How to learn pole dancing at home without pole is often considered an impossible feat to accomplish. Popularly known as an acrobatic performance by physically fit women on a pole in the Gentleman’s club, pole dancing has come a long way.
It is now considered to be an ideal way to maintain a slim and fit body. Women who wish to gain strength and flexibility also tend to perform this exercise form. Interestingly, even men have started to dance on the pole to ‘up’ their fitness levels.
The question that now arises is how to learn pole dance at home. As you may not have a pole at home, can this acrobatic dance form still be practiced? Well, let us try and find the real answer to this query.
How to Learn Pole Dancing at Home without Pole Article Contents:
1) What is Pole Dance?
2) What is the History behind Pole Dance?
3) What is the Importance of a Pole in Pole Dance?
4) Can You Really Practice Pole Dancing without a Pole?
5) How to Prepare Your Body to Practice Pole Dance without a Pole?
6) What are the Most Important Pole Dancing Workouts without a Pole?
7) What are the Top 5 Exercises I Should do to Perfect My Pole Dancing at Home without a Pole?
8) Parting Thoughts
What is Pole Dance?
Even before we delve into the question, ‘how to practice pole dancing at home without pole’, it is important to first understand what this dance form is all about.
As the name of itself suggests, it is a dance form that is performed on a vertical pole. The dance form is best suited for the gentleman’s club. This acrobatic dance form is also supposed to be an erotic display of flexibility and the feminine form.
You need to have muscular strength and ample flexibility in the upper body to be able to perform acrobatics on a pole. Even your joints and lower body strength needs to be at par with that possessed by gymnasts (well, almost).
A pole dancer twists, spins, slides and moves her body in various directions without slipping off the pole. So, you can expect hook spins, banana splits, inverts, bend overs, chair spin, bow & arrow etc. while performing on a vertical pole (when you initiate on your pole dancing journey).
What is the History behind Pole Dance?
Pole dance is considered a part of our rich cultural heritage. It was first introduced in India from where this dance form spread to other parts of the globe. Here is a quick look at it’s history in brief:
The Indian Pole Dance:
Mallakhamb in Southern part of India is where the first form of pole dance was discovered. It is said that the practice over here was to exercise the human body by performing acrobatic tricks on a pole.
Interestingly, the circumference of the pole used around eight hundred years ago was far wider than the current day pole used for pole dancing.
Moreover, both male as well as females used to participate in pole based acrobatics in India. Back in those days, pole dance was not supposed to be a display art in the Gentleman’s Club. It was not an erotic dance form either.
The Chinese Pole Dance:
Sometimes in the 12th Century, the Chinese started to adapt pole dance art form into their cultural lifestyle. The style was different than the ones used by the Indians.
Over here, the pole style acrobatics were performed by men and not women. Moreover, two poles were used in the dance form. It was more of a gymnastic performance wherein the male acrobat jumped from one pole to another.
The distance between the two poles was slightly more than 19 feet. So, with no safety net breaking the fall, it was evident that injury and even death was on the cards for unfortunate performers.
Pole Dance in America:
It was the sensual dance form called kouta kauta that helped Americans become familiarized with this dance form. The Ghawazi dancers were apparently responsible for attracting an audience wearing scant clothing and dancing in a provoking manner.
It was in the last decade of the 18th century when female dancers from Little Egypt got their act together. Their scant clothing tended to attract a large audience who loved to see girls in short, revealing dresses.
In the early 1900’s, pole dancing in the United States transformed into an erotic display of a feminine figure. Slides and grinds on the dancing pole seemed to attract men far more than ever. Soon enough, this dance form became synonymous to the Gentleman’s Club.
The Canadian Pole Dance Form:
It was during the last decade of the 19th century that pole dance was introduced in Canada. Ironically, the first pole dance instructor was born and brought up in Canada. Her name was Fawnia Mondey.
She then shifted her base to the United States of America. This is when Fawnia Mondey started to teach the art of pole dance to interested students.
Today, this dance form has become really popular in almost all parts of the globe.
What is the Importance of a Pole in Pole Dance?
Without a pole, you simply cannot hope to perform pole dance. Basically, there are two main categories of poles. The first is a Standard Pole and the second category is the Show Pole.
The standard pole has varying sizes and is made from varying materials with customized fit and finish. The Show Pole is used in clubs and is made from materials that tend to enhance the erotic dance form.
The Standard Pole:
@ The standard pole can be made from a wide variety of materials. Some of the most common ones include brass or steel. This pole can also be made from chrome.
@ You can have a portable standard pole and also a flexible one (this can be shifted from one location to another).
@ Fixed poles tend to be attached to the ceiling with the aid of a steel beam. They do not move and cannot be shifted.
@ Dance poles that are flexible tend to be fixed to the ground. They are screwed to an iron beam or concrete. Brackets can also be used to hold them to the floor.
@ The ones that are affixed to the floor can be removed. You simply need unscrew the bracket and take the dance pole wherever you want.
@ Dance poles come in 6 different measurements. This is with special regards to the diameter. The sizes are 38 millimetres, 40 millimetres, 42 millimetres, 45 millimetres, 48 millimetres and 50 millimetres.
@ In the United States, 50mm pole is popular whereas 38mm diameter pole is popular in Australia.
@ If you want better grip then, opt for poles that have a brass coating. Even titanium coated dance poles offer a superior grip to the dancer.
@ In case your skin tends to break into rash then, opt for stainless steel coated dance poles. This powder coating however lacks efficient grip.
@ If you are a beginner level pole dancer then, opt for chrome pole. In case you want better grip then again, opt for silicone sleeve grips.
@ Get your dance pole coated with powder if you feel that your grip is lacking.
@ Beginner level pole dancers opt for static poles. Advanced level pole dancer need a spinning pole that functions with the aid of bearings. It helps dancers execute seemingly tough dance moves with ease.
@ This is the second type of pole which is used in pole dance.
@ The material used is mostly plastic. It is transparent and may be filled with water in its hollow area.
@ Used mostly in the Gentleman’s club, show pole is fortified with glitter.
@ The base of show poles are usually adorned with lighting. It helps the transparent pole filled with water appear ‘super-attractive’ indeed.
@ You cannot perform slides and other difficult dance moves on this pole as the friction created by the material tends to chaff the skin off the dancer’s body.
Can You Really Practice Pole Dancing without a Pole?
Yes, it is possible to practice pole dancing without a pole. You can also do this at home. So, it would be similar to private pole dancing classes. Investing in a room that is spacious and solely for the purpose of pole dancing is not a feasible idea for everyone.
So, in order to compensate for the lack of funds (for the purchase of a pole) or space, you can perform certain workouts that shall compliment your pole dance workouts.
The Basic Tools and Equipment Needed to Initiate a Pole Dancing Session at Home:
The Right Attitude:
I know it sounds rather silly but unless you begin your training session with the right attitude, the results shall be wishy-washy. So, reset your mind and accept the fact that you need to kick-start a workout session that you always wanted.
Get the Right Gear:
Do you know why you wear formal clothing and not your nightwear when you head to the office? Do you know why you wear fitness clothes and a pair of sport shoes when you head to the gym and not formal clothes?
Well, the answer is simple indeed – your clothes define the work you are all set to perform. Your clothing also determines whether you shall excel at your chosen task or fail.
If you attempt squats wearing formal shoes, a shirt with tie and slim fit pant, what would happen? Most of us would know the answer. Similarly, you need to get into clothes that are meant for pole dancing.
Hit the Music & Establish a Time Table:
Just like you head to the office at 8:00 AM in the morning, you need to establish a particular time for your pole dancing workouts. This helps you develop a ‘mind-to-memory’ connection.
You would make an extra effort to make it on time for your workouts (if you have a time set for it). Also, you need to get into the groove. For this, you need to set a tempo. Play tracks that propel you to perform your dance routine in the best possible manner.
How to Prepare Your Body to Practice Pole Dance without a Pole?
Unless and until your body is fully stretched and warm, you cannot hope to perform pole dance exercises at home. If you attempt to perform pole dancing workouts without stretching your body, you may get injured.
Here are a few basic warm-up exercises for pole dancing:
The first exercise that you need to perform is the good-old jumping jacks.
@ Stand straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Your arms are by your side.
@Jump up raising both arms towards the air as you propel your body in the air.
@ While coming down, get back to the starting position before jumping back again.
Just make sure that you maintain a neutral spine. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions. Three sets of 15 repetitions each are sufficient to raise your heartbeat significantly.
Jumping on the Spot:
As you are at home, you obviously do not have access to a race track. In order to warm your body up for pole dancing, you need to improvise. Here is how:
@ Stand straight with your feet placed narrower than your shoulder-width.
@ Bend your arms at the elbow and place them close to your chest.
@ Jump high in the air and down again before repeating the entire process. Maintain a neutral spine while performing this exercise.
@ 10 to 15 repetitions should be sufficient to get the blood circulation going. Perform three sets of ‘jumping on the spot’ to get the desired results.
Running on the Spot:
This is yet another exercise that tends to fall under the ‘dynamic stretch’ category. Here is how you perform this exercise:
@ Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise your hands bending at the elbow till they are perpendicular to the ground.
@ As you are in a running stance, the next step is to start running. Raise your right foot and left hand (then perform the same action with the alternate limbs).
@ Basically you are running without shifting your body forward or backward. A single repetition includes shifting both feet off the ground.
@ Perform 15 repetitions in total and three sets to achieve the optimal dynamic stretch.
Stretching the Hamstring Muscle:
You can perform this exercise standing, sitting or even lying down.
The Standing Hamstring Stretch:
@ Stand straight joining both feet and hands outstretched facing the sky.
@ Bend down from the hip keeping the knees locked.
@ Try and touch the feet with the tip of your fingers.
@ Remain in that position for 10 seconds before rising back to the starting position.
The Sitting Hamstring Stretch:
@ Sit on the floor and fold one foot at right angles underneath the other (under the thigh).
@ Keep the other foot straight and stoop forward (bending your body at the waist) to touch the toe.
@ Hold this position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat the same exercise with the other leg.
@ Perform 8 to 10 stretches for each leg.
The Lying Down Hamstring Stretch:
@ You would need to lie flat on the ground (on your back).
@ Raise one leg while allowing the other to remain on the ground.
@ Clasp your foot (from the base of the shoe) with a rope. Pull your leg as far towards your head as possible. It should be preferably greater than a 90 degrees angle.
@ Maintain a locked knee while doing so (as far as possible). Repeat the same process with the other leg.
@ Perform 8 to 10 stretches for each leg.
Lying Hip and Spine Rotation:
This is yet another exercise that tends to stretch your spine as well as your hips. It even targets your hip flexors.
@ Lie flat on the ground and bend your right knee till it is perpendicular to the floor.
@ Keeping the left leg straight, rotate the right knee over the left leg. Go all the way down till the knee touches the floor. Hold the position for about 15 seconds.
@ This exercise shall force your hips to feel the stretch and also the spine. Perform this stretch with the other leg.
Neck, Wrist & Ankle Stretch:
In order to practice pole dance moves without a pole, you need to have supple joints as well. This is why your neck, ankle and wrist also need to be exercised.
@ To enable the neck to become flexible, you should rotate it first clockwise and then anti-clockwise. It should be 7 repetitions on each side to achieve the desired effect.
@ Raise your arms in front of your body till they are parallel to the ground. Now, rotate the wrists 7 times clockwise and 7 times anti-clockwise.
@ Lift one leg slightly off the ground and rotate your ankle. First clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Each side should comprise of 7 repetitions each.
What are the Most Important Pole Dancing Workouts without a Pole?
There are a few exercises pertaining to pole dancing that you can accomplish at home. These exercises do not require the help of a pole.
Here are the top 5 exercises that you can perform at home without installing a pole:
Standing on Your Hands:
This is similar to performing a headstand. If you are not familiar with this exercise then, there should be no issues. In case you are new to this exercise then, here is how you do it:
@ Stand a few feet away from a wall.
@ Go down on all four and tuck your right knee to your chest.
@ Take a thrust from the lead leg and try to haul your body up and towards the wall.
@ When your body has pushed upwards, simply pivot both your legs towards the wall.
@ You should now be standing inverted with your legs resting on the wall.
Expert Tip: If you are unable to support your body weight on your outstretched arms then, take the help of another person.
Roll Your Feet Like a Rolex Watch:
This is yet another form of pole dance wherein you lie flat on the ground and roll your feet in a clockwise direction.
@ You need to lie flat on the floor and lift your lower back off the floor.
@ With both knees criss-crossing each other and the palms of your hands lifting your lower back off the ground, start the clock rotation.
@ The leg that is further out needs to be rotated first. This needs to be followed up with the other leg.
@ The action should appear as though the dials of a Rolex watch are in motion.
Expert Tip: Lie on a yoga mat so as not to hurt your upper back and shoulders.
The Good Old Slide:
@ With your arms and legs tucked under your shoulder and hips, bend the right leg at a right angle.
@ The bent leg should then be pushed towards the ceiling.
@ Your left leg should be on the floor and hips pushed down. Basically, this should force your chest to touch the floor.
@ Do a semi push-up to lift your body off the ground and balanced onto your knees.
@ If performed on the pole, this shall resemble a sliding motion.
Expert Tip: Do not rush with this style. Break it down into several stages and execute it only when you are confident of doing it in one go.
The Good Old Booty Shake:
@ Take the help of a chair if you have to.
@ Lean onto the chair thereby allowing your butt to face the audience.
@ Your arms should be resting on the legs of the chair and your legs bent at the waist (with both knees locked).
@ Shake your waist and your butt in a slow yet rhythmic fashion.
Expert Tip: Imagine as though you are booty shaking on a pole to get the desired effect.
The Shoulder Sway:
@ Shoulder sway is an attractive way to woe an audience while pole dancing.
@ You can perform this dance form without a pole as well.
@ Simply shift your left shoulder and arm to the right in a rolling fashion.
@ You need to shift your hips with the shoulder roll in a swaying manner. Make sure that you bend your knees slightly while doing so.
@ Now, repeat this act on the other side of the body.
Expert Tip: Make sure you are facing a full length mirror before executing this exercise. Doing so shall ensure that you never go wrong with this dance style.
What are the Top 5 Exercises I Should do to Perfect My Pole Dancing at Home without a Pole?
I have mentioned in my above paragraphs that strength and flexibility is much needed to learn pole dancing. Even though you are learning how to pole dance at home without a pole, your body needs to have the required strength and energy to get through any dance style.
Pole dancing lessons at home require you to have a fit and supple body. You may opt for pole dancing lessons online to hasten your learning curve.
Here are the top 5 workouts you should do to achieve the strength and flexibility needed to learn pole dancing at home without a pole:
The Push Workout:
The first is a pair of exercises that tend to push your body. The motion of push is vital to ensure that your upper body is being worked optimally. The push workout is in the form of push-ups.
How is it Performed?
@ Performing a push-up is easy. Lie on the ground on your stomach with your arms by your side.
@ Bend the elbows so that your palms touch the floor. Make sure they are slightly wider than shoulder width.
@ Maintaining a neutral spine and keeping both feet pressed together at the ankle, push up with your palms.
@ The pressure of the lift should be felt on the chest, shoulder and triceps area the most.
@ Pause at the top and breathe out with your mouth. Breathe in and power down to the starting position. Repeat till you can do this exercise no more.
Advantage of this Exercise in Pole Dancing: This exercise strengthens your upper body. It also helps strengthen your core.
The Pull Workout:
The idea behind this workout is to strengthen your upper body focusing on your pull strength. This exercise shall help pull your body upwards on the pole with ease.
How is it Performed?
@ You need to have a bar or a ledge that is a few feet higher than your height.
@ Stand a foot behind the bar/ledge with your feet shoulder width apart.
@ Clasp the bar or ledge with your fingers and thumb.
@ Maintaining a straight back and pull your body upwards.
@ Pause for a second when your chin touches the bar/ledge.
@ Go down to the starting position and repeated. Do as many repetitions as you possibly can. Three sets of this exercise should be sufficient.
Advantage of this Exercise in Pole Dancing: Pull-up exercise strengthens your upper back, bicep and forearm muscles. It also strengthens your gripping power. Moreover, pull-ups help stabilize your core.
The Good Old Jump Squat:
While most people are aware of squats, few have an idea what jump squats stand for. Well, the technique and stance is similar to a normal squat. The only big difference is the upward lunge.
How is it Performed?
@ Stand tall with your feet placed shoulder width apart.
@ Make sure your toes are pointing outwards at a 45 degree angle.
@ Maintaining a neutral back, jump upwards keeping both arms either by your side or raised in the air (above your head).
@ While coming down, squat all the way down to the floor and pause at the maximum depth for a second.
@ Jump up again and repeat the same procedure over and over again.
Advantage of this Exercise in Pole Dancing: Your lower body strength is increased dramatically. Jump squats tend to improve your body’s explosive capability.
Ab Crunches and Leg Raise:
Both these exercises are meant to improve the strength and stamina in your core area. Without strengthening the abdominal muscles, you cannot hope to achieve the dance form required for pole dancing.
How is it Performed?
@ Lie down flat on the ground on a yoga mat.
@ Clasp your head in between the palms of both hands and lift your chin slightly.
@ Bend both knees till they are right angle to the ground. Raise your body towards the knee and then come back to the starting positon.
@ After performing 20 to 25 repetitions, take a rest for one minute.
@ The next set is for leg raise. Lie flat on the ground and then raise your feet in the air keeping your knees locked & feet stuck to each other.
@ You may keep your arms pinned by your side to maintain optimal posture.
@ After taking a second to pause at the highest level, get your feet slowly back to the ground.
@ Repeat this exercise about 10 times to achieve the required goal. Three sets of 10 repetitions each is considered ideal.
Advantage of this Exercise in Pole Dancing: If you want to develop your core then, this exercise combination is the best. Your upper and lower abs shall be developed optimally.
Lower Back Raises:
Your lower back can never be ignored if you wish to develop a body that is conducive to pole dancing. While deadlift is an option, if you do not have access to a gym then, you can try this alternative:
How is it Performed?
@ Lie flat on the back and bend your knees slightly.
@ Place both arms by your side. Raise your lower back above the ground without curving your back.
@ Pause for a few seconds at the top before shifting your back to the floor.
@ Repeat this exercise a few times and feel the lower back contract at the top.
@ Perform 3 sets of this exercise to avail maximum benefits.
Advantage of this Exercise in Pole Dancing: The lower back is often ignored and usually taken for granted by dancers. This is a big mistake as the strength and suppleness of your lower back happens to provide maximum benefits to pole dancers.
While learning to pole dance without a pole is possible at home, the concept of doing so should be very clear. You need to first know why you want to learn this dance in the very first place.
Is it because you saw someone at the club pole dancing and you got hooked or is it because you want to learn this dance form.
Just to break the ice, you could try lap dance using a chair as a medium. Simply roll and swing your hips and booty to get the feel of the dance form. Once you have decided to learn pole dancing, perform workouts every alternate day not exceeding the 45 minute mark.
You also need to perform dynamic stretches and allow your body to recover if your muscles are sore. You might want to take a few days off if your body is aching. Diet is important as well. Avoid fast food and processed foods and include fresh veggies/fruits in your diet.
How to learn pole dancing at home without pole has hopefully been answered. To make things better, you might want to install a pole at your home. Do so only when you have learnt the basic exercises and honed your dancing skills to an intermediate level.