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The Top Ten Milestone Moments for Pole Dancers

Fiona Perso

Posted on September 10 2018

When you start pole dancing you usually have a wish list in your head of the moves you want to achieve. For some it’s a beautiful flat jade spilt, for others it may be just a simple invert. Mine was an aerial deadlift, I was aiming very high right from the start, and needless to say it’s taken me years to get my dream move. Along the way there have been many milestone pole moves that have marked a new phase of movement conquered and opened new avenues of learning. One of the great things about pole dancing is that you never stop learning, there’s so many facets to the sport. There’s always new moves being created, new combos to try, new dance elements to work on, handstands, flexibility. As pole dancers we’ll never be bored or lack inspiration from our community.

Dip Spin Pivot

A simple classic but one you’ll never stop using throughout your pole dancing life. When done well, it’s ridiculously pretty. Master it early on and work on different moves that can follow on from it.


You’ve fought the fear, your abs are primed for action, you take a deep breath, kick your legs up and let your body fall backwards, and YES. You’ve successfully inverted for the first time. This is a big milestone for pole dancers as it opens up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of pole tricks.


Look Mum, no hands!! The first scary no hands move you’re likely to learn is the layback. Oh dear lord, this one is scary. So just cross your legs really tight around a metal pole, let go and layback. Sure, no problem right, I don’t really value my head, no worries if I land on it. Squeeze your thighs together like your life depends on it, because it kinda does. This one has always been a bit of a nemesis move for me, 5 years down the track and I’m still not really confident in it.

Outside/Inside Leg Hang

Once you’ve mastered the invert, it’s time to introduce your inner thighs to pain the likes of which they’ve never known and hook your leg around the pole to hold yourself upside down. It’s bittersweet really, you’re really excited and happy, but you’re also wondering if the skin on your leg is about to rip off. Thankfully you’re legs get used to the pain and after a while it becomes a comfortable position. Leg hangs feature in nearly every pole combo in some way or another so you want get comfortable in them.

Pole dance outside leg hang

My very first pole competition in 2014 when the leg hang was about the fanciest move i had. 


If you thought the leg hang was painful, wait until you meet your new friend the Superman. This is one pole dance move that I found particularly painful, it took me a long time to get comfortable with this one. Similar to the layback it’s all about the inner thighs.


Even wanted to do some trigger point therapy on your sore and tired traps, this is the move for you. Literally push your trap muscles as hard as you can into a metal pole and support your weight there. Such fun! I feel like this is the first of the real strength based moves I was introduced to, especially if you’re not kicking up into it or taking it aerial. You’ll never stop shoulder mounting, going up into one, coming down into one, learning the different grips, there are so many ways to incorporate a shoulder mount into a pole dancing combo. And if the Fonji is on your wish list, this is a move you’re going to need to get very comfortable with.

Jade Split

It’s an absolute classic, you’ve seen it performed countless times, it’s a goal of every pole dancer to master the Jade Split. It may not start off pretty, but getting into the position with both legs off the pole and being totally dependent on positioning and side grip is exhilarating. From there it’s just working on your splits to achieve a nice line.

Pole dance jade split

My first jade split on stage at Miss Pole Dance SA 2016. That bend in my leg is killing me.


 The first time you hold yourself upside down using only your arms with no legs on the pole at all is a BIG DEAL! You’ve worked hard and conquered a lot of your fears to get to this point, you deserve some chocolate.

Iron X

 This one is a biggie!! After you’ve done an Iron X you are officially classified as a pole dancing beast. Make like the dudes at your local gym and check out your muscles in the mirror, you’ve earned those bad boys.

Phoenix (any of them, they’re all bloody hard)

 This move really gives you a sense of freedom and flight, it’s one of my favourites. This is the only move so far that is exclusively a static pole manoeuvre. You need to drive your own spin to get momentum to assist you to lift, otherwise it can just become a deadlift, which is a lot harder. The twisted grip was the first one I learned, but I actually find the cup grip to be the easiest for me.

Bonus Milestone – Deadlift

 Ok, so I may have just put this in here because it was always my ultimate dream move to be able to do an aerial deadlift. It took me about 5 years and I can sometimes do it, it’s still a bit hit or miss. Take the beast level that you achieved with the Iron X and double it, this move will make you feel like the Hulk.

What were your milestone moves, let us know what would be on your list xx


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