Practice. It's a shitty word like "homework." People want to practice things about as much as they like paying their taxes. I think the word practice just has a terrible PR team. It's all in the spin ;). Okay, bad joke, but it made me giggle, so it stays. Ladies come into the studio and see something they are impressed with and they always ask, "How did you learn to do that?" My answer always disappoints them because it is the dreaded P-word, practice.
*Breakaway poles -the tension rod type that you can pop up without permanently mounting into the floor or ceiling fucking blow. They call them breakaway because they fucking break. Duh. It's right in the name. All those bitches you laugh at falling on their faces on Youtube are using breakaway poles. It looks funny on Youtube, but they get really hurt. Those poles are for mincing about and walking in circles they are not for spinning or inversions (going upside down) no matter what the advertisement says, they are dangerous. It does not matter what they say the weight limit is on the pole. If you weigh 120 and the pole is rated for 300 lbs, you may be surprised to know that is quite possible that your 120 exceeds 300lbs of force when your body is spinning, particularly if you are spinning with most of your body away from the pole. The other problem with those poles is that if they are not dead level, a few degrees off will send you and the pole flying. I can't be sure, but I suspect this is what happens in most of the Youtube videos
Practice comes in various forms. For pole dancing it is generally in these three areas: fitness, flexibility and fluidity.
Fitness- being able to lift your body, hold your body in the air, support your own weight as you spin on a pole. It's fucking hard to do. If you do not have a pole at home, you can practice the chair routines and the floor show work. If doing sit ups and pushups on a chair is hard for you, then you need to keep doing it. Every small improvement gets you closer to your goal. Going from half a push-up to a whole push up is actually a marked improvement. It is something you can do at home to make you more prepared for taking on new moves. You cannot escalate the difficulty of the things you do if you do not escalate your preparation for them.
Flexibility- You don't have to be able to be able to put your ankles behind your ears to be able to pole dance, but it sure helps. You can do stretches at home- the same ones we do in class. Yoga helps tremendously. Don't be like one of those douchebag guys with ponytails who tries to outdo everyone with how zen they are and get yourself hurt. Stretch until you can feel the muscles working, never bounce your stretch - very much unlike what they told us to do in gym class. You will not see major changes in a few days, but if you stick with it, you will be more flexible than you thought possible.
Fluidity- Motherfucker this is hard. Fluidity is the culmination of all of the things you learn put together. It is being strong enough to do the move, flexibility helps for making moves look graceful and adds a perceived degree of difficulty and the practice helps you transition smoothly from one move to the next. It takes a fairly fit individual to make it through a 3 minute song. You cannot have fluidity without practice. It is not possible. It does not matter how strong or flexible you are, you have to be comfortable with each move, your body position, the next move you'll be doing and how to get there. One trick at a time is nice, but a whole dance is a lot more exciting.
Everyone wants an answer like, "sprinkle some glitter all over your body and you will become the best pole dancer ever." It's the same face people make when they ask how I lost 25 pounds. I moved my fat ass more and ate cake less. Yes, it sucked. Yes, it took a while. Pole dancing requires practice. Some of that time will likely need to be at home, doing sit ups, push ups or working on flexibility. You have to put work in to it if you want results. Simple as that.