Pole Safety in the Studio and Home

This is the transcript of our Episode 7: Safety in the Pole Studio and Home Studio from Pole On The Call that aired Thursday, February 17, 2022.

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

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https://amzn.to/33pCaZe (Premium Dance Crash Mat)

https://amzn.to/3546Gbt (Long Crash Mat)

Of course there are more options. These are a few to help get you started.

Enjoy yall!


Hello everyone! Welcome, we’re back with another episode of Pole on the Call.

I’m Mændy Mac and I’m here with Cris Rivers and today we are talking about pole safety at home, in the studio and more.

Yes probably the most important thing, because we are doing a sport where you can get very injured, you could die, and not to like, you know scare you from doing the thing; but it should really always be in the back of your mind the safety aspect of you know your space, if you’re a teacher, your student space, if you’re a studio owner, all of the places where you are.

I agree with that. One of my biggest regrets when I started five years ago, was not focusing on safety and I’ve broken a toe, cracked the rib, and dislocated my shoulder and I don’t want that to happen to y’all.

Yeah and I was really like thankful too, because when you first start doing aerials and pole and everything you’re like; I’m so excited and you want to do it everywhere, you’re like doing pull on the street corners, on the stop signs, you’re doing pole on construction sites.

But maybe you shouldn’t do those things, they call for amazing pictures,

yeah yeah, like while it might be nice, you know poling from the trees and stuff could get you seriously injured and also you’re putting on a bad example for other people because they might not know you well and might be excited to do pole everywhere.

You gotta tone it down, and we’re gonna talk about safety and ways that you could tone it down and help educate others as well.

First you want to talk about some at home pole safety.

All right so I started at home, which many of you are also in the same boat, or if not you have a pole at home . I started with a 200 dollar one from Spencer’s that was not a mountable one.

It was a pressure pole and I broke my first three like in the first two weeks, because I was starting with cast offs and spinning inverts and [ __ ] I really shouldn’t have been doing.

I didn’t really how do you say, put it up together properly, I didn’t know that you need a beam finder in order to find the beam to put it secure. I didn’t know that you should kind of look at every angle to make sure that it’s not tilted just a centimeter.

It was quite a learning experience but I will say I learnt, and now I have this pole which I’ve had for two years knocking on some wood. So you definitely want to make sure if it comes with instructions, read the instructions, you want a beam finder, you want to find that beam, because nothing sucks more than cracking a hole in your ceiling because you didn’t find the beam.

You really really want to make sure you have tightened it so it’s so tight and the pressure is so good that when you grab the top or the bottom, you can really put all your weight, and it does not budge.

It should not budge, even a centimeter, it might make a little noise but that’s okay. Noises in the home poles, happen but , do you have anything to add with the home pole safety?

Oh you can do mounted home poles which is a little bit more money but go ahead man!

I mean you touched a little bit about the you know, getting a safe pole you want to know if you’re getting one from amazon, you want to make sure that you’re getting a safe pole and not just a knock off, of a brand that is safe.

So really read the reviews and everything, you can also order from a reputable pole site. We’ll list a few at the bottom here, and like Cris said you always just want to make sure that that pole is safe.

You want to make sure that it has the stud in the ceiling, and you’re not putting it on just like a random part of your ceiling. I’ve heard so many stories of students putting their poles up in their home, and they got it secure and then they take that first spin and it literally like rips their entire ceiling open and it’s such a big expensive damage to fix. So you don’t want to have that happen to you .

You want to make sure that your pole space is clear of stuff you don’t want to be whacking into stuff, like I’m literally cutting it close here with my pole space: got a dresser back there, you know but if you have really long legs you want to make sure that you are careful where your legs go.

You know, stuff in the ceiling, you don’t want to cut yourself open on a light fixture, on a fan, or anything like that and like Cris said you really want to check your pole every single time before you use it.

Really like shake the [ __ ] out of it, you want to like run into it, smash into it because you want that pole to, if it’s gonna do something, you want it to happen then and not while you’re dancing on it.

Another thing with the home poles, make sure you take them down at least,..... I try to tell people twice a month.

I know it’s inconvenience, and it’s a pain in the ass sometimes, I can’t even do it that often because I’m so busy. But at least once a month, because it does collect moisture from your sweat, from the atmosphere, it will rust; you need to take all those pieces apart, kind of clean it up, give it love, because if not I guarantee you that pole will not last as long as it should and it will start how do you say messing up on you.

Start sticking in places it shouldn’t, it won’t go to spin, it won’t go to static; so it’s so important at least once a month take it down, take everything apart and just give it a good clean.

Yeah and another thing about you know poling at home safely, you might be, you know tempted to use your pole at home while you’re by yourself, but just think about ; let’s say something bad happened and you did get injured and you couldn’t get up and now you’re alone....... so maybe just think about having someone there .......you know in the other room........ just knowing that you are practicing by yourself , so that they can be there for safety in case you need them.

And also like if you need a spot they could be there to help you, they could lift your butt up in the air and help you, you know always be safe too, and communicate with your spot. They’re not a trained pole teacher so they’re not going to exactly know how to help you but as long as you know you trust them and you feel safe with them you can use them for safety and and not try to do things just on your own....

And that brings us to crash mats

Cris crash mats are fun, one thing to touch on what Maendy said before we go into crash mats..... if you cannot for whatever reason have a second person there maybe call a friend on standby and say hey look I’m about to do pole dancing....... I shouldn’t be doing anything crazy but accidents happen ........can you call me in 30 minutes 45 minutes make sure I’m okay

They might be like what the hell, but if they’re really a loved one they will do it and be like are you okay, that’s not the best alternative but I mean I do understand the hassle of being home all day with no one to spot you........ and you’re like I just wanna do this ........but you can’t it sucks.

So now we’re going into crash mats..... and there’s so many different ways you could do this. I’m going to talk about some ghetto ways that I started before I even learnt about the real pole dance crash mats........ and that was I first started using couch cushions, bed pillows, even like an inflatable twin size mattress was pretty cool...... like put them around the pole , and then when I didn’t have couch pillows or sleeping pillows I would use laundry it was all clean laundry , but you just put in a pile around your pole really nice and it’s good cushion not the best alternative but sometimes we don’t have those couple hundred dollars to spend on crash mats and with that being said with my ghettofied crash mats.... I’m gonna pass it to Mændy.

You’re right, like I mean you know the bottom line, is you got to be safe and it does suck like the crash mats that are going to save your life are expensive but you think about your life, it has no price on it so you really want to like value your life and your limbs and your body, so some crash mats you want to think about getting are, you know a crash mat........

Sometimes you might find that ones that are like one inch and those are really , not really going to save you, if you fall , you know substantially you want to look for at least four inch crash mat and they could be squishy, I know pole has some, I have seen some at yogadirect.com , and of course amazon has a bunch but we can, you know any sort of pole crash mat, or you can even get the the other crash mats that go you know on either side and kind of like smoosh them together so that you have some some safety ....but I really wouldn’t recommend not having any thing underneath you...... especially if you are doing inverted things at home you need to have something underneath you because you never never know.

Safety first, it’s okay to do inverts if you’re comfortable with them if you do them in the studio, but if it’s your first time doing it you should not be doing it at home alone you should not ......I know it sucks .......we all want to be like yeah ......I’m gonna do it.......

You probably shouldn’t if it’s upside down, and you’re alone and you have no crash mat .....

I recommend not doing it ......

And that also brings us to like if you’re a beginner poler and this is totally fine for you to be, you know brand new to pole you got your safe pole set up it’s it’s fine in your space you have..... you know six feet of space around that you’re definitely not going to whack into anything or hurt yourself......

But like now you don’t know what you’re doing but it’s not a good idea to just start playing around on the pole I really really recommend you know if you don’t have a studio nearby to take lessons you should find an online class just to get those basics down and also to have another eye looking at you while you do those basics because they’re gonna,..... you know find a lot of things to help you in your whole journey that you might not be able to see on your own and not to say that you won’t find these things on your own ......

It’s just gonna take a whole lot longer so if you want like a shortcut to success I really recommend you know getting an online trainer and having that background at least first before you start playing around on that poll and we offer online classes at The Pole in the Wall, which you’ll find a link below and if you can’t take online class with us that’s okay we have online videos which is another story.

Anything else about crash mats that you can think of?

No, I think that that would be enough about crash mats. Like I said there’s different , thicknesses so if you wanted the thinner one, if you were doing like handstands or stuff .

If you don’t feel really confident in your handstands you can get one of those like thicker ones like,......... I mean firmer when I say thicker, feel firmer crash mat .....so that it’s,...... you know not so squishy when you put your hand on it but it will cushion your fall rather than you landing on your hard floor .......yes because these home poles aren’t high but it still hurts I promise.

One other thing I wanted to say about having your pole at home and and it’s so tempting to like invite all of your friends over....... and like have a good time and that’s fine but you’re home and they are now your responsibility.....

So if people are injured in your home and they’re not really good friends they could literally sue you for getting injured at your home so it’s now your responsibility . You have this pole in your home you have to educate your friends on the safety things as well and you can’t just like ass e that people will know , because you know like I’ve had people come over and they’re like ........

I could see it in their eye........ they’re like backed up .......and they’re gonna take a running j p onto my pole ..........and I’m like no .........like please don’t do this you don’t know what’s gonna happen to your body like you might slip off....... you’re gonna fly into my wall, knock over my stuff .

Hopefully the pole won’t come out of the ceiling you know like , it’s a responsibility having a pole in your home and you know it’s not really hard to to stay safe and just to stay safe minded when your friends come over too.

With that being said I know drinking and poleing is fun....... it’s less painful .......but be mindful.........

I am a culprit of this that’s.......... why it came to my mind .......and it’s important to say drinking is fun .......but it definitely gets rid of our inhibitions and while you’re poleing even at home, it should not be happening .

I know some of my sexiest routines come out when I’ve had a little bit, but I try to stay out of the air if I know that I have drank a little because it is super important to be safe.

Yes and then I just touched a little bit of the street poling , that’s like kind of like poling at home but again you’re a role model to your friends....... and also to other polers, especially when you put that stuff online on instagram .

You’ll be like oh I saw somebody do an Ayesha on a tree..... I’m gonna try it and then the tree that you pick is like dying and you break the tree and you fall on your head .

Like it’s not cool to show that example, you know, if you know show it because you know we all wanna.

I don’t like , ....I don’t wanna be like don’t like live your life and have a good time.

Yeah maybe put a disclaimer like do not try this at home, I have experience with this because we can’t...... I mean we can’t really stop you from doing it .......but definitely like some beautiful pictures have come from it........ so like I don’t know what happened it’s so hard....... like you just see something you’re like I want to take a picture and you’re like I know I should have because someone is going to get hurt.

Disclaimer yeah it’d be like I lived after this experience but you might not.

That’s not funny but like you know what....

Yes I think that’s all the stuff that I had about.

Yeah although the home pole safety, I did want to touch upon different poles that you can get in studio.....

Oh wait now we’re going to studio safety right .......so I guess that’s we’re going to studio safety for now.

In studio safety, all studios should have crash mats !

I mean if you don’t have crash mats you better get them because that is like I’m pretty sure that’s an insurance requirement. That is so important all studio poles, I was taught that they should all be mounted but I have learned this is not always the case in some studios so I don’t want to really touch on that because I was talk mounted if you’re in the studio...... but I do understand that can’t always be the case.

There are different kinds of poles you can buy. Your free standing stages which are fun ......we have one at the studio which we actually bring other places but you can I have seen studios where they spend a bunch of money and they have like five six or seven different stage student freestanding ones. Which is awesome.

You can also buy brass poles which are found in hotter climates, they are better for sticking when you’re very sweaty. Things like that, and it won’t tarnish we also have stainless steel, which is very common. You’ll find it or chrome which is more common I think a lot of the X-Poles are chrome in that nature.

Powder coated poles these are so much, fun but they hurt. These are made to be.... these are made to do pole dancing in clothes ......and you can even coat your home pole.

It sucks taking it off but there’s...... like you can buy a tape or even a powder coating .......and it will allow you to pole dance with clothes on which is fun or if you don’t want to do that to your pole you can invest in a silicone pole which people buy for dancing with clothes on.

They don’t have to add anything but be careful with the silicone pole, because if you use skin it will burn the living hell out of you......because it’s meant for clothes so those are the different kinds of poles .

I mean pole sizes as you know you can get 45 millimeters, 40 millimeters I’ve even worked on 50 millimeters which was a big boy.. Which was fun in some instances but painful in others , the most common is 45 millimeters and yeah that’s a little bit about poles..... different kind of poles you can have in your studio .....and now we’re gonna dive right back into the safety aspect if you want to take that Mændy.

Yeah first I wanted to talk about as a student, you know looking for a studio that’s going to be safe. Because, I don’t know if a lot of people know this, but literally anyone off the street can open a dance studio. You don’t need experience, you just need to open the studio! And like it’s happened a lot.

Even like growing up in dance studios, and I don’t want to like dis my dance instructors or anything, but this is what happened to me. I came from studios where they weren’t, you know, the teachers weren’t certified. I didn’t really get a good dance training. They were maybe more in it for the money and rather than, you know… Delivering students that would like go off and and be dancers later in life. So unfortunately there’s that to look for.

So how do you know that you’re you’re finding a good studio? They’ll probably list, you know, on their website that they have certified instructors. Maybe they’ll have their certifications on the wall, you can always feel free to, you know, look up your the instructors that you’re taking from and see their bios. Read a little bit about their life and their journey and their teaching. And you know, finding studios that put safety in mind and are always evolving their education as well. So that’s something to look for, especially if you’re just brand new and you don’t know where to start.

Yeah just watch out for the people that just open the dance studios, maybe it doesn’t happen too much in pole, but it's definitely like in the dance world growing up. I remember I was like damn it! As soon as I got to college I was like, man I don’t know anything! I took dance my whole life!

But then once you get into the studio, you know, you want to always make sure you locate where the first aid kit is, you know, and and also like like where the exits are and everything. General studio stuff. The crash mats.

Yeah and then what you said I’m instructor certified. Certifications.

Your instructors even if not certified should at least have CPR and first aid at least!

Yeah that’s really good you say that. I know our insurance at Pole in the Wall requires all of our instructors have CPR and First Aid. So yeah, that’s definitely something that’s important and hopefully you’ll never have to use it but you definitely need to have have knowledge of that because it when stuff goes down, you know. The instructor, everyone’s looking to you to save the day, so you have to save that day!

Yeah oh spotting! Let’s say let’s talk about spotting in classes so the this thing when I when I first started my pole classes in my studio, they, the teacher would kind of like show us how to spot our friends, and then we would all help each other. And while that is well and good, it’s probably not such a good idea. Because your students are not insured, and they don’t have the same knowledge in case something goes wrong. So like let’s say your students are spotting each other in class, and then one of the students gets injured, and you know that’s on you now. That the injury happened. And chances are, you know, the outcome of that is not going to be very good because you weren’t supervising the situation as an instructor.

So, so I switched over to instructor safety! But anyway I wanted to talk about that because only an instructor should be spotting you in any situation. And always the instructor should be asking you if you want to be spotted to begin with before they just right away put their hands on you. And the instructor should also you know, kind of tell you where they’re going to be spotting you, so that you’re aware of what’s going to happen. And as a student in the spotting situation, you can always you know, retract that permission during the class at any time if you don’t feel comfortable anymore. And everyone needs to respect this, in the the situations that might arise in the classroom.

I’m like going out of order here! Sorry I went off on a tangent. It just said "spotting" and I was like!!!

So yeah I think that’s all I had to say about spotting. And that’s more for the instructor, so students should not be spotting students in class.

Yes I’m so glad you said that. I’ve never even seen that. That’s so crazy and like Mændy said you can say no. With that also being said, I don’t know if this happens to you, and other instructors, sometimes we’re so in the moment we know you said no, but you look like you’re about to fall! We just don’t, and we just jump right in — it’s not like we just threw it all out the window, no touching you. It’s just a reaction. I don’t know if that happens to you? I know that happens…

Yeah I always, like we don’t want you to die!

We don’t want you to die yeah! So just yeah that’s happened. It’s not like your instructor is like dismissing you, saying don’t touch me. It’s just we really care, we don’t want you to get hurt. We might just forget in that moment just to make sure you’re okay.

Yeah yeah and that brings up another situation too. If you, you know, the situation of spotting too — it is for safety. And you know, if we continuously see that we have to keep rushing to you, and you’re not being safe on your own, then it’ll be another discussion about safety and and how we can revise the situation to make it better for everyone that’s involved.

Yes! I guess I learned that there are two kinds of spotting: guidance spotting and safety. The guidance you can tell your instructor, just guide me, tell me what to do. That’s it. Or you can tell them I need a safety spot, which means yes hands on, I don’t want to die! So I mean a little tidbit if you want to go about that.

Right, like I went through like probably about a year after I was injured. I came back to