What do I need to know before my first pole dance class?
Your basic clothing kit for pole is made up of leggings and a long sleeved top for the warm up and cool down/stretching and spins. For climbing the pole, practicing seats etc. you will need additional skin grip. This means shorts, a sports bra and camisole top. You may also like to bring socks to make your floor-based turns easier. From lesson one, any student who wishes to, is encouraged to feel free to wear heels. We suggest that you wear a pair with an ankle strap. Further information on heels and kneepads can be found below.
Our advice is to wear clothing that doesn’t cut in and makes you feel good.
You should not apply moisturisers to your body or hands for 24 hours before your class.
Please bring a bottle of water and a sweat towel.
Do I need previous dance or fitness experience to start pole?
In short, NO! A consistent pole dance practice will improve your level of overall fitness and flexibility. Over time, you will build fluidity in movement as well as strength. It’s ok to be a beginner, and mistakes are part of learning. We look for progress, not perfection.
What can I expect in my first pole dance lessons?
At your own pace, you will learn the essentials of how to move around the pole, as well as spins and simple upright poses such as seats on the pole. You will then be introduced to climbing up and down the pole. As you progress you will learn to link movements and enter into poses from climbs. Everybody learns at a different pace and there is no pressure to progress.
Am I too old?
There is no upper age limit and we accept students from age 16 onwards.
Do I have to be flexible to start pole dance?
Without good flexibility it is very much possible to learn many fantastic poses, spins and transitions at beginner level and beyond. Regular pole dance training will improve your level of flexibility. A lot of famous pole dancers are on record as saying they started with no existing flexibility,
Should I go to the gym first and improve my strength before starting lessons?
No. Your pole dance lessons include conditioning which will improve your strength in all the ways you need to be a competent pole dancer. We have a fantastic relationship with Evolve Gym and Devon Pole Dance members receive a huge discount on a monthly membership, should you want to cross-train.
I think I’m too fat. Should I lose weight before starting classes?
No. Pole dance is for everybody. Whatever your life goals are, please use pole to support your self image and uplift you in learning all the amazing things your body can do.
What is the cancellation/reschedule policy?
Up to 24 hours before the start time. There are no exceptions to this rule, so please don’t ask.
You can rebook a class up to 24 hours before the class start time. This can be can done through the online booking system; simply log in and amend the booking. A class booking can be moved forward once, up to four weeks into the future.
Please contact Issy to rebook and provide at least 24 hours notice. A private lesson may be moved once, up to four weeks into the future. Private lessons which are part of a six week course must be taken within eight weeks of the start of the course.
(Special workshops may have a different policy)
What heels should I buy?
Readily available brands in the UK include Pleaser USA and Hella Heels. For beginners, it is recommended to start with 6 or 7 inches in height. 8 inch heels and above require extraordinary ankle strength and a level of experience to navigate and use with grace.
- Boots can provide additional ankle support.
- PVC upper will be grippy, suede or leather finish notably less so.
- In shoes, pay attention to whether the upper is clear or an opaque colour. The opaque uppers tend to be less forgiving as they have no stretch at all, meaning they can be either too tight or too loose, whereas clear PVC uppers will mould to your feet.
- Beware purchasing delicate footwear unsuited to regular studio use. Glitter and rhinestones can detach easily and lead to signs of wear. Many professionals choose fairly “standard” pairs and proudly wear the signs of use as a badge of honour and advanced technique, saving embellishments for the stage.
- Many brands sell shoe or boot protectors.
- Sizing up in closed-toe boots is usually a good idea to facilitate the wearing of socks, and/or cushioned insoles. (A note on wearing socks in shoes – arguably, this is a bit of a nono unless they are special socks which add to your outfit, or you’re hiding them in closed toe boots anyway 😉)
- Last but not least, Hella Heels tend to come up small, or at least on the small end of true to size. Further, Hella Heels tend to run rather narrow. Conversely, Pleaser are true to size.
Pleaser models Issy recommends for beginners
- Adore 1020
- Aspire Range
- Delight Range
Is a brand created by dancers for dancers and brings out many covetable limited edition collections per year.
Discount code for 10% off HELLA-XPERT10
What kneepads should I buy?
Good class etiquette
- Arrive 5 minutes before the start of class.
- You are advised not to apply any moisturisers, oils or lotions on the day of your class. Doing so will be at your own risk.
- Remove outdoor shoes before entering the studio and place outdoor clothing and bags into the cloakroom located at the back of the studio.
- Please remove jewellery before class.
- Don’t speak over your instructor. Pole lessons can be a social occasion, however not paying close attention to instructions can lead to misunderstandings.
- Please replace your basket and mat neatly at the end of class.
- Ask questions. You add to the experience of the whole class.
- Be kind to others and celebrate their successes.
- Introduce yourself to your pole buddy.
- Be welcoming to newcomers, always.