Pole dancing without the pole seems like a counterintuitive idea. After all, the word “pole” is even in pole dancing, making it an important component of the activity.

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But there are times when poles are not available due to some restrictions. Even if you have the time and money to spare, there is just no way to install a pole for practicing at home. 

Learning pole dancing with an instructor within a safe and adequately equipped studio is still the best option. There is the aspect of “little community” and helping each classmate make progress in performing. However, what if dance studios are not accessible due to location or other constraints? Can you learn pole dancing without a pole? 

Unfortunately, the short answer is no. You need to try out the moves in an actual pole to get an actual feel of the experience (and learn them). And you can’t really risk making a DIY one because poorly-designed poles might cause injuries when they accidentally break. However, practicing without a pole is doable if you know what to focus on. 

Can You Learn Pole Dancing Without A Pole?

3 Common Reasons For Pole Restrictions

There are some instances wherein access to a dance studio is restricted or downright not possible. Home installations might also not be an option for some learners due to other varying issues that are not remediable. Pole dance learners usually encounter these barriers when attempting to get their own pole setup or study with pros. 

1. Limited Space

1. Limited Space

Some people who don’t have enough house space available might have a hard time getting a dance pole installed.

This is often the case for people who are living in rented apartments and are worried about causing ceiling damage or those who have a smaller structure. Unfortunately, there can be no remedy to this other than to find the nearest studio or to get a bigger home (which is quite unlikely for the obvious reason).

2. Expensive Price

2. Expensive Price

Starting your training in a dance studio has its own benefits besides the welcoming community: you can actually try it out without splurging big bucks. If you do not want to buy your own dance pole for home use, you can try searching “pole dance classes near me” and start by attending some beginner pole lessons when you can.

This would be a smaller upfront spend of $25 or so, for the one-hour lesson. However, over time, the costs of these lessons will exceed the cost of a good dance pole.

If you don’t mind spending on a good quality pole, along with other accessories like a pole dance crash mat or a Lyra hoop extension then these costs might end up being a sound investment for you.

3. Other Restrictions

And last but not the least, there are other restrictions that cause learners to miss out on learning opportunities. Some of the major ones are location restrictions (due to lockdown or distance), and simply the unavailability of dance studios nearby. 

The Answer: You Can’t, But…

There is simply no way to learn a pole without a dance pole. You can learn your basics by watching lectures provided by online schools such as OpenDance Academy. But to ingrain the skill in your memory, you still need to try the moves in a real pole.

However, what you can do is train and strengthen your body. This will enable you to learn faster and have a less stressful time when you actually got the chance to try out your moves on a real pole.

And even if you change your mind afterward, that body-strengthening training is still worth it. 

How To Get Better At Pole Dancing Without A Pole: 4 Tips

You can do some body-strengthening activities without a pole. If you have enough space to do some exercises at home, you can start right now before even stepping inside a dance studio. Here are some of the dance pole training that you can do even without a pole available. 


1. Grip and Wrist Exercises

1. Grip and Wrist Exercises

One of the most important things to focus on when prepping for your pole debut is your grip power and wrist strength. The majority of routines will require a powerful grip to support your movement while you’re on the pole. 

A strong grip will also help you level up your skills later on for more complex performances. The best way to exercise your grip is to use a grip expander, which is pretty inexpensive and very effective. 

2. Leg Strengthening / Floorwork

2. Leg Strengthening / Floorwork

There are some movements that require jumping power to lift you off the air into the pole. Hence, getting your legs and feet strong is a good idea.

You would also need a crazy lower body strength to minimize damages during the descent after climbing the pole. 

3. Motion And Flexibility

3. Motion And Flexibility

And lastly, you should also focus on flexibility training and exercises. A good thing about this one is that you can cross-train with other aspects to maximize your time.

Yoga is a great activity to incorporate into your exercises because it can strengthen your muscles while improving your flexibility. These two elements can affect your motion purity. 

4. Sensual Dancing

Can You Learn Pole Dancing Without A Pole

Sensual dancing is a type of dance that is meant to be suggestive and erotic. It often incorporates slow, sexy movements and can be done solo or with a partner.

Solo sensual dancing is an intimate dance where you can explore your own body and movement in response to music. It can be a way to release stress, connect with your own sensuality, and feel more embodied.

Generally, it is a great way to express your sensuality and sexuality, and it can be a lot of fun too!

As pole dancing is all about being comfortable with your body and controlling every aspect of your movement, becoming more sensual and intune with your femininity is a very good basis to cover. And this is true whether you are new to the vertical arts or have been doing it for years.