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The Intermediate Poler Blues

Intermediate pole dancers often seem to get frustrated because they feel like they “can’t do anything.” What they mean is they can’t fonji, or iron X, or do a flawless flag deadlift into a janeiro.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: “I can’t do anything” couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, those moves I mentioned above are dramatic and impressive, but they are not the end all be all of pole moves. Not by a long shot! Give yourself a little credit. If you can do a fireman spin, a basic climb, a pirouette, a dip step, you can do more than you realize. Every time you lay a hand on the pole, you *are* doing something. Think back to the first time you saw someone execute a flawless spin. Were you amazed? Probably. Never pooh-pooh what you’ve already accomplished.

But let me get back to the subject of today’s post, the amazing outside leg hang: if you can do one, you are already doing a death-defying, jaw-dropping feat of thumbing your nose at gravity. I mean, you are hanging upside down …. by one leg …. from a piece of slick polished metal. Chew on that for a sec.

Unleashing your outside leg hang badassery

OK. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a short list I wrote down–things you can do straight from an outside leg hang. It’s not everything you can do from an outside leg hang, not by a long shot. There are moves I haven’t tried. Heck, there are moves I don’t even know exist–it’s a big world out there. The list below represents the basics.

Some of them are called by multiple names. I’ve included as many name variations as I know.

My point here is that there are always, always, always so many things you can train and work on using moves you know, while you’re working toward other things! If you haven’t tried each and every one of these, you now have some training material to get you out of the “can’t do anything” blues. Some would fall under the category of combinations that incorporate outside leg hangs (outside leg hang-transition-move), while others can be transitioned into seamlessly directly from the leg hang. Here we go!

What Can I Do From An Outside Leg Hang?

–climb over into a hood ornament
–climb over into figurehead
–flip over into superman
–circus climb
–same side circus climb (outside hang, climb over to figurehead, thread inside arm back through to back of pole, and you’re ready to do an aerial invert on the same side as you began!)
–hip holds, various as follows
* V hip hold
*Tuck hip hold/aka bomb/aka inverted drama queen
*Piked hip hold
*Duchess aka half-Jade
–Apprentice/aka Jamilla/aka hero
–extended butterfly
–thigh hold/aka Tammy/aka gold rush
–leg switch to inside leg hang
–torso switch to inside leg hang
–shooting star/aka Jasmine
–Bexita triangle knot
–knee hold
–the “Q”/aka dangerous bird

Some of the above moves are more advanced than others. But if you have a solid outside leg hang they should all be feasible for you with some work, good spotting, and good instruction.

Unless you can do all of these, confidently and with good lines, you now have some things to train during those days where you feel discouraged that “all” you can do is a leg hang. If you see familiar moves that you just haven’t trained in a while, then you have things to fine-tune. No matter what, the list above should have something for you.

Happy poling!

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