Difficulty: Intermediate

Category: Spin

Type: Spin Pole

Points of Contact: 4

Also Known As:

  • Dancer Spin
  • Pretzel Spin

The Ballerina Spin is an elegant spin that truly showcases the beauty of pole dancing. With one leg wrapped around the pole and the other extended, you can begin playing with different shapes on the pole. This can be done as a pose on static pole, but is best performed on spin pole.

How to Perform the Ballerina Spin

Move Steps

  1. Standing next to the pole, wrap your inside leg around the pole so it touches your thigh and calf. Leave a gap between the pole and your kneepit.
  2. Bring your chest and hands around the pole and lean into the pole.
  3. Wrap your inside hand around the pole between the thigh and calf, inside the gap you left open.
  4. Bring the outside hand up high above your head in a twisted grip, utilizing the Push – Pull method.
  5. With your outside leg, you can push off from the floor either forwards or backwards. The outside leg can either extend, bend, or swing in front of your other calf. 

Safety Tips

  • Remember to keep your Push – Pull muscles engaged throughout the entire movement, careful to keep your body aligned.
  • In this move, the hips should be behind the pole and the shoulders in front. It is important to keep your body stable in this position and to not over-extend your back or shoulders’ range of motion.
  • Do not hang loosely from the shoulder in this position. Doing so may put your shoulders at greater risk of injury, as your bodyweight sinks into the bottom shoulder and causes cramping and strain, and overextends the top shoulder.

Common Mistakes

  • Collapsing Into the Pole On Leg Extension: If you are collapsing into the pole when you attempt to extend your leg, then you might not be engaging your core enough. It is important to engage the core and keep the abdomen tightened throughout the entire movement if you want to extend the leg out behind your body.
  • Poor Leg Extension: If you are having trouble extending the leg, meaning, if it is difficult to raise it as high as you would like to, then you may consider strength training with a focus on the lower back and upper glute areas. Typically, what stops a pole dancer from being able to extend their back leg in a spin like this is not lack of flexibility – though that can certain contribute to the problem – but a lack of strength in the muscles we tend to miss in larger strength-building workouts. Weak muscles may lead to cramping in this area when attempting to extend the leg back, and result in poor leg extension.
  • Can’t Wrap Shoulders Around Pole: If range of motion is the culprit, this move may be best attempted after you have begun flexibility training in both the shoulders and the back. The back needs to be able to twist at an angle so the shoulders can reach around and above the head. If technique is the culprit, the following example will help you get into position:

    Standing next to the pole with your inside leg wrapped around as demonstrated in the video, press both palms together at the center of the chest. Next, lean forward, using both the leg on the ground and the leg on the pole to help balance yourself. When you lean forward, you should be bending at the waist, close enough to the pole to just barely clear it with your shoulder. Next, once you have the pole tucked into your waist, open the arms wide to bring the shoulders in front of the pole and assume the twisted grip position as demonstrated in the video. If you are experiencing pain when twisting the shoulders or back, then stop and seek medical care before continuing.

  • Can’t Fit Bottom Arm Onto Pole: If you are unable to fit your bottom arm onto the pole, then you need to open the gap between the pole and your leg more. Give a generous amount of room between these areas. If you are finding it difficult to reach the gap, try bringing your knee up higher.

Ready to explore new moves?