Eight Pole Dancing Tips for Beginners

When it came to my first pole dancing class, I felt completely out of my element. I wanted to pull my sweatpants over my doughy thighs and scuttle out of the studio. And by the end of the class...I still wanted to run out of the studio but now my doughy thighs were much sorer than they were at the beginning of the class.

However, now that I’ve been swinging my body around that pole for a month, my experience has now changed. I feel sexier, stronger and can now open a pickle jar with no help from my boyfriend. I would 11/10 recommend pole-dancing for anyone who wants an exercise that doesn’t “feel” like exercise.

If you feel like poledancing might be right for you, here are some tips I’ve garnered over the past few months that I will gift to you.


1. Say “No” to Lotion



When it comes to pole dancing, one of the hardest parts is keeping your body on the pole. And moisturized skin, while silky smooth to the touch, is slippery. If you want to stay on the pole, I’d recommend skipping the lotion for the day.

During my first class, I was WAY too concerned with what people were going to think about my bare legs. So I shaved, lotioned and put on baby oil. My oily a*s could not stay on that pole. So do yourself a favor and leave the Lubriderm at home.


2. Grip is Everything



If there is one thing to take from this article, it’s that grip is EVERYTHING. A third of the time when I wasn’t getting a move or spin, I wasn’t (that) weak. It was that I lacked the grip because of sweat or hand cream.

This Dry Hands athletic grip is an absolute lifesaver but any athletic grip will do. Another good tip is having a towel and rubbing alcohol to clean the pole before, after and during practice, not just for hygiene issues, but to maintain the grip. The studio that I attend has those ready and available and it’s the biggest lifesaver.

3. Any and Everybody Can Do It



When I walked into the studio for the first time, I was expecting a room full of muscular, dancing goddesses who could put both their legs behind their heads. However, I was walked in, relieved, because there were women of all sizes, shapes and ages. Big butts, small butts, athletic, skinny, fat and everyone in between was there, smiling and ready to start the class. And everyone there was killing it.

There’s no such thing as a pole dancer’s body. If you have a kind and patient instructor who is willing to teach you the moves, anyone can get into pole dancing. Just relax and enjoy yourself! Besides, everyone will be in too much pain to even care what your body looks like.

4.  Wear as Little Possible


This has nothing to do with confidence or sex appeal. It’s a functional measure. It’s so much easier to stay onto the pole when you skin for the pole to cling to. The fabric of sweatpants or sweatshirts is just going to slip right off. 

It can be daunting to show up to a room full of strangers in nothing but your skivvies, but if you want to get good it’s got to be done. A decent pair of work out shorts and a tank top should be just fine!  


5. If You Don’t Nail a Move, Just Try Again. And Again. And Again. And Again.

Pole dancing is just like any new skill. If at first you don’t succeed, you’ve got to try again. It can be incredibly tempting to throw in the towel. But you'll be swinging your body around that pole like it's second nature, before you know it. All it takes is practice, practice, practice. 

6. Always Ask Questions. 

If you're not sure how to place your foot or where to put your hands, never be scared to ask the instuctor.  I can guarantee that someone else in the room has the exact same question but is too scared to ask. Plus, pole dancing, while it's fun, can potentially be dangerous if you do it incorrectly. It's better to risk seeming dumb and ask the question, then to do a move incorrectly and potentially injure yourself. 

7. Don't Hold Too Tight

I know that after all the emphasis on grip earlier in the article that this seems counterproductive but, yes it is possible to grip the pole TOO tightly. I know that I was so afraid of falling off that I clutched that pole like my life depended on it. But if you want to anything remotely cool looking, you have to learn to loosen that grip. Trust the pole. Trust the instructor. And above all, trust yourself. It's most likely that you're not going to do anything TOO crazy. 

8. You Are Going To Be Sore and Bruised...In Really Weird Places

The place right between your shoulder blades and the spot on your upper thighs about six inches away from your crotch are places that I didn't know could even be sore. But alas, pole dancing enlightened me that indeed they can. Now, your level of soreness is going to depend on your level of fitness and and flexibility. If you're doing dance or playing rugby every other week then you're probably going to be less sore than someone whose workout regimen is mostly couch surfing (i.e., me). Pole dancing exerts a very unique set of muscles and put your body in strange positions.

Just be prepared to find little bruises in funny spots and to load up on icy hot. According to medical professionals, cold showers are excellent for soothing sore muscles. 


It can be incredibly scary to try new things. Especially something like pole dancing, which is so unique that usually most people are starting at a level 0. Hopefully these tips were helpful in easing your nervousness and makes the pole dancing experience a little bit easier. 

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