Pole Series- Moving Up From The Basics

Last week we spoke about how I start off clients through basic pole moves. This week I’m going to explain the next step. While we’re still looking at more beginner moves, they are a bit more challenging and require much more mind muscle connection and strength.


So the student should now know, and be successful at, basic spins (firemans/front & back hooks). One a client is comfortable with those spins I begin taking them into bracket spins. Bracket spins are a challenge. They require the student to perform essentially a one are spin while creating a delicate balance between push and pull. On top of that, they need to understand the basics of momentum and how much is needed for each variation.


The chair spin is always the first version of a bracket spin I teach… because it’s not a full bracket. The secondary arm is not extended upside down below the wait, but instead still across the chest. The difference is that now it’s sole responsibility is to push. The chair is also a great starter because the body is fairly close to the pole. The focus while teaching the chair is to understand how to use it as a transitions. Can you control your landing and come right into a back hook? Do you have the strength to land softly on the floor? Can you flutter the legs? All of these things are taught before moving on to full brackets.

Full bracket spins (carousel/boomerang etc) are a challenge. It needs to be drilled into the clients head that the top arm should always be actively pulling. Failure to do so will result in a shoulder injury.

A teach boomerang spins first- since gravity will want to bring you closer to the pole common sense will require the student to push the body away. Ensuring that they are leading with the top arm (not gripping hard with the bottom) and not hyper-extending the bottom elbow is essential. Teaching the student about the distance needed between to arms and why (wahoo- levers are fun!) should also be part of the session.

Again, the focus of these spins should be technique, control and transitions. Make sure the student is comfortable and can explain why they are doing what they are doing before moving on.

Holds on the Pole

Every student learns these moves in a slightly different way. Some pick up really quickly while on the pole and have a high pain tolerance and some need more time. Cater to your clients needs not to where you think they should be.

Some of the moves I teach on the pole are:

Climbs – I love climbs. No, even that word is not enough. I adore climbs. They are the ultimate endurance move that can be progressed over and over (basic climb, bum climb, extended climb, side climb, spider climb etc). They teach the essentials of pushing, pulling, coordination and begin to challenge endurance.

Bum Climb

Wrist seat- this is taught long after they have learned all the basic seats (thigh hold tilted etc) and we have been practicing leaning back for a few sessions. I love the wrist seat because it reinforces the need to pull, find your own personal balance and move slowly.

Back Hook Dismount- Learning to hold your body with just your upper body is essential. Developing the ability to create momentum from a hanging position is a skill. This dismount teaches clients to expirement with grip, control and momentum.

Of course there are more moves (fans/teddies/spin combos) but all are taught based on client ability. Each session I spend time teaching combos to clients as well with the moves they feel comfortable with. Learning to transition in and out of moves is essential in pole dancing and it will allow you to find your own personal style. Training with combos also develops muscular endurance which will prove beneficial the more the student progresses. Learning which moves you can use and manipulate as rest time is key also.

As clients move up the move scale, express that it’s not easy… but it’s oh so worth it. Learning control and developing strength will result in more elegant moves and dances.

Want to know how to learn pole properly? Safely? With proper progressions to make you a badass? Check out these sessions.