And just like that, you have signed up for your first pole class.
Oh the anticipation! Oh the fear!
Will I be able to do anything? Will I feel out of place? What if someone finds out I’m taking pole classes????
Yes, these are all very common thoughts that go through our head before we get to our first class. Pole Newbie Fear is real and can get in the way of us really embracing this amazing experience. Just remember one thing: the very simple fact that you signed up shows incredible courage. You recognize that this is something to be explored, whatever your reason is for starting. Maybe it’s because you are so bored with traditional gym/fitness workout routines and need something different. Maybe it’s because you have been immersed in the roles you’ve played like parent, partner, co-worker for so long, that you are looking for something to call your own. You made a choice to try something new and that is brave, so give yourself some credit because the next part is the fun part! You get to be an actual pole dancer!
I tell all my students after their first class, “Congratulations, you are all officially pole dancers!” Regardless if they got any spins or were only able to master the twerk, they showed up and put the work in and hopefully had a blast doing it. So what is a first pole class like?
A few things to note as you approach your first class:
- Please show up about 10-15 minutes early. This is super critical because it gives you time to get a tour of the studio, determine the layout, know where the bathrooms are, and sign any waivers that may be needed. It also gives you a chance to meet the instructor and any students in your class. Remember that (especially if you are taking our intro to pole four week series) these students and instructor will be your support system and it is so awesome when you connect with each other.
- Whatever you do, please don’t show up late! This one is just as critical as #2. Why? For starters, we do warm-ups before getting into class content to keep us safe. Pole requires a lot of our upper body, core, and flexibility, and if we aren’t properly warmed up, we are more at risk of injury. We want you to be students with us for as long as possible and part of that is keeping you safe and minimizing that risk. Students that talk about their injuries they’ve sustained while doing pole, 9 times out of 10 it’s because they either haven’t been properly warmed up or because they are doing too many repetitions of the same move. The other reason why showing up late is liken to a cardinal sin is because it does become disruptive to everyone else in the class. We totally understand when unexpected issues arise that may make you late, but if at all possible, please show up on time. It makes class run so much more smoothly. AND! It gives you the full experience you’ve paid for! Showing up 15 minutes late takes away from the class that you paid for! I always feel like I’ve cheated myself and wasted money if I show up late to something. Think of it like paying to see a movie and missing the first 20 minutes. You spend the rest of the time playing catch up and feeling slightly lost by the plot line. We do have a studio policy that says if you show up more than 10 minutes late, the instructor can choose to not admit you to class. Whether they choose to enforce that policy is up to them, but please know there are very good reasons why we encourage everyone to show up on time.
- This experience is about you, so embrace it! We have a student promise that is part of our waivers that says “I promise to speak well of myself and of others and to support other students with my energy. I recognize that this is a journey that won’t be easy. I promise to give myself the space and grace to not be perfect.” With that in mind, put in the energy to really get something out of it. Support those around you when they try hard! And most of all, support you. This isn’t easy, but showing up is the hardest part. So give yourself a little grace and kindness.
- And few logistical things to remember: wear shorts and a tank top if you are comfortable with that. The more seasoned the pole dancer, the less clothes they wear. But that’s not just because of the awesome effect pole has on their self-esteem (definitely is a contributing factor though!). That’s because the more skin that is exposed, the better they stick to the pole during tricks. Cuts down on the slick factor! And on that note, try to avoid lotions a few hours before class. This can cause you to be slippery and not have good grip. I always say gravity likes to win, and lotion likes to help gravity in her cause. Last note, is we typically do class bare foot. We definitely would ask to wait on those heels (but we promise, we will try to convince you later to do heels!) but for now, let’s focus on getting comfortable moving around the pole before we hike you 6+ inches off the ground!
Next blog in this series will be what to expected during your intro series, what to expect each week, and what kind of progress you may see by your last class.
Grace to you all