Pole Persona: How to Create a Stage Name

by | The Art of Performing

Creating a stage name that portrays the type of style you want can be difficult. By choosing a stage name, you are choosing to represent your stage persona, your identity once you strap on heels or pull your sports bra over your shoulders. This is the cover that your book is judged by before you even get on stage.

It can be frustrating getting started, of course. How do you even begin coming up with the perfect pole persona?

How do you know you’ll find something you’ll love and stick with, let alone something that will fit your style?

In this article, you’ll learn how to create a stage name of your own as well as a few reasons why you might want to.

Why Should I Choose a Stage Name?

Pole dancing is a performance art. Before you learn how to create a stage name, consider why you might want or need a stage name. Knowing the answer to this will help you draw inspiration for your name choice and help you shape the persona you are trying to create.

Before we dive in, it’s important to understand that you don’t have to legally change your real, birth-given name in order to make your stage name official. Like authors using pen names, performance artists use stage names to help identify themselves, stand out from a crowd, or conceal their real identity.

So, let’s get to it:

Why do you want to create a stage name for your pole dancing persona?

 

If you haven’t considered that question yet, we’ve added a few of the most common reasons below.

Reason #1: A Catchy Name for Competitions

You might be wondering, “is learning how to create a stage name for my competition worth it?” and the answer really depends on how much of an impact you want to make.

If you’re competing to break a personal record or push yourself, and you don’t care what the crowd thinks of your performance, then a creating a catchy stage name might not be on the top of your priority list.

On the other hand, if you’re competing to wow the crowd and get out on the stage with a bang, then you’ll want a memorable stage name.

Creating a catchy stage name for a pole dancing competition is just like creating a catchy author name for a specific genre or using a pseudonym as an artist. You’re trying to embody the performance in that name and give people expectations of what your show will be about before you even step out on the stage.

“Daring Danielle” may be a name with a fun alliteration, but it lends itself well to portraying the image of a powerful pole performance with stunts that push the envelope and make people sit on the edge of their seats. Your audience might not think of a comedic piece when they hear the name.

“Slinky Minx” on the other hand, probably wouldn’t be a name you’d expect to be busting out three Iron X’s midway through their dubstep routine. That name would lend itself better to a slow, sensual exotic routine, or fluid movements that make the audience wonder whether Slinky has a skeleton at all.

 

In addition to boosting your performance’s expectations, your goal when creating a catchy name for a pole dance competition is to capture people’s interests when they’re looking at the performance list. If they’re scanning the names to pass the time or find a friend, you want your name to catch their eye.

The goal is that your name stands out on a list of 30-40 others’, so an audience member sees your name and thinks, “oh, I have to see their performance.”

If you want to build a reputation, it is important to settle on a name you won’t get tired of; something timeless that won’t fade out with a popular trend.

You might think that a particular stage name fits your song perfectly, but does it fit your style? Does it suit the personality you want to portray?

These, and other questions are just a part of your journey into creating a pole dancer name.

Reason #2: To Make it Easier to Slip into an Alter Ego

I know, I know. You couldn’t possibly need help; you’re already 100% totally comfortable in your own skin and don’t need any help getting your mind off the world outside the studio or club.

Well, okay, for some of us, that might be true. For most pole dancers, it takes a little while for us to get there – but you will get there!

In the meantime, you might need a little help to get your head in the game and focus on the routine you’re practicing or the persona you’re trying to portray. Maybe you just want a little help showcasing a different side of your personality.

A pole persona that helps you get into your alter ego’s head is kind of like throwing on a different set of clothes when you’re at home lounging with friends and family, versus going to a formal business meeting.

It goes both ways; some of us are exotic, sultry Amazons who want to be a little more #polestrong, and some of us are pole-fit warrior princesses who are very curious about those 8-inch Pleasers they keep seeing online.

In either case, creating a pole persona is an excellent way to explore parts of your personality that you might not feel comfortable doing as At-Home You, just the same way you might not want to show up to a formal wedding in your pajamas.

 

Pole personas created for the purpose of becoming an alter ego deserve just as much attention and care in creating the stage name as any other reason. If you create a stage name and you’re not 100% in love with it, it can feel fake. If it feels fake, or if it just doesn’t feel like you – or this side of you that you want to portray, then you might falsely attribute those feelings to your persona and call off the whole attempt.

It’s always worth giving something a second look, so try out a few names before you commit to one and you might be surprised at the difference it makes.

Some pole dancers opt for using several names for different personas that they want to slip into, though this isn’t the best idea if you’re trying to grow your reputation as a dancer.

One exception to using multiple names is when you’re using them in different environments. For example, you might have one name at the club, another at competitions, and another for miscellaneous showcases and small home-studio performances. This is an excellent way to keep the different parts of your pole life separate, if you want to.

Using different names for different genres in the same environment, however, is an excellent way to confuse people who want to follow your work. Imagine if someone you admired in the pole world went by four different stage names; you wouldn’t know what to call them or when!

Reason #3: As a Requirement for Working at a Club

When you first audition at a club, one thing you’ll notice is that many clubs require that you work under a pseudonym. There are several reasons behind this, many dependent on the club itself.

Maybe they are trying to keep the audience’s fantasy alive within the club, or perhaps they are using stage names as a way to protect the dancers outside of the club. Maybe some of those reasons are your own.

 

Some clubs choose the name for you, in which case, you might be able to request a different name. Other clubs might let you choose your own name and request it when you sign on. In either case, once you have a name, it generally sticks with you until you leave.

You might be tempted to use “Candy” or “Cupcake” and other stereotypical names for a quick answer, but it’s still important to consider what speaks to you.

If the name doesn’t inspire you, it can be harder to find inspiration in the club, so it’s important to think about what kind of persona you want to portray in the club. Without a doubt, you’re going to be working with exotic style, so we’ll keep that in our back pocket – we’re not talking about pole dancing styles:

What kind of persona do you want to portray while you are in the club? Who do you want to be?

Do you want to be the girl-next-door, or the sultry mistress? The heels goddess who stands tall and proud, or the petite, cheeky girl who knows what everyone wants?

Your pole persona should reflect that, and it should feel comfortable, like a good outfit that makes you feel confident on a night out.

Again, it’s important to try on a persona and test it out before you commit to it, so while you’re preparing for your audition and the weeks leading up to it, give it a try and find the persona that works best for you.

Reason #4: To Keep Your Personal or Work Life Separate from Pole

You don’t have to tell the pole community twice that every one of us are everyday people just trying to make the most of a hobby that has inspired confidence and joy – but we may not be able to showcase that expression in other parts of our lives.

Many of us are teachers, scientists, moms, government workers, girlfriends of jealous partners… Yet, we still want to be involved in the pole world, show our journey off on Instagram, and connect with other pole dancers. We want to show off our new pole shorts and sexy poses, and darn it, that’s exactly what we’ll do!

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing whatever you want on social media, if it conflicts with your work or personal life, then there may be consequences to showcasing it to every part of your life, even unintentionally. A student may look their teacher’s name up, or a child’s friend might stumble across a suggestive photo. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!

Many people choose to create a stage name to keep these areas of their life separate from pole dancing, and it works wonders. That said, it’s important that you feel like you can connect with the new name, and truly feel that newfound freedom that comes with it.

If you don’t feel a connection with the name you choose, it’s easy to feel resentful of how much free expression your pole persona has, and you might start feeling trapped in other parts of your life – and you don’t want that, either!

Your pole persona should become a part of you. Alter ego or not, you should be able to identify with it, whether it’s a version of you that you want to become in that moment, or a version of you that can freely express themselves.

As a side benefit, working on a pole persona for everyday practice gives you a head start should you ever decide you want to use the name in competitions or at a club!

How to Create a Stage Name

Your pole persona is a part of who you are. It is a symbol of who your persona is, and the person you want to become when you step out on stage or into your pole room. Like a tattoo, it should be permanent. Once you decide on a stage name, it’s important to stay consistent with it, which is why creating a stage name can seem so daunting in the beginning.

How can you possibly decide with so many options?

Truthfully, until pole becomes a serious endeavor, you don’t have to decide and stick with one name. It can be like a temporary tattoo, trying on different designs until you find the one you like.

If you’re competing to build a reputation in the community, or working to maintain a reputation at a club, a consistent stage name is valuable. If you’re performing for a one-off showcase or doing pole as a personal hobby here and there, then a permanent stage name isn’t strictly necessary, but it does help.

Rule #1 of learning how to create a stage name: take your time.

Don’t rush to find the perfect stage name, or you might wind up feeling deflated as you decide on a name – only to find out that your persona or style doesn’t mesh well with it. Flesh out your new pole persona’s personality and that will help you learn your new name.

In the end, a good name that is easy to communicate, unique, and catchy is ideal.

The last thing you want is a future fan who tries to look your name up and can’t find anything about you – or worse, finds a different person entirely!

At the end of this article, you’ll be armed to the teeth with inspiration and knowledge about how you can create your own stage name.

 

Keep reading to learn how to create a stage name for your own unique pole persona. We’ve taken the time to sprinkle in plenty of advice and tips throughout the process!

What Feelings Does Your Pole Persona Evoke?

Who do you want to be when you’re on stage?

Do you want to be Sensual? Comedic? Mystical?

How about Powerful? Sultry?

Does playing a Childish persona help you loosen up and get in the zone? Have you always wanted to be Punky?

Thinking about these identifiers will help you start the basis of your persona and help you envision what people might feel when they see your persona or hear their name, even if you haven’t come up with the name yet. The name embodies everything about your persona, not the other way around.

Don’t let any of this brainstorming go to waste, either – even if it sounds dumb to you, write it down! Go out and buy a cheap notebook if you have to and dedicate it to creating your persona. You might connect a few thoughts on paper and come up with something entirely new.

Keep in mind the context in why you are choosing your stage name, as well. For example, if you choose a childish or comedic name and you’re auditioning at a club, you may turn off some clientele. A sensual, powerful, or sultry persona generally works best in clubs.

Likewise, for a competition name, it might not matter until you have to choose what category or what competition you’re entering into. For example, a pole comedian’s stage name might not be fitting for a Dance Filthy competition.

 

As a runner-up to choosing what sort of basic identifier your new persona has, consider what styles you enjoy most, as well.

This question is more important than many people give it credit for, because you’ll have to determine what style you want your new persona to “specialize in.” If you don’t personally connect with that style, then you’re going to lose interest quickly.

Avoid Including Clichés in Your Pole Stage Name

Think twice about using stereotypical or clichéd “stripper names.” In most cases, if the name is considered stereotypical, it really means that it has been overused. Using an overused name may be more humorous or distracting to your audience than it is alluring or sensual.

Of course, some audiences may still respond well to these types of names, so consider your environment and what kind of audience you’re catering to, as well. They say there’s a niche for everything, after all.

Consider Adjectives and Titles

Adjectives and titles tend to give your name an attribute and a fashionable flare.

For example, the name “Delaney” may turn into “Von Del”, and you might decide to add the adjective “Scarlet” – so you end up with a delicious name: Scarlet Von Del.

Who knows; once you go far enough down the path, you might even decide to scrap “Von Del” from the name entirely, having fallen in love with the simple and velvety “Scarlet.”

It’s all about the brainstorming. Write everything down, and don’t be afraid to mix and match, add, and omit!

Consider Putting Together a Mood Board

It’s probably going to sound silly to you, but branding professionals use mood boards all the time to help them encapsulate what a company feels like. They’ll put together colors, images, items – whatever helps create a specific mood when you look at the various photography and printouts.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it with your stage name – it’s already a proven method.

In a pinch, you could use an Instagram collection or a Pinterest board to capture all your favorite images together in one place. Alternatively, if you’re feeling nostalgic, you could go old-fashioned and print out all the pictures you want and create your own physical mood board.

Not only will this mood board help serve as visual inspiration while you’re creating your stage name, but it will also help keep you on track when brainstorming.

Mood boards are incredibly important if you are visually inclined and helps you solidify your personas personality, helping you find the perfect name.

Take Inspiration from Sources Around You

When we’re looking for a name for a persona, we tend to overlook the things that are closest to us, such as our own name or a favorite character. You can find a few examples of what we mean by this below:

Inspiration #1: A Favorite Theme

Do you have a favorite theme or a specific style you are going for?

If so, consider what words are around that topic. Synonyms, or “companion words,” are commonly sought after by authors and songwriters who are looking for that perfect verbal flow.

For example, if you always loved mermaids, you might want to consider a mermaid theme for your name. You would jot down a list of related words, like “aqua” or “sea” until you’ve filled a page or two.

If you want to, you can take this a step further and jot down a list of companion words for your first iteration as well!

Try combining words and mashing around ones you like, taking letters away, or appending words to others. You might be surprised by what comes out of the seemingly messy process. As an example, the stage name “Starsea” may come from a love of constellations and mermaids, and it’s a perfect fit for a mystical persona that loves to go with the flow!

Inspiration #2: Your Favorite Characters

Do you have a favorite lead character to draw inspiration from? Is there a fiction book that you love?

Put yourself in that universe – if you were a character in this movie or book, who would you be? Can you draw inspiration from characters that already exist in these worlds?

This is an excellent way to discover more about your persona, what you like in a name, and help you get in the mindset of a character created by another person.

Inspiration #3: A Language You Love

Are you absolutely in love with a particular language, and always find yourself gravitating towards it no matter the creative situation? Maybe you’ve tried to learn it before and admired how the words flowed.

You can take inspiration from this as well! Do you enjoy the spelling? The titles? Certain pronunciations or accents?

Attributes you personally have may sound much more alluring in other languages as well.

For example, if you’re a pole dancer who enjoys strength moves, try translating some words that lend themselves towards power, or an image of strength, or a strong personality and see what comes out. Likewise, exotic dancers might try words that sound more sensual and languid.

Inspiration #4: Your Own Real Name or Nickname

How can you modify your real name – or parts of your real name – to sound more like what you want? Try swapping words around, omitting or adding syllables, or just use a single name.

If you like your middle name and you want to incorporate it in your stage name, there’s no reason you can’t!

Likewise, consider the origins of your real name. Do you know the etymology of it, or where your name came from? Learning more about the origin of your name may inspire something entirely new, or give you new words to play with.

Additionally, drawing inspiration from nicknames can be an easy way to transition into a stage name if you want to keep it close to your own identity, where, for example, only a small group of friends might recognize it.

Inspiration #5: Childhood Memories

Are there any childhood pasttimes you enjoyed, or a family member you really looked up to as a child? These are excellent sources of inspiration for a stage name.

A childhood hobby or friend that is near and dear to your heart may be able to provide an alternative source of inspiration, giving you room to think about new relevant words.

Inspiration #6: Your Pole Idols

Now, we don’t condone stealing names at all, but it’s fine to take inspiration from pole idols that you already admire.

What do you like about their name?

What speaks to you and says, “This is unique”?

Perhaps it’s the way the name flows off the tongue, or the way it looks when you read it. Consider these questions and it might just open a new avenue of inspiration for you.

How Do You Spell Your Stage Name?

It’s important to consider how your stage name is spelled, especially if you plan on using your name to compete or build a reputation. You don’t want people to try looking you up on YouTube or Instagram to find no results.

In general, we like to stick by a rule of simplicity:

  • Avoid special characters, such as $ @ * !
  • Avoid using numbers in your stage name
  • Avoid spelling that is unintuitive or complex
  • The shorter the word, the better

Is Your Stage Name Easy to Communicate?

A name is a brand for your own identity, which means you need to market test it first!

Luckily, it’s easy to market test your name ideas with friends or in pole dance groups online without committing to anything. Open and honest communication is key, so you’ll find it beneficial to mention that you’re working on some stage names and would like feedback.

Try introducing yourself with your stage name. Are you able to reliably tell people your name without needing to repeat it, or have them ask for clarification?

Can other people reliably pronounce your name without hearing it first? You can write down your stage name and ask a group of friends to say it out loud, if you’d like.

Does it have the right verbal flow? For example, “Trixie Pixie” uses alliterations to help it flow off the tongue, and it can be fun to say. “Mini Minx” is another name that uses this sort of alliteration, but may be hard for some people to read because of the repeated M, I, and N throughout the name

Does hearing the name out loud give you the right mental image? You came across this name by compiling what you wanted your persona to look like and feel like. When you hear your friends say it, does it align with what you wanted?

You can also ask your friends what kind of feelings or imagery the name evokes for them and see if that aligns with the persona you’ve created.

Is Your Stage Name Available?

A quick internet and Instagram search should tell you whether a name is available or not.

The last thing you want is to put all that hard work into creating your very own stage name, only to be continuously mistaken for someone else!

Try searching multiple variations of the name within the community. Likewise, you will cast a wider net doing a generic internet search for the name, appending the query with “pole dancing” or “pole dancer.”

If someone else has taken your name, you’ll have to differentiate it enough so that it isn’t going to be mistaken by someone else.

If it’s available, on the other hand, then it’s fair game! Go ahead and create your social media profiles – or change your current one – to the desired name to stake your claim.

Have you followed these steps? We’d love to see your creative flare!

Tell us your new stage name and how you came up with it!