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Different Styles and Levels of Pole Dancing

This is the transcript of our Episode 2: Different Styles and Levels of Pole Dancing from Pole On The Call that aired Thursday, January 13, 2022.

You can watch this episode on YouTube, or listen to it on Spotify, Apple Music, or your favorite podcast service.

Hi everyone, it's us again: Pole on the Call Podcast! My name is Cris Rivers.

And I'm Mændy Mac.

And today we are so excited to get into episode two on the topic:

Different levels of pole, the different styles and shapes and colors and everything!

Yes and how it all fits in for you and what what should you do, like where do you start that stuff? I love this. So um the reason why we wanted to talk about this is because when you go find the pole studio, whether it's on the website or you walk in, and you see the classes they offer, it could be overwhelming. You're like oh my god there's intro to floor, there's intro to pole, intro to floor level one, level two.

They might have silly names!

Yes! Intermediate pole, beginner pole, advance pole. So we're gonna kind of break it down a bit um right now. Do you want to start?

Yeah beginners! So like let's say you've never taken pole class before. You want to look for a class called "Intro to Pole" or "Beginner Pole," "Level 1 Pole." That would be a good place to start. If you've had experience in other studios and you're unsure of what level you should be, you can always contact the studio and see. But I would never assume that someone's level 1 in one studio is gonna be the same as another level 1.

Yes with that being said there are some studios which, not in many studios, but they unfortunately require you to take a pole test. I should put that out there, so before you even enter a level, some studios will require you to do certain tricks before you can take that class. I'm not sure if I agree with it but it works for them, so kudos to you.

So after you look into your beginner course, or if you've already done your beginner courses and you want to move up, you might want to go into a level one and a level two. There's so many different ways I've seen this. Some studios do level one slash two, which is to get you from level one to level two, and then other studios will do level two, which is just intermediate tricks, working on your invert from the floor, and solidifying your knee holds and things that you should be able to do low. Which will also be considered kind of intermediate pole, depending on where you go.

And then if you want to even go further, you have — like our studio — I mean we only have four poles, but we don't have a lot of students in the community, so we combined our level one and two. So we've got our level one and two students in the same class. So they'd be like beginner, you know intermediate. For those students, we'll be learning all of like the static spins, the walks around the pole, different points of contact, different handholds. And then the level twos you know, climbing up the pole, doing more of that sort.

Then after your level two, you get into — you guessed it— level three, which is a little inverting, it's a little bit more fun, a little bit more challenging. It requires a lot of core strength and a lot a lot a lot of practice, which would be introduced in level two. And you go into it more in depth for sure in level three.

Yes I mean even like competitions, like PSO. Level two is for those with not a good invert but who can invert maybe once or twice, and then level three is when you really should be getting more into stuff like that.

Yeah for sure, at our studio, a lot of our students are competition students so we kind of model it after the levels for Pole Sport Organization, so that's how we we do it like. Level three would be the the aerial inverters, so you'll be up in the air, you know inverting, and doing more than one tricks.

And other studios and even countries that might get into high intermediate, beginner advanced.

But then after level three, you get level four because now you're like more comfortable upside down you you're doing multiple tricks in the air, maybe you start to incorporate some dynamic stuff, less points of contact.

Yes even inverted combos instead of just one trick. You go from one trick to another to another. Here at the studio we do level three and four which is taking you from really training your inverts, to you should have your inverts, and we're working on shoulder mount inverts, we're working on advanced inversion tricks, and different ways to go from there — combos and things like that. The level before you will always provide you with the information your muscles need to move on to the more advanced.

When you should advance? Yes that is such a good question. When do you know when to advance? y

Yeah a lot of students come and they're like, "When can I get out of level two, level three?" Our studio is kind of easy for us to to assess that because we do combine the levels. We have a Level 1 & 2 Class. We have a Level 2 & 3. We have a Level 3 & 4. So you kind of like, you can see how you are as compared to everyone else in the class and kind of like um you know classify yourself as maybe more of a level three than the level four in the class. And you can visit level two / three and you can visit level three / four and still be okay.

But for other studios maybe they'll have like a test unfortunately. I did not like that, because I came from a studio that was like that and I kind of got trapped in a level because I could not do this one move on the right and the left. And there's going to be some moves that you're never going to get! For me, I don't want to be trapped at the level because I can't do this.

Yes, so your instructor will definitely be able to help you but it's also on what you feel. If you want to push yourself — like I know I might be high level 2 but not yet at level 3 try that level 3 class. The worst that could happen is you completely suck and have to go back and do level 2, and that's okay! At least you got your workout in for that level you got to experience it, and you got to tell yourself "yeah this isn't for me, i'm not ready."

But I'm hoping that you are ready because usually we are ready and we stop ourselves, and hinder ourselves, because we're scared. Because it does get kind of scary the higher you up the higher you go up.

Yeah after level 4 it's level 5.

Yes level 5. Not all studios do level 5. It's really considered advanced pole and even some studios combine level five with pro level.

Yes yeah that's what I was gonna mention too about level five is when you you know — well in our studio — you've pretty much mastered what is to be mastered of the basics of doing everything, and exploring, and then you become you know a content creator of new things — then you'd be level 5.

Level 5: What you should expect? You should be able to do multiple tricks in the air like combo, combo, combo!

Yeah it's really combo heavy, especially inverts. You should be able to get from a brass monkey from a shoulder mount into brass monkey, to this, to that.


Yeah to do all these things. Yes it's really is pro level, that's why some studios connect there, because you pretty much do everything. But unfortunately some countries in some competitions they separate it…there's no comment! By all means, but I would say level 5 is kind of, I'd consider you a pro because that's some pretty good [ __ ]!


Okay and then the different styles.

We can talk a little bit about the styles that we have at our studio! I'm wearing the Pleasers. These will be worn in our sexy style classes. We have um Sexy Tricks Class would probably be like the beginner, um well not really beginners, it's an all-levels class, where you do progressions of tricks that would be in a sexier style. You learn how to dance in these beauties! And then we have like a Sexy Floorwork class where you have your knee pads on maybe on the floor doing those tricks and progressions. And then there's a Sexy Flow Class that we have, if you like to do more of like dancing and not too worried about like learning new tricks you just want to flow them all together.

We also have, as Mændy went into earlier, we also had the different levels of course, because some people just want to train those tricks, we also do Mixed Level, which is all-inclusive, which is pretty cool because we do we start with level one tricks, but then we give advancements for those who we are ready for it and need it. And it's pretty nice to come in as like a level one, level two, and then see someone higher than you, and be like "wow that could be me!" It's pretty cool.

Yeah yeah it's inspiring.

Yeah for some people the next level is too much for them, they don't like to be around other pollers who are doing more amazing things than them.

That's right, you know it's not for everyone — but some people like to be really inspired.

We also do different classes. Like we have an incredible instructor Ms. Kelly Torza who created Pole Ballet, which I personally love. I haven't been able to go last month because it's been crazy, and I'm so sorry Kelly! The way she set it up, is you do about 20 — 30 minutes of ballet warm-ups, the plies, ronde jambes, and all of that with the pole.

Yes and then you do 30 minutes of a ballet routine which incorporates the pole.

It's gorgeous.

Always gorgeous. I'm so sad I missed it this month but I will get better. We also do, like I teach Latin Flow because my Hispanic Heritage. Every month I try to change the theme. Like this month we're doing Bachata, so and last month Meringue. So what happens is I'll teach you, or yeah I'll teach you — I don't know if other teachers are doing this kind of flow, if you are come find me! But uh what I would do is I will teach you like the Spanish, the Bachata step, the Meringue Step, that Salsa steps, and then from there we go into a choreo which incorporates simple pole moves, but mostly you get that Spanish dance.

So like if you um know that you are bad and you don't do your pole conditioning you can come to Pole Fitness Class. At our studio we each teach it differently, but it's always fun, and you get all of your conditioning in.

It is similar to other studio's pole conditioning classes. It's not trick heavy. It's working on building the strength like your pull-ups, working on your grip strength, like your pole climbs, your endurance.

Sometimes we do climbing races!

It's pretty much calisthenics on the pole.

We'll like have you you know upside down in your um cross ankle release, and we'll try to like pass the yoga balls to each other!

I have not experienced that yet but that sounds like fun!

We also do — we just started Creative a Flow!

Oh yeah!

Yeah um which goes into, we'll give you like six tricks and other variations, because we try to make sure those tricks come with different variations, and you can pretty much string them together with whatever entrances you want — whatever exits. You don't have to go like jasmine to genie to like invert. You can, those will be like the moves you might get, the jasmine, the genies, and you work it in like a cool way into a jasmine, slide down, speed bump, stand back up, into your invert, things like that. It's to give you the freedom and ability to just create by yourself, just mess around, just flow with it, see where this takes you.

And we also have Pole Flow.

Yes which is a guided version of the Create a Flow, so like if you are like so overwhelmed and you don't think that you are capable of making your own flow yet, you just come to class and you'll learn a flow on spin or static pole, and kind of get the feel of like how the movements would flow. And then maybe get your own movement patterns from that.

Yes! We also do Pole Inversions which, is in other studios but by different names. I've seen it called Pole Inverted, Pole Inversions and Spinning, um pretty much. With that here, what that class focuses on is inverting. Whether you have an invert, where you don't have it. We take everything from the floor, that can be done on the floor. And then we do add conditioning to work your way into an invert, and so far every student that has come by has at least done one which is amazing!

I have seen that in other studios they also use that class to incorporate spinning, because um what I learned while teaching pole inversion is a full hour of inverting is not doable for everybody. So it is nice to incorporate something else. Other studios do spin, I do 20 minutes of ab workouts on the floor, which you will love!

That's like the um we had a handstand class at one point. But it's too much to just do handstands yes for the full hour. So we have a class called Base & Floor Tricks and we go through different types of handstands, but we also incorporate some floorwork, different types of things, so you're not just like always trying to like, hold that handstand. Because handstands are a journey!

So we just finished talking about different styles that you'll find in our studio, and you might find them in other studios by different names. But there's also different categories and divisions, and other styles you might be interested in. If you want to go into that?

Yes I feel like when people, you know off the street, when they think of pole dancing they always think it's sexy — and that's totally a big part of it! But pole dancing can be whatever you want to be. There's so many people who are innovating um and creating different styles. So you could be uh dramatic. You can entertain people. You could be like weird and robotic.

You could do championship which is a trick heavy, i want to say tricks or but person who loves strength, technical. You know like really into like the gymnastics aspect. Yeah.

Straight knees, pointed toes. Shadow-banned.

Yeah um yeah oh yeah we're talking about the the different um PSO categories.

Anything that I've seen because I don't think like Pole Circus is naughty, just kind of like shadow banned. I was first taught shadow banned, but then Pole Circus is just naughty flow and I was like: okay!

Unlike anything else!

Yes but you'll also find different things, like I know we try to incorporate Chair Dance which other studios do.

And yeah like I mean as far as like innovating goes, there's like, if you follow @polefiction um on instagram she's amazing! She dances in the heels and sneakers um and just coming up with really cool, like yes non-conventional moves on the pole. Kind of like flying around with no gravity yeah.

So with that being said, in the different categories, feel free to make whatever the hell you want!

Yeah! Right we're seeing uh pole dancers come out with like um roller skates!

Yes like yes what else, I have seen the most manliest men make the most manliest thugged out routine. Indeed in its own right it was sexy — it wasn't the sexy you would expect, like ooh splits open like this, but just the way. Those things that those dancers embraced their masculinity and brought it to the floor. It was incredible! So mess around, just have fun with. It it's pole not always sexy.

Yeah yeah yeah you don't have to be sexy ever! And when I first started too, I was like all against it, and I was like i'm never gonna never. I'm just gonna like try these tricks.

I started as a stripper and I made my money by doing tricks. You did not see me do any floor work until I started coming here. I hated floor work and you can even see in my videos how bad I am sometimes, but um that is part of growth. Just learning and experimenting now, I like the floor work and I like incorporating the floor work with the tricks.

Yes yeah the more styles you get in into your body, like you'll um get your own movement qualities, which is what we're all in it for — to dance whatever's in their heart!

Yes so don't let anybody tell you you're in this level pole, you're in this category pole, you're in this style pole. Just don't listen to it! Just okay thank you, and just go on — because if someone's telling you you're level one, but because you're not passing their tests you can't be their level two, maybe it's time for another studio who will let you into their level two. Because that's the only way you're gonna grow. It's like you said you don't want to be trapped.

Yeah but then on the other hand, you don't want to be like the level one person who thinks that they can just skip ahead and go to level four, because that's dangerous! So as long as you have safety in your mind, and you um are developing at a rate that your muscles can recover. Because like what i've seen is too, like a lot of beginners will want to like advance as fast as they can. And they'll like do a million like pole crunches and then you know like there's a whole bunch of them here, but like you could rip them!

Yes by over overworking them and i've seen it happen a lot of times when beginners will get injured just because they get so excited that they want to advance. So just honor your practice and your journey and um you know go at your own pace, but don't let people hold you back.

Yeah uh with what she said because i'm glad she brought that up it is so very important as instructors too. It may be very uncomfortable for you to say you might need to step back, but it is very important for me to say it, because like she said, it's safety. And there are some people who will be like "i could do it" and push themselves, and unfortunately they can't. So it might be an uncomfortable conversation, but that's your certification on the line, that's your insurance — it needs to be it's your responsibility.

Yes it does need to be said, so i am very glad she brought that up.

Is there anything else you want to discuss for this episode on those levels and categories and styles?

It's ever evolving! Like you can take it wherever you want, and um you know, let's go with you!

I'm so glad we talked about this because we did get questions about it. Like um some people were asking: i don't want to be sexy, like do i have to do the floor work, do i have to work heels? No you do not no you really do not.

Or you can like you know, you could compete with pole, you could you could be a stripper, you could you know there's so many places you can take pole um if you love it.

And all strippers are pole dancers, not all pole dancers are strippers. And if you are a stripper, so what! You should be getting into the studio to become better at pole fitness and up your stripping game.

And also we can benefit from strippers being in the pole studio as well!

Yes definitely.

Thank you so much for coming out and listening to this episode about what levels um there are what styles, and how you should improve. I don't know if there's anything else?

Yeah um if you have any questions of course reach out to us on our instagram @poleonthecall make sure you get our freebies our free ebook and our free email course um you can sign up for them at the links below and it will get sent straight to your email.

Also visit our website for our other offers that we have. You can also even find links if you want to take classes with us!

Yeah any of the classes we just talked about — most of them are available online. You can just join in online, so if you want to take a class even if you're in Puerto Rico, other states, overseas, take the class with us! We would love to have you. It might be a different time, but we'll make it work. Yes we'll even put that link in the bottom to make it easier for you.

But thank you so much for coming out! My name is Cris Rivers i'm Mændy Mac and we are signing off!

Yes thank you so much!

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