Pole Levels

So for the last two weeks I’ve finally been able to get back into serious dancing after the dislocated rib healed.  It’s been awesome to get back into it, and I was surprised to see that I didn’t lose as much strength as I would have suspected.  My friend Kristen has been coming to classes too, and on Saturday my friend Meredith came for the first time.  It’s pretty cool to get others into such a great hobby.

I’m getting pretty good at Push/Pull.  It’s the method used to keep your time on the pole (with your feet off the ground) in control and graceful.  It’s a two-handed grip with one hand above your head and the other at about hip level.  You push with your bottom hand and pull with the top.  This helps you to hold your body off of the pole so you can do more interesting things with your legs.  I’m starting to get the hang of it and so have been able to learn some more complicated spins.  First, I’ve been practicing the the Front Hook Spin and the Fireman Spin one-handed.  That brings a whole new level of difficulty to the party!  I can feel my one arm really working to keep me up off the ground.  I’ve also learned the Pinwheel Spin and the Sunwheel Spin; both are absolutely beautiful when done properly.  Sadly, they require a lot of space so until my permanent pole is installed in my living room, I won’t have the room to do them at home.

Speaking of which, we purchased a pole!  All that’s left is for Ron to get it installed.  I’m stoked to have a sturdy pole in a spacious area to do some work and practice at home.  I’m going to have some of my pole-dancing buddies over for an installation party so we can all break it in.

Another technique I’ve been working on is climbs.  Climbing is definitely the toughest things I’ve encountered so far.  My size is a disadvantage; being petite definitely would come in handy with this one.  There is a technique for properly climbing the pole and it involves a tremendous amount of arm, core, and leg strength.  I’ve been able to get about halfway up the 20 foot pole, so I’m getting there, but I definitely fatigue out before I reach the top.  Another thing about climbing that Melanie told us: “It just hurts.”  It rubs your skin and it’s gonna bruise.  But I’ve said it before: it’s a labor of love.

Speaking of bruises; I have earned some epic ones.  Especially at Ragnarok where I was pole dancing during a good deal of the evening parties.  I had a major one on the top of my right foot from the Fireman Spin (you balance using the heel of one foot and the top of your other foot.  Apparently the top of your foot tends to bang into the pole pretty hard.)  I also had huge bruises on my inner thighs from sits (you go up onto the pole about 5-7 feet, cross your legs, and hold yourself in place with your core and by squeezing your inner thighs around the pole.)  Youch.  And finally I had one on the back of my right thigh from the front hook spin (you have to wrap your knee around the pole and then fall forward.)  Those combined with my fighting-related bruises?  I looked like I’d been in a brawl.  Or several of them.

So the biggest news is that I am a mere one trick and a slightly higher climb away from graduating to Pole Level 3!  The criteria for moving up in levels is basically a list of the tricks a dancer should be able to do before she moves on to learn more advanced moves.  I figured I was getting close, but I didn’t realize quite how close.  It’s very exciting to think that soon I’ll be climbing the pole to the ceiling and starting to learn some inversions.  Things start to get pretty advanced by Level 4, so 3 should offer quite the learning curve.

I hope that reading about this pole experience inspires you to try something new.  Whether it’s pole dancing, another kind of dancing, or just a hobby you’ve been interested in, go for it.  I am so happy I decided to give my new passion a try.

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