Written by: Gina Tann New pole dancers have a standard toolkit of fears, including fear of falling, fear of looking “silly,” and fear of momentum. Today let’s talk about momentum. Have you ever watched a dancer who moves so effortlessly in spins that he/she appears weightless? That gravity has no effect? You can’t tell whether it’s a static or spinny pole because the spin seems to go on forever? That’s a dancer who uses momentum. When new dancers go into spins, they tend to jump straight forward into their spins, keeping everything clooooooose to the pole for fear of spinning out of control. Launching into spins with a big jump is a big no-no physiologically; it puts tremendous tension on your shoulder joint. Your core doesn’t have a chance to engage, and all your weight is supported by your poor rotator cuff. (Last week’s post addressed why you should use your core to support yourself.) Not only is it harder on your body, it also results in spins that look grounded, or worse, spins that don’t spin! Jumping forward into spins causes your body to go forward, then down, rather than out and around . . . and the latter is the whole point of a spin, right? You want to float around the pole in a graceful arc. Think of yourself as a human tetherball. The more circular momentum you have going into a spin, the better that spin will be! So as you prepare for a spin, use your outside leg to create that circular momentum. Rather than simply swinging your leg forward and hopping up to get yourself airborne, try to draw an imaginary circle around the pole with your toe, using your body weight to bring your hips up and away from the pole. Don’t be afraid of momentum – it’s better for your body . . . and your spins! 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.