There are two very distinctive things to note about myself as a pole dancer and I’m sure my fellow instructors and class mates will agree. Number one, I’m tall, I’m nearly 5”10, which can be a hazard in pole class. The second thing is I have terrible grip on the pole, particularly hand grip and foot grip. Not ideal as a pole dancer I’m sure we can all agree. I don’t know why, but it’s always been the case. I’m constantly wiping the pole down with my towel, or with metho, or applying dry hands, whatever seems to work best on the night. But still I’ll have pole training sessions where no matter what lotions or potions I try, NOTHING works. I’ve never completed a single routine in pole class because at some point I just won’t have the grip required and I’ll have to dismount my pole and awkwardly freestyle a little until the rest of the class completes their beautiful combos. I’m very careful about what tricks I include in any compeition routines because I just don’t trust my damn hands. I’d really love to phoenix in a routine, it’s a deep haunting desire of mine. I once put a ragdoll/punchfront/reiko combo in a routine as my last combo and not once did I complete a run through where I had sufficient grip to complete it. In the end I changed my combo at the last minute and totally stuffed it, but that’s another story. Oh, and summer just makes it worse, I’m just a hot sweaty mess. The more I rub the sweat in, the more I sweat. The only thing I like about winter is the fact that I grip slightly better in the cold. I’ve tried pretty much every grip there is and some other alternative methods and sadly I’m still a slippery bitch.
But there may still be hope for you, so I’ve compiled a list of grips and tips to help you out:
Me: Seeya later, I’ll be back in a couple of hours.
Partner: Where are you going?
Me: Pole practice.
Partner: I thought you did that this morning?
Me: I did, I’m going again!
This is actual dialogue I’ve had with my partner in the lead up to a pole dancing competition. Pole dancing competitions are some stressful business. You're performing in front of hundreds of people on a couple of shiny poles wearing limited clothing and just praying not to fall on your head. For the uninitiated, here's some vital info you need to know about pole dancing competitions.
One of the first things you realise when you first start pole dancing is that a degree of flexibility is a necessity. A lot of pole moves centre on splits, fronts, middles and everyone’s favourite the fake split. Not to mention the complex beasts that are shoulder and back flexibility. Unless you’re one of those annoying people who come from a gymnastics, calisthenics, ballet, dance background, then you’re probably in the same boat that I was, and starting from scratch. What follows is a list of all the things I wish I’d known before I started my stretching journey: