Today’s article image features the ever-lovely Anna Freezze. Check out the moves she teaches in the pole dance move dictionary!

Welcome to the enthralling world of pole dancing – a realm where fitness meets artistic expression, strength intertwines with grace, and each movement tells a story. In the dazzling array of moves that pole dancing offers, two that often catch the eye are Leg Circles and Leg Clocks.  

While they may appear similar at first glance, with legs tracing patterns around the pole, their essence lies in distinct techniques, muscle engagement, and stylistic expression. 

Pole dancing isn’t just about climbing a pole or performing jaw-dropping stunts; it’s an art form that requires a nuanced understanding of one’s body and the physics of movement.  

In this exploration, we’ll delve deep into the anatomy of Leg Circles and Leg Clocks, unearthing the subtleties that set them apart and the common ground they share. This journey isn’t just about differentiating two pole moves; it’s about appreciating the intricacies that make pole dancing a dynamic and ever-evolving form of expression. 

The Art of Pole Dancing: A Rich Background of Self Expression

Pole dancing, with its rich and diverse heritage, has evolved from its origins in various cultural practices, including the ancient Indian sport of Mallakhamb and the Chinese Pole, both renowned for their acrobatic displays around a vertical pole. This art form has elegantly danced through time and culture, embracing transformations that have established it as a powerful blend of athleticism, dance, and expression. (Check out this article on the history of pole dancing)

Today, pole dancing straddles multiple worlds – from the exuberant stages of nightclubs and the empowered realm of exotic dance to the disciplined and athletic environments of fitness studios and global competitions. This multifaceted nature celebrates pole dancing not just as a physical activity, but as an art form that embraces all its dimensions, including its roots in the (modern) world from burlesque and later, stripping.

The evolution of pole dancing into various styles is a testament to its inclusive and adaptive nature. Whether it’s the fluid and expressive movements in lyrical pole, the bold and sensual routines in exotic pole, or the strength-focused acrobatics of pole sport, each style contributes to the rich dyanmic world of pole dancing. This evolution is driven by a vibrant community of dancers who bring their unique experiences, stories, and backgrounds to the pole, continually expanding its boundaries.

But why is that important to us today?

Because understanding and appreciating the different moves and styles in pole dancing is essential for personal growth and artistic development. It’s about more than mastering physical techniques; it’s about embracing a form of self-expression that resonates with individual stories and experiences.

Moves like Leg Circles and Leg Clocks are not just physical feats; they are languages through which dancers can express their strength, grace, and creativity, and while we are going to dive into the mechanics of this movement, it’s important to also find the unique style that comes to you in the moment.

Leg Circles: An Overview

In the dynamic sphere of pole dancing, Leg Circles are a captivating floorwork element that adds fluidity and grace to a dancer’s repertoire. This move involves creating circular patterns with the legs while the dancer is grounded, often lying or sitting on the floor.

Technique and Body Mechanics:

Leg Circles demand a blend of flexibility, core strength, and control. The movement begins with the dancer in a grounded position, such as lying on their back or sitting.

The leg, or legs, then extend and sweep in a wide circular motion, tracing invisible lines in the air. The core muscles play a crucial role in stabilizing the torso and maintaining a smooth, continuous motion.

The elegance of Leg Circles is in their seamless flow, requiring the dancer to exhibit control over their limb movements while keeping the rest of the body composed and engaged.

Common Uses in Routines:

In a pole dance routine, Leg Circles are often employed as a transition move or to add a lyrical touch to the performance. They beautifully bridge the gap between aerial and ground movements, allowing dancers to showcase their flexibility and fluidity.

These circles can vary in speed and size, offering an array of expressive possibilities – from slow, large circles that exude drama to quicker, tighter ones that inject a playful or sensual element into the routine.

Leg Clocks: An Overview

Leg Clocks, another enchanting floorwork technique in pole dancing, contrasts with Leg Circles in both form and execution. This move involves moving the legs in angular, clock-like positions while the dancer is on the floor.

Technical Details and Execution:

Leg Clocks require precision and angular movement. Starting from a seated or reclined position, the dancer extends one leg and moves it to mimic the hands of a clock, touching on specific ‘hours.’

This move not only demands flexibility to get the legs straight while leaning back, but also control over one’s limb movements, as the leg must hit precise angles and pause momentarily, creating a striking visual effect.

Common Uses in Routines:

Leg Clocks are often used to introduce sharp, defined movements into a routine, creating a contrast with more fluid elements.

They can be particularly effective in routines that play with the concepts of time and rhythm, as the angular movements can be synced with specific beats in the music.

Additionally, Leg Clocks offer a chance to display a dancer’s precision and control in a visually appealing manner.

Comparing Floorwork Techniques:

Leg Circles VS. Leg Clocks

Leg Circles and Leg Clocks, while both floorwork elements, differ fundamentally in their execution and the visual impact they create.

  1. Flow vs. Precision: Leg Circles are characterized by their flowing, continuous motion, giving an impression of seamless movement. In contrast, Leg Clocks are defined by their precision and angularity, with clear pauses and changes in direction that mimic the ticking of a clock.
  2. Muscle Engagement and Control: Both moves require core strength, but they engage the muscles differently. Leg Circles rely on the core for stability and smooth transitions, while Leg Clocks demand a more dynamic control of isolated parts of the body, using the core to precisely stop and start the leg’s movement at specific angles.
  3. Stylistic Expression: In terms of stylistic expression, Leg Circles lend a fluid and often more graceful aesthetic to a routine, often used to convey a sense of elegance or emotional depth – or in more powerful routines where they’re performed quickly, a SPLASH of wild movement.

By understanding these differences, pole dancers can effectively incorporate these floorwork elements into their routines, creating diverse and captivating performances that showcase both fluid grace and precise angularity.

Common Mistakes and Corrections

Even experienced dancers can sometimes fall prey to common mistakes when performing Leg Circles and Leg Clocks. Awareness and correction of these mistakes are key to mastering these moves.

  1. Leg Circles Mistakes and Corrections:
    1. Mistake: Losing core engagement, leading to a lack of control and fluidity.
    2. Correction: Focus on engaging your core throughout the movement, and practice core-strengthening exercises.
    3. Mistake: Jerky or halted movements, disrupting the flow of the circle.
    4. Correction: Work on smooth transitions and continuous motion, practicing at a slower pace initially if necessary.


  1. Leg Clocks Mistakes and Corrections:
    1. Mistake: Inaccurate leg angles or positions, leading to a less effective visual impact.
    2. Correction: Practice precision in leg placement by visualizing or marking the ‘hours’ on the floor around you.
    3. Mistake: Rushing through the positions, losing the definition of the move.
    4. Correction: Slow down and focus on hitting each ‘hour’ cleanly and with control.

In summary, both Leg Circles and Leg Clocks are beautiful, expressive moves in pole dancing, each with its unique challenges and aesthetic.

Safety Tips!

Always warm up thoroughly before practicing these or any pole dancing moves. A proper warm-up increases blood flow to the muscles, reducing the risk of injury. Pay attention to your body’s signals. If a movement feels painful or uncomfortable, stop and assess your technique or consult a professional.

By understanding and respecting these differences, and through dedicated practice and attention to technique, you can enhance your pole dancing journey, adding depth and variety to your routines. Remember, the journey in pole dancing is as rewarding as the destination. Enjoy every spin, every twist, and every moment of discovery!