If you’ve got a pole dance performance coming up, you could find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of preparation and rehearsal you have to do. We’re here to help. Planning for a pole dance performance is a big task with a lot to think about; from shoes to music, grip aids to storytelling, we’ve got you covered!

This article is designed to help you prepare for your next pole dance performance, whether it’s a large performance in front of hundreds, or a small performance for your classmates, performing in front of others can be very daunting.

There’s no need to panic, as there are lots of steps you can take to prepare yourself mentally and physically for your next performance. Even experienced performers get nervous before they go on stage, it’s totally normal! Nerves can be a good thing!

In this article, you will learn…

  • How to plan for your next pole dance performance
  • Tips for choosing music, styles, and outfits for your performance
  • How to choose showstopping tricks for your routine
  • About rehearsals and physical preparation
Pole dance performance tips

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Plan Ahead

If you have a pole dance performance coming up, then don’t leave things until the last minute. There’s a lot for you to think about so it’s very important to plan ahead.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

If it helps, work backward from the date of your performance. Plan your rehearsal schedule in advance and stick to it.

Pick your Style

Think about a style, theme or story that you’ll be telling with your performance. No doubt you’ll have your own personal style that you’ll want to portray.

Your performance style will likely evolve as you put it together. Having a general style or theme is a great starting point.

Here are some ideas for themes:

  • Victory/Celebration
  • Gothic
  • Emotional/Heartbreak
  • Dramatic & Intense
  • Artistic
  • Contemporary

If you’re in need of inspiration, check out the best pole dance routines on YouTube for some ideas!

Choose Music Carefully

When it comes to choosing a song, there are obviously millions of choices in front of you.

Here are some tips for choosing the perfect song for your next performance…

  • Pick a song you like. Whatever you do, pick a song that you actually like! You’ll be listening to it at least 20 times each time you rehearse, and you’ll be going over it in your head too.
  • Match your song choice to the performance style. This should go without saying; if your routine is dramatic and intense then it needs an appropriate soundtrack. Same goes for a slow and sensual routine, it needs a steamy song to accompany it!
  • Be mindful of the length of the song. Some songs are longer than others. Some are far, far too long for a pole dance performance. Don’t choose a song that’s too long unless you’re sure that you can fill the time. Longer songs require more energy, sometimes shorter songs have a bigger impact.
  • Think about the tempo. In general, most fast tempo songs are too fast for pole dance performances. Notice how most of the best performances on YouTube are to slow and melodic songs.

Check out these Pole Dancing Playlists for Inspiration

Choose an Outfit

The same principles apply for choosing an outfit as they do for choosing a song. As well as looking awesome, it needs to feel comfortable. Again, you’ll be wearing your outfit over and over again during rehearsals.

Find something that fits well, stays in place and makes you feel amazing. You will probably want your outfit to match the style and theme of your general performance. It’s best to go for something that’s practical and allows for easy movement rather than a restrictive outfit.

You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll be wearing shoes, heels, or be dancing barefoot (remember to point those toes!) Also, consider what (if any) grip aid products you’ll be using and how to apply them to the pole (if applicable) before your performance begins.

Yandy Dancewear - Werk It!

Showstopping Tricks

If you’re stuck for ideas when it comes to choreography for your pole dance performance, think about 3 or 4 show-stopping tricks you can pull off and work around those.

Think about how you will build up to each show-stopping moment during your performance. Also, think about entrances and exits, combos and small flairs you can add to make your routine more memorable.

Once you have your combos and climactic showstoppers, your performance routine should start to take shape.

Create a Storyboard

Storyboarding your performance routine is a good idea if you want to begin to visualize it as you’re putting it together.

If you’re taking in the role of both performer and choreographer, then it can be difficult to visualize the performance because you can’t watch if you’re performing!

Use your camera, record as much as you can and scrutinize the footage carefully to get your routine perfect.

Dynamic Routines

Be dynamic with your routine; this means mixing things up. Use the music as your guide and think about how you can mix up the following elements of a performance routine:

Fast & Slow

Think about going from really slow movements into really fast spins, then slowing right down again along with any rise and fall of the music you’ve picked.


Every minute you’re on stage forms part of your performance, it starts when you walk out, not when you first come into contact with the pole. Think about how you will walk, what you will do with your body when your feet are on the floor and how you will start and end each combo in a unique way.

Strength & Flexibility

Use the routine to demonstrate both your strength and flexibility, as well as your grace and movement. Don’t be afraid to add fitness elements into your performance, such as adding in a strong-arm climb or shoulder-mount footsteps in the middle of a combo.

Show off Your Skills

With pole dancing, it’s not just about performing the most advanced tricks out there. It’s about performing the tricks and spins you can do with grace, precision and make it look easy.

There’s no need to push yourself to learn and perfect new tricks. Work on the ones that really show off your skills. If you’re ultra flexible, then use it to your advantage for your performance, for example.

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Practice, Practice, Practice

Once you’ve nailed down exactly what your performance will look like, it’s time to practice!

By now you should have a solid foundation to build upon. The substance comes from the rehearsals, this is where your performance really takes shape.

Get Feedback

Try to get feedback from as many people as possible, not just those who will say it’s amazing. Consult with your instructor or choreographer who may give you some constructive advice.

Feedback is important, you should take it on-board but you can’t change every single suggestion. Take advice from those who matter and those who know what they’re talking about!

Take Care of your General Well-Being

During the run-up to a big performance, you should be looking after yourself! Take care of your general well-being and your mental health to keep a positive and focused attitude.

Eat well, have an established sleeping pattern and stick to your plan.

If you do have a break from your regime, don’t beat yourself up over it, it happens. You’ll be back on track in no time!

Rest Up the Day Before

The day before is the most important time before a performance. You’ve done all the hard work, now you need to mentally prepare yourself. Give yourself a break, have a rest and avoid strenuous activities.

You may want to go over your performance routine a few times, but don’t go crazy with rehearsals today – you don’t want to overwork yourself this close to the big show.

Try not to get stressed out about it, just have a relaxing, easy-going day in preparation for your performance. Keep telling yourself that it will all be fine, and remember, a few nerves are a good thing!

So those are our tips for your next pole dance performance. If you’ve got a performance coming up soon, we wish you good look and hope that you found this information useful! If you would like to share your own tips for performers, please leave a comment below.

Happy poling!

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