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Pole Myths & How We Break Them

At some point in your pole journey, I bet you’ve heard or thought one of the following myths about pole dance. Let’s break them down.


“Pole Is Just For Strippers”

Pole is for EVERYONE. If strippers want to take classes to up their game, more power to them; however, taking your clothes off is NOT a requirement for pole dancing. Pole dance history is intertwined with that of exotic dance, but is a great workout in its own right. We teach a wonderful array of individuals at Elite: those in the medical field, holistic healers, business owners, managers, military, costumers, students, mothers, etc.

"The stripper stigma surrounding pole is something that touches all pole dancers. I was initially drawn to pole when I graduated dental school. I was searching for a new adventure, a new activity, something social to fill the void left behind by studying for exams and celebrating when they were done. After a few classes I was hooked. Trying hard to command respect as a new dentist, I felt the need to keep my new found love of fitness and flying around on a metal pole to myself. Over the years I've shared my passion for pole with people, though I still have not told my co-workers or patients. As soon as you tell someone the conversation inevitably turns to strippers. When I was new to pole I felt the need to defend myself, to justify the skimpy clothes (seriously though, they are needed for grip!), but as time went on I no longer cared. I feel strong, stronger than I've ever been. I can hold myself upside down in positions that most people would find impossible. I'll rock 'stripper heels' if I want to without feeling any shame. I'm proud of my accomplishments and no form of exercise or clothing makes someone less deserving of respect. In fact I've gained a new appreciation for the strippers I initially was seeking separation from. If, as a doctor, poling for exercise gives people a reason to pass judgement about me, I can only imagine the energy strippers need to expend trying to be taken seriously." - Allyson


“I’m Too Old”

Some people start their pole journeys young, while others don’t find it until much later in life. Whenever you come to pole, we bet you’ll ask yourself “Why didn’t I come sooner?” We have some mothers at our studio who will tell you they feel better than ever after starting pole fitness. We recently held a photo shoot for students at the studio. The photographer, Stephen Choo-Quan, was astonished to learn Michelle Walters’ age after seeing how strong and flexible she was. 


Michelle W


“I’m Not Strong/Flexible Enough”

We hear this so many times, and it’s just not true. Some people come to pole with a background in dance, gymnastics, circus, yoga, or another type of fitness. While they may have a slight advantage, everyone’s journey is different. Pole GIVES you strength and flexibility. That’s precisely why we stretch in warm-ups and do conditioning exercises. We’re here to help you succeed, and will give you the tools you need to do so. You’ll be climbing to the ceiling before you know it!


“I’m Too Big/Out of Shape”

I call bull! There are so many different aspects of pole that anyone of any shape can do it. Take a Roz the Diva for example.


Meet Roz the Diva: Body Positive Pole Dancing Superhero

If you want someone closer to home, look at our own instructor, Mark Francis. He lost 100 pounds just by pole dancing. The pole doesn’t discriminate. Make it work for you!


“I’m Not Sexy”

Pole dancing doesn’t have to be sexy. It certainly can be a great way to connect with your sensual side, but there are as many styles of dance as there are dancers. Elite has been home to styles such as exotic, chair, belly dance, hip-hop, burlesque, theatrical, lyrical, comedy, and even jazzercise. There’s something for everyone.

"When I say I pole dance, everyone assumes everything I do is provocative. Take a class with me and you'll know that's not the case. Pole has simply helped me redefine what sexy is to me. Sexy is showing my strength and power. It's being confident in my own skin and feeling accepted enough to be silly. While pole means different things to everyone, for me it's about having the ability to fully be myself, goofball and all." - Lindsey


“Pole Is For Girls”

There are so many amazing pole dancers in the world, of course men are included! We are proud to have some awesome male dancers at Elite. Check out some of the following Instagram accounts of male polers (of course, our very own Mark tops the list).


“Pole Means You Take Your Clothes Off”

The only thing remotely true about this statement is that as you advance in pole, skin grip is required for certain moves. It in no way means you have to be nearly naked to pole dance. There are tons of companies out there that make clothes specifically for pole dancers. There are styles that offer the skin grip you need without sacrificing the modesty you may want. Then again, there are those of us who love skimpy pole wear. There’s something out there for everyone!


Many of the myths we hear about pole come from those outside the pole community. If you come to a class, those myths dissolve instantly. One of my favorite sayings is “Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.” Never let preconceived notions keep you from something you love. #UnitedByPole


Pole Playlist - Your Instructors Favorite Songs!

Looking to update your Pole Playlist? Or wondering the name of that song you heard in class? Here are YOUR Elite instructors favorite songs to pole to! 

Sound of Silence by Disturbed
Psycho by Muse
26 and 2 by Tool
Change by Deftones
I Alone by Live
Wicked Games by The Weekend
Blue Jeans by Lana Del Rey
Jump by Rihanna
Let It Be by Benny Benassi
Next girl by Black keys
Judith by Perfect Circle
Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson
With teeth by NIN
Here by Lessia Cara
Skin by Rihanna
Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande
Kisses Down Low by Kelly Rowland
Tennessee by Kiiara
Toes by Glass Animals
Brain by Banks
Ridin Solo (Njomza Remix) by Hippie Sabotage
She Knows by Ne-Yo
Nutshell by Alice in Chains
Fantasy by Alina Baraz
The Hills by The Weekend
Faded by Zhu
Dreamworld by Robin Thicke
Feeling Good - Bassnectar Remix by Nina Simone 
As The Rush Comes - Gabriel & Dresden Chillout Mix by Motorcycle


Why All Pole Dancers Should be Doing Yoga.

        Although Yoga and Pole Dancing may seem like two contradicting ideas, they are actually remarkably similar. Both Yoga and Pole Fitness require a great amount of strength, flexibility and concentration. Many moves performed on the pole are almost exactly the same as popular yoga poses. Training in Yoga can help one gain the strength and flexibility needed in order to perform complicated tricks on the pole.
Yoga Poses That Help with the Upper Body and Core Strength Needed for Pole:

Chaturanga:                                   Plank Pose:
 chaturangahigh plank
Boat Pose:                                  Crow Pose:

Yoga Poses that Help with the Flexibility Needed for Pole:
Hamstring Flexibility; helps with Choppers, Pole Splits, Allegra, Butterfly, Jade Split and more: 

Hanamasana:                           Reclining Big Toe Pose:
    168-Hanumanasana-Jack-Cuneobig toe

Wide-Angled seated forward bend:
Hip Flexibility; helps with backbends, Allegra, Inside Leg Hang, Cocoon, Jade Split and more:

Anjaneyasana:                              Lizard Pose:
                       tfm-Anjaneyasanalizard pose
   High Lunge:                  Pigeon (all variations):

Back Flexibility; helps with Allegra, Cocoon, Ballerina, Crescent Moon, Remi Seat, Janiero, Eagle, Marchenko, Yogini and many more!

Cobra:                                          Camel:
                 maxresdefaultcamel pose
Bow Pose:                                   Wheel:

Inversions in Yoga help students get comfortable being upside down, while building core, shoulder, forearm and wrist strength! Forearm stands and Handstands can also used as specific pole tricks!

Forearm Stand:   Handstand:

forearm stand2Handstand away

     These are only a few examples of the many poses and many ways a yoga practice can improve your pole skills! Owner of Elite, Amie, uses Yoga as her only cross training to pole. Elite offers two Yoga classes per week, Tuesday evenings at 7:15 pm with Amie and Sunday mornings at 11am with Dana. We hope you join us for a class!


5 Exercises You Can Do at Home to Nail Your CHOPPER!

The Chopper is one of the most important moves in Pole Fitness. It is the base move used to transition through almost all intermediate and advance inverts. Developing the strength to nail your chopper can be a daunting task for some. The Chopper requires a great amount of upper body and core strength, specifically lower core strength, which can take a lot of work to gain. Sometimes the time we have in the studio is simply not enough to do the trick. Here are 5 exercises that you can do at home that can help you nail your chopper!

1. High Plank: The High Plank is a simple, yet very effective exercise!

Muscles Targeted: Core, Shoulders and Wrists.
How to Perform: Bring your shoulders over your wrists, keep you neck, shoulder and hips in line, suck the belly in and press the hands into the mat. 
Common Mistakes: Dropping the hips below the shoulders or lifting the hips into the air.

Recommended Sets and Reps: Feel free to start slow and work your way up. Start holding for 15 seconds and work on gradually increasing until you can hold for at least a minute. We recommend about 3 sets.
Modifications: If a High Plank is too hard to start, try putting your knees on the floor, keeping your knees behind your hips and weight into your hands, to still work your core. If your wrists bother you, a Low Plank (with forearms on the floor) is another acceptable variation.

2. Plank with Knee Tucks:

How to Perform: Start in High Plank (Pictured above), keeping your hips low, draw your right knee into your chest, trying to pull the foot and knee as close to your body as possible. Hold for 3 seconds, replace foot in plank and repeat on left side.

Common Mistakes: Lifting the hips while bringing the knee to the chest.

Sets and Reps: Repeat 5 times on each side, 3 sets.
Modifications: Keep the knees on the floor. To make harder, you can hold the knee into the chest for 5 seconds each time.

3. Push-Ups (elbows back): 

Muscles Targeted: Biceps/Triceps, Shoulders, Back
How to Perform: Start in a High Plank (see above), draw your elbows back towards your body and draw your shoulder blades together. Keep your elbows drawing in as you bend your elbows, bringing your chest a few inches from the floor, straighten elbows to come back into a Plank position. Keep neck, shoulders, and hips in line, and keep the belly drawing in.
Common Mistakes: Dropping or Lifting the hips. Not keeping the shoulders over the wrists. Hands to close together or far apart (wrists should be in line with shoulders). Elbows out to the sides is a different type of push-up. We recommend elbows drawn in for Chopper training.

                                          Modified Variation

Sets and Reps: 3 Sets of 10
Modifications: Place your knees on the floor, keep your knees behind your hips and your shoulders in line with your wrists, keep hips in line with shoulders. You can go only a quarter or half way towards the floor until you gain the strength to do a full push up.

4. Floor Knee Tucks or Pikes:

Target Muscles: Core

How to Perform: Step One- Lying on your back, lift your chest and place your forearms on the floor with your elbows in line with your shoulders. Extend your legs straight out in front of you, with the feet several inches from the floor. Draw your belly to your spine. Step Two- Bend your knees into your chest, tucking your hips and get your knees as close to your chest as possible. Extend the legs back to step one and repeat. Straighten the legs for a harder variation.
Common Mistakes: Letting the elbows fall towards the hips and not keeping them directly under the shoulders. Not bringing the knees (or feet) high enough.

                                               Step One
                                              Step Two
                                    Step Two - Harder Variation
Sets and Reps: 3 Sets of 10 reps.

Modifications: Straighten legs to make it harder.

5. Hip Lifts:

Target Muscles: Lower core and Hamstring/back flexibility 

How to Perform: Start lying on your back, suck your belly to the floor and raise your feet a few inches off the ground (make sure there is no space between your lower back and the floor). Keeping your hands on the floor, lift your hips into the air, pull your feet over your head, trying to touch the toes to the floor behind you. Slowly lower your hips and legs back toward the ground, keeping the feet off the floor, repeat.
Common Mistakes: Using the hands to lift the hips. Releasing the feet all the way to the ground in between reps.

                                                  Step One
                                                  Step Two
                                               Step Three
Reps and Sets: 3 Sets of 10 Reps.
Modification: If you are not very flexible, it is okay if the feet do not touch the ground behind your head.

We recommend practicing these exercises 3-4 times a week to see best results!