Please submit photos and videos of the lovely aerial dancers and artists that inspire you (or inspire us with your own!). I’ll publish here to share with our pole-hungry followers. The Pole Playground focus tries to look beyond the athleticism to true power, grace and artistry. Can’t wait to see what you send!
l0singiswinning asked: Hello! I am seventeen and I really want to learn to pole dance, I think it's such a beautiful form of dance. But I was wondering if you think group lessons are awkward to begin with.
Hi there! GREAT question.
I’m biased, seeing as how I was “raised” in a group lesson environment. Totally understand the hesitation, but I can assure you that group lessons are a fantastic way to start.
First and foremost: It’s the most cost-effective option. Private or semi-private lessons cost double to triple the going rate of a group class. I truly believe private lessons should be reserved for advanced-to-master level students looking for a breakthrough that they aren’t currently attaining in a group setting (handsprings, aerial transitions, competitive level mounts and combos).
Second: You can learn a lot from watching others at your level. It’s one thing to have an instructor demo and break down the curriculum, but another to watch and interact with your peers. The obvious caution here is, as you described it, the “awkward” factor. This could be shorthand for anything from “I’m not learning this as fast/well as they are” to “I don’t feel comfortable dancing/spinning in my hot pants in front of virtual strangers.” The possibilities for awkward are, admittedly, endless.
But take heart, dear vixen. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks here, by a long shot. In most cases, the awkward feelings you may have dissipate as soon as you step into your first class and realize that you’re all feeling the exact same way. You’ll also learn that this discipline attracts women of all shapes, sizes, ages and athletic/dance ability—and pole is the great equalizer. I’ve seen career athletes struggle, and career couch potatoes thrive. I’m 34 years old and have danced with a 68 year old who could clean my clock in the dance department. There is so much to learn from your classmates that you wouldn’t have the benefit of discovering on your own.
This leads me to my third and final point: The dancer you become is a direct product of the dancers who take part in your journey. It’s just like life in general, right? Each person you encounter will bring something different to your development, whether it be technical or artistic in nature. One of my favorite ways to learn is to watch my classmates dance. They inspire me to try new things, and it helps me to grow.
I’ve recommended this before, but I am a big fan of shopping for the right studio. Take an intro class at a few places to see where you feel most at home—it’s so important if you’re in it for the long haul. Good luck!