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Are you about to start your first pole dancing class and you’re wondering about what you should and shouldn’t be worrying about? Well then, this guide is written just for you! Many people get anxious or concerned before their first pole fitness lesson, that’s fine! It’s something completely different after all! Hopefully, by the end of this article, your fears will have lifted and you’ll be super excited about your first ever lesson!

If you have any tips or advice of your own, don’t forget to leave a comment below to share your experience with our readers!

Pole Dancing classes are generally very welcoming environments. There’s very little bitchiness or nastiness, it’s just a group of people who want to get fit and learn how to pole dance. They’re certainly not judgmental places, as people of all ages, shapes and sizes are welcome at pole dancing classes around the world.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What to expect before, during and after your first pole dancing class
  • What clothes to wear and what to bring with you
  • Basic do’s and don’ts of pole dancing
  • What to expect from your instructor and fellow students, and what they expect from you



What will your First Pole Dancing Class be like?

Most classes start with a warm-up, which may involve running, twisting, jumping jacks, burpees, lunges, light stretches and other techniques to warm your muscles up.

Your instructor will likely go through some strength-building techniques with you that incorporate the pole. These could be pull-ups, leg raises, side crunches and gentle stretching. It’s OK if you can’t perform any of these exercises well at first, the whole point is to help you gain strength. You should try the exercises, even if they feel ‘impossible’ as it won’t be long until you find them simple!

You’ll also be taught some tricks and spins, most of which have names, which you don’t have to remember straight away! It’s common to go over the same moves over and over again as a beginner, learning more with each attempt. Always listen to your instructor’s guidance.

The instructor will usually demonstrate the moves first, teach you the name of the trick, then break the trick down into stages and explain it to you. It’s important to listen to what they’re saying, it can be confusing when you first try a spin and you’re totally unsure about what to do with your leg – don’t get frustrated!

Afterwards, you’ll have a cool down, which will mean stretches both on and off the pole. It’s common to feel a little bit beaten up after a pole dancing class, and you may also ache the next day, but that’s ok! It just means you’ve worked hard and your body is getting used to this new form of exercise!


Dos and don'ts of you first pole dance class

Now, let’s move on to some more general do’s and don’ts of pole dancing lessons…

What to Wear to your First Pole Dancing Class

What to wear is a big course of anxiety for many people. If in doubt, keep it simple. You probably have some suitable clothes lying around the house so there’s no need to buy anything new.

If you have some cycling shorts, yoga shorts, a t-shirt or a tank top then you’re good to go!

What To Wear

Here are some ideas about what to wear at your first pole dancing class:

    • Yoga/Pole shorts (example)
    • T-shirt or Vest top (example)
    • Sports Bra (example)
    • Knee-Pads for dancers – depending on what the floor is like at the class (example)
    • Leggings – optional – for the warm-up (example)
  • Hooded-top optional – for the warm-up / cooldown (example)
  • Legwarmers – optional (example)

When it comes to footwear, you can do a whole pole dancing class barefoot, if you want to. You may want to wear gym shoes for the warm-up if it involves jogging or jumping around.

If you want to wear 6-inch heels, such as Pleaser Shoes or Ellie Shoes, then check with your class instructor first. Some classes are done completely in heels, others are done barefoot, it’s usually the choice of the student what they choose to wear.

If you want some protection for your feet, but you ain’t into heels, then try yoga shoes!

What Not To Wear

  • Loose shorts – when you open your legs you may flash the instructor if they’re too loose!
  • Ultra-revealing outfits – as this is your first ever pole class, there’s no reason to show off, you’re there to focus on learning the technique and not to show off your breasts and booty to the other learners.
  • A dress – a dress will either be too tight and restrictive or too loose and will get in the way of your tricks.
  • Pleasers/Heels/Stripper Shoes – this is your first pole dancing class! Learn the basics first and there will be loads of time to wear these in the future!
  • Jewellery – this will scratch the pole and most likely get in the way.

Related: What not to wear when pole dancing



Beauty Products, Skincare & Make-Up

Try to avoid wearing lotions and beauty products if you can – you are working out after all!

What Products To Use

  • Deodorant/Antiperspirant – you’ll need it if you get sweaty
  • Grip Aid (if needed)

What Products Not To Use

  • Body lotion – it just makes your skin too slippery and leaves a residue on the poles
  • Moisturizer/Hand cream – as above, too slippery and leaves a nasty residue
  • Sun cream – ditto.
  • Body glitter – Anything with shimmer or glitter in it will deposit onto the poles and potentially damage their surface.
  • False Tan – This is the worst thing to use before a pole class! It will go streaky and make a real mess in your pole studio, and on your body!

How to Manage Your Hair

Here are some tips on how to manage your hair, especially long hair, during your pole dancing lessons.

What to do with your hair

  • Tie it back
  • Keep it away from your face
  • Forget about it – you’re here to learn pole dancing!

Seriously, just treat your first pole dancing class like your first ever gym session and just get your hair back out of your face so you can focus on the class itself and not worry about what your hair is doing!

What not to do with your hair

  • Style it
  • Use too many products
  • Expect it to still be in place by the end of the class

What Else to Bring

As it’s your first ever pole fitness class, just bring yourself and suitable clothing and you won’t be expected to bring anything else! You want to bring your own reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated and some post-workout healthy snacks.

If you bruise easily, then some Arnica Gel will be useful as it needs to be applied to bruises pretty quickly after them happening.

Yur pole dance instructor should have everything else, including poles (of course!), safety mats, grip aids, chalk, etc.

Related: Essential items for a Pole Dancer’s Gym Bag



Arriving At Your First Ever Pole Class

You’ll most likely have to register with your pole dance class, complete a form and meet your instructor and fellow students when you first arrive. There’ll be time to get changed before the class begins.

What To Do When Arriving

  • Be on time – the class is unlikely to wait for you to arrive
  • Arrive early – you may have registration forms to complete and you’ll need time to get changed too
  • Be confident
  • Introduce yourself

What Not To Do When Arriving

  • Arrive late
  • Complain about lack of parking – this is likely outside of your instructor’s control
  • Complain about anything which is outside of their control

Instructors & Other Students

Here are some tips on how to speak to your pole dance instructors and other students during your first pole dancing class.

What To Do

  • Be polite to everyone, including the instructor(s) and other students
  • Listen carefully to what the instructor is saying
  • Put your phone away in your bag or locker, leaving it on silent so that you don’t get distracted
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand something
  • Enjoy yourself

What Not To Do

  • Pose on the pole when the instructor is demonstrating or explaining something
  • Ask the instructor to teach you a seriously advanced move that you’ve ‘seen on YouTube’
  • Attempt a seriously advanced move that you’ve ‘seen on YouTube’ behind the instructor’s back
  • Be rude to other students or your instructor
  • Take photos of or yourself when other people are in the class
  • Ignore what the instructor says and do your own thing anyway

During Your First Pole Dancing Class

What To Do

  • Clean the pole after you’ve used it, making sure to wipe away any chalk, grip powder or residue left on the pole at the end of the class.
  • Pay close attention to the warm-up and cool down as these will help with the inevitable aching that will follow the day after!

What Not To Do

  • Disrupt the lesson by stopping to take photos
  • Stand around looking bored when the instructor is spotting someone else
  • Get distracted by the instructor’s graceful moves or the more advanced students – this is really common and many newbies find themselves doing this. It’s very tempting just to stand and watch the others, but remember you’re there to learn, and if you learn and practice enough then you’ll be performing those moves in a few weeks/months’ time!

Read more: 7 Ways to Relax after a Pole Dancing Class


After your First Pole Dancing Class

Not going to lie here – you’re going to feel it. It’s probably going to ache for a couple of days at least. Don’t worry – it’s the good kind of ache. It’s the kind of ache you can be proud of, it means you’ve worked hard and you body is getting used to this new form of workout. It’s getting stronger.

Make sure you take it easy during these few days, drink plenty of water, eat lots of fruit and veggies, stretch a lot and get plenty of rest.

Related: 5 Things you can do to Reduce Aching Muscles after a Workout

So, there you have it – that’s our advice for your first pole dancing class! Most of all – enjoy yourself! Don’t be anxious, pole dancing is a wonderful community to be part of.


Other ways to Learn Pole Dancing

If going to a class really doesn’t sound like your thing, but you want to learn pole dancing then there are other options for you! You can learn pole dancing at home, using DVDs, private coaching or online lessons.

Click here to read about Learning Pole Dancing at Home, including reviews of different online programmes and DVDs.

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Further Reading

We write a tonne of content about pole dancing, with loads of information, tips and advice to help you along your pole fitness journey!

Here is a list of our most useful articles for beginner pole dancers, and don’t forget to subscribe to our e-mail list for the latest content.


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What your first pole dancing class will be like

Happy poling!



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Title photo credit: Wikimedia Commons