As there currently aren't many standardized Pole dancing teachers qualifications, how do you identify a good one?
The gold standard of a good teacher is someone who has studied anatomy and physiology and is either a fully qualified physical fitness instructor or qualified, experienced dance teacher (for example, of Jazz dance) to combine with their long-term knowledge of Pole dancing.
A current or ex-dancer, no matter how experienced or impressive, needs to have specifically done teacher training (and some anatomy and physiology) to teach this dance safely.
And they must have the correct insurance to teach you.
We've heard horror stories of some Pole dancers turning up at class sessions, demonstrating advanced moves without any warm-up, explanation or support and leaving the poor pupils to have a go on the Pole while the dancer goes and gets ready for their professional set later that night.
You don't need us to tell you that this is very bad news and to be avoided. So, yes we've said it before, but it's worth repeating; be taught by a teacher, not by a dancer.
Good Pole dancing teachers will be watching you like a hawk, will be able to very quickly establish your level of ability and tailor the moves accordingly, and will know exactly when to physically support you.
A useful little boost or two occasionally is just what you need.
And of course since they will teach you some moves by almost lifting you up the pole, they have to be trained and experienced to know how to do that so it is safe for you both.
All that said, if your Pole dancing teachers are really that good, they'll probably have bodies to die for and that's a great motivator for you to try your best and tone those muscles.
There is much debate amongst Pole dancing teachers about the right moves and techniques.
This is mainly because there's no qualifications or curriculum in Pole dancing so there's no standardized way of doing the moves.
One teacher will teach the positions or climbing the pole one way, another teacher will teach it completely differently or may call the moves something else.
And of course, every teacher thinks their way is the right way.
If you follow our advice above and find a really good, safe, experienced teacher, do it their way. Then it doesn't matter if a different teacher would teach you another way.
We only mention this because you will find a lot of variation between teachers if you switch classes or if you use online video clips to learn from at home.
Find a teacher you like and follow them. And if you do some videos or go to other Pole dancing teachers, just don't be surprised that you see moves being done in an alternative way.
Remember, there's no right way, as long as it's safe.
OK, so you've found a great class with a great teacher. Who else is likely to be in the class with you? Who is Pole dancing really suitable for?
Well, most women can learn how to Pole dance at a well taught class, but before you trot off to your local one, here are a few things to consider.
Many places that teach ordinary Pole dancing classes also now offer Pole dancing parties - for hen nights, bachelorette parties, birthdays and so on.
These are just for fun and the party-goers try out the Pole in a relaxed, social atmosphere.
It's probably not going to be a full-on lesson with a thorough warm-up and cool down, but rather a more informal chance to try out a single move or two, usually accompanied by peals of laughter from your friends.
It's great fun and a good laugh and anybody of any age, shape, height or size can have a go.
In the ordinary classes though, you'll be taught several moves which will build into a short routine.
Now, clever Pole dancing teachers will choreograph the routine to include some work that uses the Pole while you are standing or even sitting on the floor, which everybody can do without too much effort.
But at least some of the moves are inevitably on the Pole itself.
How will you fare with pulling up your own body weight using just your arms? A good instructor is going to help you, but it is hard work.
Of course, the great benefit is that after just a few lessons, you will notice a great improvement in the tone of your upper arms - a much hated area and one that a lot of dances don't address.
So, if your arms aren't used to doing much lifting, they're going to ache a bit after your first lesson. But persevere - it's well worth the fitness benefits.
And lastly, do please bear in mind that generally, most Pole dancing classes are open to those aged 18 and over.
So in summary, age, weight, shape, size and height don't really matter.
If it's tone, suppleness and strength you're after, great Pole dancing teachers have a lot to offer in their classes.
So finally, let's explore some of the most basic moves you might see in your beginners class...