Written by: Gina Tann I love the basics of pole. I really do. There is such beauty and sensuality in pirouettes, slides, body rolls, hip undulations . . . to me they’re the glue that holds a dance together. I’ve been utterly mesmerized before by pole dancers who barely leave the ground. Maybe they do a simple spin here and there, maybe not. But they’re exquisitely beautiful to watch because their basics are utter perfection. What makes them so enthralling? 1) Extended lines – they may not have a ballerina’s point, but the energy of their dance extends all the way through each fingertip and pointed toe 2) Hands carried just so – dancers’ hands echo the story of their dances. They can be flirtatious, dramatic, cheeky, sexy . . . 3) Facial expressions that fit with the style of dance – true performers match facial expression with dance expression. Sometimes they’re playful, other times they’re all business. What’s important is that there are no disconnects. 4) Commitment to the beginning, middle, and end of each and every move – they don’t rush through movements of any sort, not even transitions. Oh no. Slow or fast music, it doesn’t matter. Each move gets its moment in the spotlight, and only when it’s complete do they move on. 5) They move with the music – that’s not to say that fast beat = quick movement or slow beat = molasses. There’s a lot to be said for the tango-esque quick-quick-slow. Musicality comes through, no matter what song style you like when you dance. What sets some dancers apart is their ability to find a move or transition for every single beat of a song. The next time you dance, I encourage you to bust out the basics. Do a freestyle with no spins or tricks at all. Heck, do a few freestyles with no spins or tricks at all! Dance to familiar songs, songs you could sing right now, every word. Record your dances if possible. Think about taking every single move and making it more. More elegant, more clean, more saucy, more . . . whatever fits the style of the song and your dance style. Gina is a self-proclaimed “pole dork” who loves to scout out new music, dance in ridiculously high heels, and bench press more than many men at the gym. She’s been addicted to pole dancing since the first moment she laid eyes on a pole in 2008 and has been instructing since 2009.