There is some confusion on what points of contact are in pole dancing and how these contact points are counted.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to count points of contact in pole dancing competitions and on the PolePedia move dictionary.

Points of contact are generally used to help label the difficulty of a pole trick across the board when handling skill level in competitions. For the most part, this is effective, though any generalized method of determining difficulty will have its flaws and exceptions.

Points of Contact in the PolePedia Pole Move Dictionary

In the PolePedia move dictionary, we are using the points of contact system to help us determine difficulty across each skill level.

Typically, competitions only count points of contact that meet a specific criterion; however, we are counting these contact points for all moves, including moves outside of that criteria.

What does that mean?

For example, we will state points of contact for an upright move, whether you are fully on the pole, or on the pole from a standing position, whereas in a competition you may need to be inverted for points of contact to come into play.

In the PolePedia dictionary, upright moves are counted in addition to inverted moves. Additionally, the pole and the floor both count for points of contact. If you have both feet on the floor, then you have a minimum of two points of contact already.

In this pole climb, we are counting four points of contact. One for each hand, and one for each leg that is touching the pole.

In this example, we are counting three points of contact. One for each hand and one for the foot that is on the floor. Since the second foot doesn’t touch down during the move, this is not counted.


Counting moves like this in the dictionary allows us to better categorize how difficult a move is, because fewer points of contact typically correlate to strength and skill required.

There are, of course, other deciding factors that go into where a pole trick is placed in the dictionary, such as any pre-requisite moves and baseline safety precautions.

Points of Contact in Pole Dancing Competitions

Pole dance competitions have a point of contact system to determine difficulty in higher level categories and place restrictions on lower level categories. This is meant to ensure everyone is competing on more or less the same skill in a certain level.

Points of contact in pole dance competitions are typically only used when your entire bodyweight is being supported by the pole while inverted.

These points of contact are counted as anywhere your body touches the pole. Again, all of your bodyweight must be supported by the pole alone, so handstands would not count as your bodyweight is supported by the pole.