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Pole dancers seem to naturally be a hard-working lot. We are always thinking about pole dancing, always looking to challenge ourselves physically and mentally through pole. But sometimes we run out of creative things to do in pursuit of those challenges. If you’re anything like me, winter and cold weather can really hurt your desire to pole. The room’s cold, my pole’s cold, I’m cold … the last thing I want to do is strip down to booty shorts!

When that’s the case, I need to challenge myself in order to motivate myself! So here are 5 things you can do to put yourself to the pole test, no matter what level you are!

  1. Freestyle to a song you have never heard before in your life. Yep, that’s right. Grab something from someone else’s playlist, or fire up a completely random YouTube video and dance to the music. It’s super difficult to dance to something when you don’t know what’s coming next … but it’s also kind of liberating! Even more difficult: dance to an unknown song that’s also in a genre you don’t normally explore. Are you a rock-n-roll poler? Try your hand at a classical piece. You never know until you try! 
  2. See how long you can remain aerial (or on the floor, or see how many spin pole combinations you can string together with no or minimal touchdowns in between spins, depending on your level). This requires strategy and problem-solving, and it’s a great exercise to get yourself doing innovative things.
  3. Get yourself into a familiar pose/spin/move and experiment with at least three ways to transition into it, and three ways to transition out of it. So often we revert to our old standbys when it comes to transitions, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it can be fun and really productive to get a little crazy with our ins and outs.  
  4. Do a formal challenge. There are handstand challenges, move/pose challenges, flexibility challenges, flow challenges, freestyle challenges … you name it, there’s a challenge for it on Facebook or Instagram or somewhere. Committing to one that’s formal means accountability, which may mean you’ll be more likely to go the whole nine yards with it, even on days when you might not feel like it. 
  5. Make up pole games. Here’s one I like to do — I’ve done it in class with my students, and I’ve done it long-distance with pole friends via video. It’s like the build-a-story game, but with pole. Pick a level everyone is comfortable with. The first person on the list starts a dance and records him/herself doing three moves. The next person on the list does the previous three and adds three of his/her own. And so on. I normally do this with small groups and loop back around to the first person. Keep adding, and before you know it you have co-choreographed an entire song! 
Ooooh — and I’ll add a #6: ask your instructor for homework! He/she will be happy to give you some!  😀
Happy poling!

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