Last Updated on February 8, 2023
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?
- What will your First Pole Dancing Class be like?
- What to Wear to your First Pole Dancing Class
- Beauty Products, Skincare & Make-Up
- How to Manage Your Hair
- What Else to Bring
- Arriving At Your First Ever Pole Class
- Instructors & Other Students
- During Your First Pole Dancing Class
- After your First Pole Dancing Class
- Want to become an amazing pole dancer?
- Tips For Choosing A Pole Dancing Class
- Learn Pole Dancing At A Class With a Qualified Instructor
- Have a Private 1-2-1 Lesson With a Qualified Instructor
- Other ways to Learn Pole Dancing
- Further Reading
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!
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)
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’ll 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.
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.
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.
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Tips For Choosing A Pole Dancing Class
There are many health benefits to pole dancing, so it’s not surprising that the demand for pole dancing lessons has risen in recent years.
Pole dancing is a complete full-body workout and it’s one of the most enjoyable forms of exercise. It’s more than just a passing trend, learning how to pole dance is serious stuff!
Having your own portable dance pole and being able to practice is something, but good form and proper technique both require proper instruction.
If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably wondering about where to start when it comes to learning how to pole dance.
Well, reading this page is a good start!!
Learn Pole Dancing At A Class With a Qualified Instructor
This is by far the best and most popular way to learn pole dancing. Nothing can beat having a qualified and experienced instructor there to direct you and spot you through your learning journey.
Benefits Of Learning Pole Dancing At A Class
- Having a qualified instructor nearby to teach you the proper way to perform tricks, spins and inverts
- Pole dancing classes usually have a great atmosphere. They are a fun group activity where you can meet some wonderful people, making it a great socialising opportunity too.
- Pole classes and studios often have a wonderful community surrounding them. Our studio often arranges meals, nights out and special activities for our students to take part in.
- At pole dancing classes, you can get immediate feedback on what you’re doing wrong (or right!) and you’ll have a chance to ask your instructors for their expertise on moves you’re struggling with.
- Classes are a very affordable way of learning to pole dance.
Disadvantages Of Pole Dancing Classes
- You have to stick to a schedule; the times and dates may not be convenient for you.
- The closest pole dancing studio may not be in a convenient location for you to attend.
- Although classes are affordable, they may not suit everyone’s budget. The price of classes does vary, depending on where you are.
- You may feel shy or anxious about taking part in a new activity around other people.
What Should A Good Pole Dancing School Be Like?
Pole dancing studios may not be ‘dance schools’ as such, but there are certain things you should look out for the ensure that you’re signing up for a high standard of instruction from the studio.
- A good pole studio will offer different classes for different levels of ability and fitness
- The studio should be clean, tidy and well-lit
- The studio should be in an easily accessible location, with no windows leading out onto the street
- It should have a bathroom and changing room. Please note that not all pole studios have showers but they should have a WC at the very least
- It should have a safe place to leave your stuff, such as a locker, for the duration of the class
- There shouldn’t be more than 2 students sharing a pole for the duration of the class
- There should be a First Aider available
- They should have appropriate insurance
- The instructor should be fully-trained and qualified as a fitness instructor with several years of pole dancing experience
- The instructor and any other staff at the studio should also be polite, friendly, welcoming and professional when communicating with you
See also: Pole dancing studio red flags
Questions To Ask Your Pole Dancing School
- What is your cancellation policy? Many pole studios will not offer you a refund if you’re unable to attend your lesson at short notice. It’s best to ask first to be clear
- How many students attend each class / How many poles are there? So you know what to expect / whether you’ll be sharing a pole with others or not
- What should I wear to class? Generally speaking, people wear shorts and tank top or sports bra to a pole dancing class. However, some studios have rules regarding wearing pleasers (stripper heels) for safety reasons. Sometimes, pole studio may have lessons done in costume (E.g. for Halloween) or they may have their own branded tops/hoodies for sale, or perhaps even included in the price of your lessons!
- Will this be suitable for my fitness level? You should always ask this to ensure that you’re signing up for the right class for your fitness level.
Cost of Pole Dancing Classes
Expect to pay $15-$45 for a single class, but check your local pole dancing studio who may offer deals on courses for beginners. In the UK, expect to pay £12-£30 for a pole dancing class.
You may get a discount by block booking multiple classes as part of a programme.
For pole dancing workshops, usually run by professional competitors, expect to pay a lot more.
Have a Private 1-2-1 Lesson With a Qualified Instructor
Private pole dancing lessons are often run by the same instructor(s) as the group classes, just in a private environment. Many students have 1 or 2 private lessons before moving on to classes, especially if they’re anxious or shy.
Benefits Of Private Lessons
- You can learn on your own schedule. If you have a busy work or family life then private lessons are ideal as you can arrange a lesson at the most convenient time for you.
- At a private lesson, the instructor is purely focused on your progress. At a pole dancing class, the instructor has to focus on everyone’s progress so you can often get a more detailed lesson by having a 1-2-1.
- Private lessons are great for beginner pole dancers who struggle with shyness or anxiety as the lessons take place in private with no one else around!
- You will often cover a lot more in a private lesson than you would in a class.
Disadvantages of Private Lessons
- Cost. Private Lessons are much more expensive than regular classes. Expect to may 3-4x more than you would for a pole dancing class
- People who learn solely with private lessons don’t benefit from the community aspect of going to a pole class. Students support and help each other on their pole journeys just as much as the instructors do!
Cost of Private Pole Dancing Lessons
Expect to pay $50-$150 for a single private pole dancing lesson. Many professional pole stars offer pole dancing tuition, however, expect to pay a lot of money for this service.
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.
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.
- 10 Things all Beginner Pole Dancers Should know
- How to Gain Upper-Body strength for Pole Dancing
- Health Benefits Of Pole Dancing
- Inspirational Pole Dancing Quotes
- Other Workouts For Pole Dancers To Try
- Pole Dancing Routine Songs
- Portable Dance Pole Buyer’s Guide
- Protect Your Knees When Pole Dancing
- Protect Your Wrists As A Pole Dancer
- Simple Warm-Up For Pole Dancers Of All Levels
- Safety Tips For Pole Dancing At Home
- Tips for Dancing on a Spinning Pole
- Tips for Pole Dancing in Heels
- Treat Your Pole Dancing Bruises & Burns
- Ways to Improve your Upper-Body Strength
- What Does Pole Dancing Do To Your Body?
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Title photo credit: Wikimedia Commons