How long did it take you...

 
Breanne

Hello! I'll try to keep this short, as I'm sure most new polers ask, how long does it take to advance? I know it depends on a lot of factors, but how long did it take you?

Were you flexible before? Strong? What helped you most? I've been trying some basic moves just to get my body strength up and a bit leaner, I guess this is the most important part of pole dancing, is strength, let me know your thoughts!

 

- Breanne
Feb 2, 2011 from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Runemist34

Hey hon,

I've been pole dancing off and on for the last 3 or 4 years. It's a long time...and I've not really accomplished much on the "inversion" side of things, let alone any aerial tricks. 

I've got little to no fitness background, and aside from horseback riding a long time ago, I've led a mostly sedentary life. Little flexibility, even littler upper body strength. It took me a long time to understand my limits and I'm still learning about my range of movement, my creative expression with dance, and what works.

However, I'll tell you this: Work out for 45 minutes to an hour. I used to work out all the time for about 30 minutes, and I found that pretty gruelling. I was tired all the time, and workouts became frustrating, I wasn't showing much improvement at all. However, this time, I asked "How long do you work out for?" on the forum, and everyone said they do pole for at LEAST an hour each session. Usually sessions were about 3 times a week. 

I gotta say, changing to an hour was hard, but it's really making a difference. I see myself growing stronger all the time. :)

Also, welcome to pole dancing! Trust me, it's an addiction :)
Feb 2, 2011 from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
PoleKitten87

I started in January 2009. At the studio I used to go to, I reached the advanced level in 8 months (inverted moves). I got my own pole 2 months after starting lessons, so I would see something and try it myself at home (My first inversion was the day I got it lol). I am not flexible at ALL. Never gained any flexibility at that studio either after a year of attendance. Stopped going in Feb 2010 and pretty much died off on pole til July 2010 when I took a workshop with Karol and visited a truly amazing studio (StudioX Pole Fitness) I learned what a true studio SHOULD be like and got the fire ignited with pole again. Now I've been teaching myself with a friend using YouTube, privates with Karol, and pole jams, and we've made so much progress since September 2010 (when we started self-teaching).

I've never had a problem with strength really. I have plenty of strength, no flexyness. I dont really workout besides pole when my friend and I get together, though I'm trying to change that. My current schedule is brutal - working full time and then full college course load which results in me getting home late and being tired all the time. My friend and I try and get together Fridays and starting Saturdays this week. When we do, we workout for hours. We'll do pole stuff for 4+ hours sometimes. We feel it in the morning, but we've also seen progression!

Everyone is different. My friend and I keep each other challenged - there are things she can do that I cant, and vice versa, and it keeps us going - practicing til we get it! It's all about having your own pace and doing things as they come comfortably. There's no specific time frame :)
Feb 2, 2011 from Summerville, South Carolina, United States
HollySatine

I take a pole class at a studio, but I also do stuff on my own at home since I have my own pole.  I've been poling since September, and have found that some moves I get more quickly than other moves, even though I still can't do certain moves that are "less challenging" that other people can do.  For instance, I don't know a ton of spins and my plank isn't perfect, but I just got the cross knee release down the other day.  Sometimes you just have those "ah-ha" moments with certain moves.  Last week I could not support my weight in the elbow hold, but just tonight I was finally able to do a spin using the elbow hold that I didn't think I'd be able to do for at least a couple weeks. 

I would not consider myself to be very strong or flexible.  What has helped me the most in learning the more difficult moves has been to try it just a couple times until I start to get worse and feel less safe, and then I stop (and wait for the bruises and soreness to heal!), work on something different, and try the move I couldn't get a couple days or even a week later - sometimes I don't think I'll get a move because I haven't been working on it every day, but often I end up surprising myself!  Trying the same thing over and over again until you collapse isn't always the best idea, especially because more advanced moves (like inverts) can be unproductive and extremely dangerous if you're too tired.

P.S. Veena's lessons are very helpful and informative!

Hope this helps! :)
Feb 2, 2011 from Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
PoleKitten87

Oh and I've been to other amazing studios as well since starting pole again - the difference between one I went to and the ones in NC I've visited is insane. We actually drive 3-4 hours just to go to them every couple months.

I also suggest a mat in the future when you reach inverted moves! We did them for awhile without a mat, but its come in handy now that its there! :)
Feb 2, 2011 from Summerville, South Carolina, United States
Breanne

Thank you all for replying, I haven't taken any lessons, I've only bought a pole. I can do the basic fireman spin, I've been working on the climb, which some days is easier then others, I can do the cradle ungracefully lol!

I'm trying to get my strength back up and become a little leaner, should I add more tricks or continue to focus on these few?
Feb 2, 2011 from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
vamp79
Hi there : )
I've been poling for about 13 months now but have had my pole for about 5 months. At first I was not progressing much because I was only going to the studio for one hour a week. It wasn't until I got my own pole that I started to feel stonger faster. I still have a long way to go but my basic invert is pretty strong now. I personally don't like to wait until i perfect a trick or spin to move to the next, instead I like to move on and then come back to the older tricks, by then I find them a lot easier since I have gotten a bit stronger. Everyone is different though, you will soon figure out what works for you.
Feb 3, 2011 from Miami, Florida, United States
chemgoddess1

Let's see, I have been at it for a little over 3 years and I am one fo the "older" ladies here.  Prior to poling I did work out but my upper body strength alway was lacking.  I started at home with the S Factor book and and then the dvds.  Because of this I think I progressed faster than many but also injured myself trying to do things I should not have been doing.

 

Things I remember for strength:

Caterpillar: I was able to get one out without issue but it took me at least 3 months to get several.

Caterpillar climb: This took me forever because I fell out of it and I was scared to death to try again.  I worked on handstands in the mean time to build my upper strength and confidence.  This probably took me 6 months to a year before I was comfortable.  This is the one move that also opened up a ton of other moves for me.

Reverse grab: I am still working one getting lots of air on this one.  I was able to do it fairly quicky once I was comfortable with a one handed spin but my legs were always near the ground.  Conditions still have to be "just right" for me to get my legs high.

 

BTW...my flexibility is crap.

 

 
Feb 3, 2011 from Raleigh-ish, NC, United States
Sair

Hello! :)

I started taking lessons in Mid Sept of 2010. What a rush! Although i've been working out off and on for a couple of years, it did not help at all when it came to having any upper body strength whatsoever haha.

I took pole class once a week for about a month and made a little bit of progress with simple spins, fireman, ballerina, backwards hook, as well as a few dance moves, but nothing spectacular. Still loved it though! Started picking up 1 extra class a week as well as a class called "core flow" and that's when it started to happen.

Core Flow is kind of a yoga fusion and man did it help! I went from doing minor spins, and dance fill to doing actual controlled floor work as well as inversions. It was a beutiful thing!

 a combination of Yoga/pilates + pole lessons (veena's lessons) will definitely help you build that upper body strength. I find that a really good strength builder is going from "downward dog" yoga position, right into a "plank" position. Back and forth, slowly and controlled around 5- 10 times. Might sound easy to some, but MAN that will work that back and those arms out!!

I'm def. NOT much of a yoga person, my flexability was awful to start, but it has helped my pole practice come along leaps and bounds!

I have two poles at home currently.:) however I find that sometimes I need my butt kicked and thats where lessons, in an actual class environment, come in handy.

You'll have a much more difficult time saying NO to classes that you've paid for, and if you have an encouraging teacher by your side, the adrenaline rush you'll get will push you to do things you didn't think you could to :)

sorry i'm such a scatterbrain!!! hehe
Feb 3, 2011 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Fever

I started working with an amazing instructor at the end of July/early August 2010. I have progressed quickly because I have a background in acrobatics. Although I've lost most of my flexiness from that time period, I still have a lot of core strength. Inverting from a deadlift came fairly easily to me, as did the shoulder mount. I got my invert after about a month and my shoulder mount at about the three month mark. 

With that said, I practice at least ten hours a week and sometimes a lot more. I almost never practice for less than two hours when I'm practicing. On any given day, I'm covered in bruises--big, nasty ones. Occasionally, I'll take three or four days off to let them heal, but most of the time, I am a "sky leopard" (a term coined by a friend)!

I don't advocate moving that quickly to anyone; I think my background in dance contributed a lot to my apparent masochism for pole dancing. With that said, although I've gotten a lot of moves because of my strength, I still struggle with technique and especially flexibility. I would give anything to get back to the point where I can touch my toes to the back of my head!
Feb 3, 2011 from Orlando, Florida, United States
 
SV User
OH MY GOD VEENA!!!! I never imagined such an AWESOME resource like this existed for pole!!! You are an absolute gem and your tutorials are soooo informative!!
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