Tips for Dancing on Spin Pole

by | Education

Anyone who has worked with a static and a spin pole knows that they are two completely different beasts. Of course, for many people, they learn on static and there’s no warning before they try out spin pole for the first time.

When you’re working with a static pole, you’re in control of the movements, and your strength and movement is what is causing you to spin around the pole.

On spin pole, however, the pole will be inclined to move with the slightest edge of movement, the faintest curl in, and you’re sent through a dizzy cloud of momentum.

Tips for Practicing on Spin Pole

Contrary to popular belief outside of the pole dance community, spin pole isn’t “the easy way out” or a “cheat.” Typically, spin pole requires a lot more strength and well-rounded muscular development to keep you controlled and balanced while you spin around and around.

Remember when you were a kid and you would either sit in a tire swing or a rolling chair and ask a friend to spin you around and around?

When we’re on spin pole, that’s essentially what we are doing, just on a slightly more extreme level – and instead of someone else pushing it, the momentum is coming from inside the pole.

Practice Your Moves on Static First

If you’re learning a new move, always make sure you practice it on static first. This will help you get more familiar with the move and the mechanics of your body. It will help you learn whether you’re strong enough for that move at a baseline, or if you need to work on certain muscles more.

Once you’ve gotten that down, move to spin pole and give it a try. Work it into other moves, and experiment with different speeds and modifications.

Go Back to Basics

Spin pole, at its very core, is different than static pole, so if you’re doing advanced-level tricks on static but haven’t ever touched a spin pole, it’s important that you don’t get in too deep too quickly.

Test the waters before you dive in.

Start with the basics of pole first before you try that Rainbow Marchenko or Jade split. Get a feel for how the spin pole moves, and how your body feels. Do a step-around spin, a couple of body waves, maybe a layback or ladysit, depending on where you are in your pole journey. Do something that feels second-nature and comfortable to you before you start working on harder inverted moves.

Less Movement is More

On the spin pole, your momentum comes from around the pole not up like with static pole. In other words, you’re not trying to spin yourself around and maintain a slow decent or ascent like you would with static, but rather, hold yourself in a position that influences your momentum.

What this means is, instead of throwing your body around the pole into a spin like you would on static, you’re lifting yourself up, with a slight arc around on spin pole. That will help you start the spinning motion, and from there you can control the speed based on your movements in and out from the pole.

Motion Takes More Strength

Even if you have aced a move on static, you may find it difficult to perform that very same move on spin. Your muscles aren’t used to having to stabilize your body like they do on spin. You’re not just fighting gravity and body weight; now you’re adding momentum into the mix.

Learn How to Control Your Speed

Spin pole follows rules of physics. The further away your body, or a body part is, the slower you’ll go because there is more resistance. For example, if you stick out a leg mid-climb, you’ll slow down.

Likewise, the closer your body is, the faster you’ll go because there is less resistance. For example, if you curl up into a ball on the pole.

Another thing to consider is, the taller the spin pole is, the more force will be behind the spins. If you’re used to practicing on a pole at home, it’s going to have less force than a pole double the length. This is particularly important to keep in mind for competitions.

What Causes Dizziness on the Pole?

Dizziness is a symptom of part of our inner ear becoming unbalanced. This part of our body helps us determine whether we are moving, standing still, upside down, or rightside up.

You guessed it; it will also go haywire if you move too quickly in a circular motion.

Our body uses something in the inner ear called the “Cochlea” which is a large, spiral, snail-shaped object in the very center of your ear.

As you move you head around, the fluid inside of this duct sends a signal to your brain that you’re moving by stimulating special nerve cells on the inside.

When you get done spinning, the fluid may continue to move and stimulate those nerve cells in the opposite direction, telling your brain that you’re still moving, when in fact you’ve landed safely on the floor – it must be the room that’s spinning!

This is why you start to feel dizzy if you slow down too much or stop in the middle of spin pole. The good news is, your body should get used to it over time.

What Causes Nausea on the Pole?

Nausea, or motion sickness, is slightly different, which means there are slightly different solutions. You may have experienced car sickness at some point in your life – this is a type of motion sickness where your body detects motion, but your eyes don’t see any.

This disconnect between the inner ear and the eyes can be disturbing to the body and cause nausea, especially for people who are particularly visual in how they learn and perceive their world.  

 

Combating Dizziness on the Pole

Don’t Look Around the Room

By looking around the room, you’re increasing the turbulence in your inner ear, and your brain is going to start getting signals left and right about which direction you’re spinning. This is particularly a danger if you’re doing this during a series of fast, inverted transitions.

 

Keep Your Head Steady

If you keep your head steady while you pole, then you’ll feel much better than when you’re leaning into the pole or letting your head roll around in hair flicks and flips.

Yes, while a loose head looks great for the lines and following the pole with your head can help momentum, the aesthetic is going to be ruined if you start stumbling all over the place. It’s best to start out on spin keeping your head steady.

Spin in Both Directions

By spinning both ways, your inner ear fluid has a chance to adjust to the spinning motion and can relatively balance itself out. If you’re performing on spin pole, we recommend working both directions into your spin routine.

Combating Nausea on the Pole

Unfocus Your Eyes

There are several people online who will suggest you find one spot on the wall to look at, and keep your gaze on it as you go around, but that isn’t practical, and will likely just leave you with a sore neck afterwards.

Instead, try not to focus on any particular part of the room when you’re on the spin pole. Focus your attention on what you’re doing with your body, instead. Point those toes, move purposefully through each motion, and try not to think about it. You may find that this helps ease the waves of nausea.

Ginger and Anti-Nausea Medication

If you’re feeling particularly nauseated after a pole dancing session, try lounging and drinking some ginger tea.

Ginger has been used medicinally throughout the world for centuries, particularly for nausea or stomach ailments, so it is the perfect tea to drink before class. If tea isn’t an option, you can also opt for ginger candies, just make sure it contains real ginger, not just ginger flavoring.

If your nausea is particularly bad, or if you have chronic nausea even off the pole, talk to your doctor about taking anti-nausea medication before each pole class to keep motion sickness from affecting your practice too much.

What are your top tips for combating nausea and dizziness on spin pole? 

Share it in the comments below!

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