Pole Dancing Moves

Pole dancer

Pole dancing moves include spins, turns and slides which are actually not as difficult as they sound.

But it might surprise you a little to know that a lot of Pole dancing moves for the complete beginner are done at floor level.

The finesse and the look of your dancing will be addressed, taught and encouraged from the very start.

So expect a little bit of stepping around the pole, doing a 'ripple' (like a body roll - see our Hip Hop section), lying around the foot of the pole, deep knee bends (like pliés - see our Ballet section) and of course strutting around the pole with much booty shaking...

All this, whilst it can feel comical and embarrassing to begin with, actually does make you more aware of your body position and encourages good use of your own body space – vital for success in ANY dancing.

Some moves aren't for fitness or physically taxing at all, they really are just for show.

So there's something to be had here even if you are convinced that you've two left feet and / or are tragically out of shape.

Use The Pole

Next, you'll probably learn the basic Pole dancing moves, the front hook, and the fireman spin.

Both of these don't start 'off the ground', but from a standing position on the floor.

So you aren't going to have to hold yourself on the pole to do them.

This, happily, means that you can't really fall off doing these first moves. So you can afford to put some real energy into them - they're pretty safe.

Both involve spinning around the pole; the fireman spin with both feet off the floor and the front hook with one foot off the floor and one leg hooked around the pole.

They are both easy to master, safe to perform and will give you a really good idea of how the pole feels in your hands when you hold on tight and spin.

But of course, at some point you are going to want to climb the pole.

And you need to learn how to do this safely and securely before you can execute any specific Pole dancing moves.

There are various ways this can be achieved...

The Basic Climb

One of the easiest ways to gain height on the pole is with a basic climb.

You angle your shin parallel with the pole at hip level, hooking your knee around one side of the pole and your ankle around the other.

You then pull up using your arms and the grip that you've created with your working leg. You other leg then joins it in exactly the same position to secure you in place while you move your hands further up the pole to pull up again.

The basic climb does get you up the pole, but on its own doesn't look particularly great.

So there's another movement that enables you to climb the pole a little and then lock into a position that is a bit more pleasing to the eye.

And, conveniently, it's call the lock position.

The Lock

You achieve a lock on the pole by pulling yourself up with everything your upper body has got, hard as you can until your feet are properly off the floor.

Then, with a leg on each side of the Pole, quickly straighten out one leg in front of you, and tightly wrap your other leg over it.

Done properly, this should lock you in position on the Pole.

You then un-grip with your hands, place them higher up the Pole and by releasing your leg position and pulling up again, you get yourself higher up.

Lock your legs again and repeat until you are at the desired height (which for a beginner, shouldn't be very far).

Easy. Or fairly easy, anyway.

If you find it difficult to engage your inner thigh muscles you may be overusing your arms, which will then get tired easily.

So strive for balance of muscle use if you can.


It's the lock position you need to do over and over while you build that vital upper body strength and leg grip which will save you from slipping when doing the more advanced Pole dancing moves.

For example, once you've mastered it, you can start (carefully) taking one hand off the pole, and leaning back.

This is a great move to boost your confidence and if you're getting the hang of the lock position quickly, your instructor may progress you to leaning back with one hand off the pole on your first lesson.

Exact positioning of the body is crucial here – the right bit gripping at the right time in the right place.

But it's great for the confidence at an early stage and of course fabulous for your physique.

You'll find, probably without even realizing it, that your instructor has been gently encouraging you to do slightly more with each move, each time you practise it.

Eventually, you know enough floor based and Pole dancing moves that will nicely follow on from one another to form a basic routine.  You can see more moves here.

It's hard work and you need to concentrate. There's a right way to do it that's safe, and a wrong way that's dangerous. And you're going to be using muscles that you probably don't use very often.

But, the rewards of learning Pole dancing are potentially huge.

The best muscle tone, suppleness and strength await you, if you can master this brilliant, fun dance...

You now have all the insider information you need to join your local Pole dancing class and be miles ahead of the rest.  Enjoy your dancing!

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