Teaching From Progressions

One of the first questions every beginner poler (unless they’ve read through my rants!) asks is: when can I go upside down.

I both love and loathe this question.


I love it because I’m happy that they have such enthusiasm. New polers are optimistic, excited and more often than not, don’t come to me with terrible habits. So why do I hate this question?

Because the answer is always it depends.

All of my clients, training/pole/nutrition are structured around one thing: progression. Many studios, with good reason, structure their students based on levels. Level one being spinning & floor work, level two sits, level three inversion etc. While I understand why they are structured this way, I personally don’t believe in it.


Because very rarely do two students master moves at the exact same time.


The truth is, almost anyone can flip upside down. But it takes strength, a strong mind muscle connection and biomechanical understanding to flip upside down properly, controlled and using muscles not momentum- and that’s the only way I will teach an inversion.

Each student is unique. They have their own strengths, weaknesses & learning curves. I structure my sessions around all of those things. I firmly believe that you can’t run until you walk- so you cannot flip upside down until you can pull your body up and around the pole.

This way of teaching of course has its benefits and drawbacks.

The downside is that sometimes the student is initially disappointed. They want to be able to jump into cool, hardcore moves off the bat. Even if I believe they are personally strong enough to invert in a controlled manner, I still make them go through the basics. More often than not the student comes to appreciate this- they view inverting as a well earned reward.


The benefits of course are; developing an understanding of the mind muscle connection needed in pole. It lets the student learn how to create or lessen momentum through strength and how to utilize transitions through necessary moves. And most importantly, it develops the strength needed for more complex moves.

By all means every pole class should be fun, sweaty and rewarding. But it should also be planned, controlled and developmental. I prioritize strength over immediate pleasing in hopes that you’ll take your pole practice farther then you could have ever imagined.

Curious about my sessions? Check out my London Session here or learn from the comfort of your own home with these kick butt sessions.

Happy Poling ๐Ÿ™‚