facing that way, it forces you to use your obliques versus your lower abs.
I start with my hands pretty high and lift first, but I have had other instructors tell me it was easier for them to start lower and just worry about getting their legs over their heads.
It clicked a little easier for me (could’ve been fluke) when I bent one leg and kept the other straight on the lift, rather than tucking both over just to get them over my head. I believe this is because I’m more comfortable straddling in my TG handspring than tucked. Try whatever works best — good luck!
Aww, thanks! I was super psyched to see it on your blog!
I have my TG lift, but it’s just kind of ugly (bent knees, toes not consciously pointed); however, I think it’s a great starting point for the Phoenix. Practicing my TG lift (deadlifting a few times a day) helped me figure out the mechanics for what happens after the reverse grab.
I found that momentum has helped me a lot with the trick. The more energy you put into the reverse grab, the more that speed with help with the lift (centrifugal force). Without the momentum, you’re essentially doing a deadlift while rotating slowly, rather than spinning yourself into a twisted grip.
Just completed the creation of my most strippertastic cardio-in-heels workout ever. My students better prepare themselves to sweat. Muahaha.
-45 leg isolation (abs)
-butterfly kick pushups (shoulders)
-butterfly kick pushups with arch (abs)
-leg isolation bounces (one knee bent, shoulders in line with hands on the floor)
-sexy squats to body waves to around the world to pirouettes
The workout should last around 15-20 minutes, followed by stretches. Ideal for level 2/3 students who’re usually shy. It helps get them used to making raunchy moves so they’ll have more confidence in their sexier freestyles.
My extended butterfly (It looks a million times better now, promise. See those feet? Those toes are NOT pointed in this photo). Taken sometime in January 2012.
Lana taught me the “Meathook” earlier in the week (forgot to blog). I’ve posted a lovely picture of Natasha Wang doing it for reference.