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Photo by KoriElise Pole Photography

I’ve been a bad pole dancer… 
I haven’t been to pole class in over three weeks *EEEK*

It all started after I decided to drop out of Pacific Pole Championships, something I decided to do in part because I had no time to train. Once I dropped out the 4x week training sessions ended, but that was fine because I easily filled that time with work. The problem was I got used to it.  

I got used to nonstop work sessions, not having to schedule dinner around class, using that free time to see friends and catch up on Supernatural (Team Dean!). Yup, I was having a great time lazing about, BUT my body has started to feel it. I might have gotten in a few pole sessions at home and spent some quality time with my foam roller, but mostly I have just felt my body slowly lose strength and flexibility. The worst part of it all is that I felt myself lose the confidence to return to pole class. It seems silly after almost 3 year of  poling however I can’t help thinking about all the moves I may not be able to do if I return and the longer I wait to return the more concerned I am. 

….SO let’s change that! I am going to get my booty to class and I’m (hopefully) going to help you do the same!

Here are 10 Way to Get Back into the Pole Saddle:

1. Let the Music Move You!

Need to motivate yourself to move? Search for new music that makes you unconsciously want to get up and dance! Or dig into your old playlist archives and rediscover the favorites you have always wanted to perform to. Let the music muse get you to a freestyle class, open pole, or to start choreographing a performance.

2. Nab a Newbie

There is nothing like seeing pole from a newbie’s eyes to remind you of what you loved about pole dance from the start! Grab a curious friend or better yet grab a whole bunch of them and start off in a beginner pole class. Enjoy the basics and don’t push yourself to show off with advanced moves. Use it as a reminder that, whatever your level, pole is fun and rewarding.

3. Step Off the Pole and onto the Hoop…or Silks…or Hammock…or…or…

Exercises motivates more exercise! Maybe you aren’t in the mood for pole or you are having an especially frustrating week, but don’t let yourself get out of a healthy habit – just try something new! Take the skills you’ve learned in pole to another aerial art. Personally I’m a big fan of hoop, but silks, hammock, trapeze, etc works similar muscles and can assist you when you return to pole. Or take a more traditional dance class and work on your choreo skills while getting a get cardio workout!

4. Ease into it

Sometimes you aren’t ready to jump back in…maybe you had an injury, maybe something threw off your confidence, or you really don’t have the free time for full classes. Slowly ease yourself back in. Make a plan to do a little something everyday. It can be as simple as adding in 5 minutes of stretching to your day. Just start small, get into the routine of being active and once that feels comfortable build to pole classes there.

5. Take a Vacation from Pole

This is an …odd… way to get motivated, BUT it works for me so hopefully it might work for some of you out there too! Sometimes a lack of motivation can come from stressing about all the other things you could be doing with the time normally reserved for pole… so do them! See your friends, visit family, finish that book, etc do the things you have been putting off and give yourself time to miss pole. I promise you will return to pole excited and with a clear head!

6. Take the Challenge

Truth time: Right now the only thing that has me on the pole is #backarchmarch. Everyday I take a pic of myself in some type of backbend or arch, that means everyday I am doing something. Aaaaand with 31 days of pics to take that means I have a lot of variations to come up with! If nothing else it has inspired me to try new movement and stretches. Now you don’t have to do #backarchmarch, there are at least 2-3 different challenges each month, so choose one and stick too it! By the end of the month you will be ready to commit to more long term pole goals.

7. Show Off Your New Pole Wear

There are a lot of great and healthy reasons to get to pole class, but one of the strongest motivators has nothing to do with health … it has to do with sparkles (or lace or lyrca or what makes your ooh and ahh)! Pick up that gorgeous pair of stilettos you have been drooling over and get your booty to class and show them off!! You wouldn’t want to leave a perfectly good pair of Pleaser untested on the shelf. Motivate yourself further and plan a mini after class photo shoot to show off your new purchase and new moves!

8. Treat Yo Self

So maybe you need the carrot in front of you instead of with you at pole class. Commit yourself to a month (or 3) of steady classes and set yourself a reward for making it to all of them. It could be a new piece of pole wear or a night out with friends, but let a juicy reward be the thing that gets you back into a healthy habit!

9. Get a Pole Buddy

Another reason I’ve had a hard time keeping to my usually twice a week pole class schedule is that the studio I normally attend’s class schedule recently changed. I know, excuses, excuses! But seriously without the expectation that my regular pole buddies will be in class with me I have such a hard time getting my butt there. So do what I should (and will!) do, make new pole buddies in your new classes or reach out to old pole buddies and force them to take new classes with you. Find a partner who you can motivate and will do the same for you!

10. Set a Goal

Force yourself into pole class by setting a goal that requires it (just make sure you don’t make the same mistake I did and commit yourself when you really didn’t have the time). If you sign up for a performance, competition, photo shoot, etc you are commiting yourself to a set final result and that means you’ve got to put in the work to get there. The competition may have been too much for me, however an upcoming group performance (not choreographed by me) seems about the right speed to get me into the swing of things. Find what goal will set the right pace for you to get you back in pole class!

What do you do when you are in a pole slump? Which one of these tips works for you? 

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