Let’s Talk Improvement

To be honest I’m not quite sure where to start this blog as the idea has been pounding in my head for so long. I am frustrated, angry and just a bit disappointed in the pole world. GASP!

Each and every day I, like you, am bombarded with images, videos and comments of pole dancing. And I love it (well obviously because if I didn’t I’d remove it all from my feed :P).

And before we continue, I would like to point out that I’ve written (okay ranted) before about proper progressions in both the pole world and the training world. Progressions help people move forward smoothly and safely.

But this isn’t about progression. It’s about classification.

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And as instructors, I think we have failed. Effing miserably actually.

So let’s delve into this shall we?

A Butterfly is not a beginner move., A student shouldn’t walk into an intermediate class and be expected to do janeiros or ayeshas. Neither of which is intermediate. Contortionist moves are not only not for everyone but nowhere near intermediate or “basic”.

The pole world has become so effing elite that we’ve forgotten what the word “basic” truly means.

For the majority of women walking into a pole studio, elitist moves are not needed. Women want to learn to pole yes, to feel good, to do something positive for their bodies. But the level of skill/strength some moves require (handsprings, ayeshas, fonjis) is not to be taken lightly.

All we’ve accomplished with this poor, pathetic labeling is scaring away average people who might want to learn. Why? Because if I was a newbie and went to an intermediate class and was shown janeiro I would be so freaking discouraged by the move that I would wonder what the point of starting was when I would never get to that level… since that is only intermediate.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am super proud of how far the pole world has come and what we and our bodies can accomplish. And I love that more and more people are getting to the level of pole in which they can try ayeshas, contorted split moves etc. And I understand that it will still be a long time before we all agree on proper classifications or progressions- we all have different opinions on pole.

But let’s not pretend that complex bracket holds, unique arm positions for inverts or contortion type moves are beginner or intermediate. Because they’re not.

And it is unbelievably frustrating and discouraging to see people posting moves like yogini in a beginner class.

Instead, let’s keep the focus on perfecting the true beginner (basic spins, seats, holds) and intermediate (inside/outside leg hang, flatline, crucifix) moves. Let’s not show off to our classes and have them perform moves that they have probably not had time to work up to (especially if they only learned a pole seat and teddy in a beginner class and need to jump to janeiro and extended butterfly in intermediate). And let’s be a bit more consistent with poling.

As instructors, we are here to help people delve into the world of pole. To navigate it, to feel good, to enjoy it and to stay injury free. We are not here to get every single student into the most advanced moves possible in the shortest time possible.

Take your time, progress properly (and safely) and classify your moves appropriately.

Need some help? Check these awesome, progressive online lessons!