While watching a movie, you get transfixed with a club scene of fit girls twirling and spinning in a pole. These pole dancers spin with movement that is both graceful and effortless without breaking a sweat. You may have wondered, how do pole dancers spin? How do they do that kind of stunt and carry their weight around the vertical pole?
If you’ve done Yoga, Pilates, or even chin-up exercises, core strength is needed to carry your weight. But to spin in a pole requires dance coordination, muscle stamina, and rhythmical aerobic movements. It’s not even close to being an easy exercise or light-sport that’s why they will soon be adding pole sports to the Olympics!
Pole dancing has already picked up traction around the world with world championships, the National Australian Pole Sports Championship and, all sorts of other pole competitions.
How to Spin
The best way I can describe a spin movement is to make you visualize water in a laundry machine. The way the water moves in a circular motion is how you try to do a fluid spin movement. You aim for a spin momentum by using your hips and legs to create the circular movement, not just swinging to the front. I’ve heard pole dancers use the term hips-around spin or the natural direction of a spin, explained this way:
- Imagine kicking all sides of the four walls in a room.
- Draw a big circle in the air with your swinging foot using a push of the hip to lead the circular movement.
- Swing your other leg sideways to the front.
Basic 101 of Pole Dancers Spins
Before you can execute the sequence of spins of pole dancing, you’ll have to start with the basic wrap-around movement:
- Use Your Strong Hand to Grab the Pole
- Stand a bit behind the pole beside your dominant hand.
- Position your inside foot close to the base of the dance pole.
- Grab the pole with your dominant hand slightly above your head.
- Straighten your arm to allow your weight to hang from the pole.
- Swing Around the Pole
- Straighten your outside leg and swing it out to the side, then step around the pole at the same time pivoting the inside foot.
- Your knees are slightly bent as you turn to the move and appear graceful.
- Use Your Leg to Hook the Pole
- Position your outside foot behind the other foot.
- Transfer your weight to the back foot, while hooking your inside leg around the pole.
- Get a good pole grip behind the knee.
- Arch your Body Backwards
- Bend your body backward in an arch.
- Lower your hand to pull you into a comfortable deeper bend as the ending sequence.
- Use a steady grip of the hands to support the back and a good hold of the leg.
- Straighten Your Body to Finish Off
- Straighten your body as you prepare to stand on the floor.
- Release the hooked leg from the pole, while the other leg positions to stand.
- Set up the next movement for the starting sequence.
How Do Pole Dancers Spin? Static and Spinning Poles
I learned that there are two kinds of pole stands, the static and the spinning pole. Both are accepted and used in dance competitions to test the pole dancer’s skill and adaptation.
Using the fixed or static pole allows the dancer to execute new tricks without interfering with the swings and balance. The muscle strength and spinning skill is the focus to hold your body steady during a spin.
With a static pole, the dancers must have strong arm and core muscles to keep their body stable. The dancer can use one leg or two legs gripping on to the pole with their arms straight making sure that their shoulders are not rotated forward.
The static grip is usually used when trying a new trick where you cannot risk losing balance while learning it. Also, using this grip allows the dancer to do some tricks more easily without interference from the speed of the spin.
The spinning pole is not for everyone. Some find it challenging to handle the speed that can throw you off your dance sequence. You need to balance the right moves to speed up at one point and slow down at another.
The spinning pole is typically used by more experienced pole dancers and is a step up from the static pole. Routines on the spinning pole can be executed with one arm or two arms gripping on to the pole.
Pole Dancers spin with ease and rhythmic movement from many hours of practice and patience.
Like any new exercise, you must start with pole spin basics and work with what feels natural.
As you get better with balance and momentum, you’ll see improvement and soon do a pole dancer’s spin.