Before your first class, it can be tough knowing what to bring, what to wear, and what you may wish you had brought. Below, we’ve compiled a list of both the bare essentials, as well as a list of extras, just in case. 

Before we get into the details, however, we want to note that every studio is different and may have different dress codes and preferences for your first day. If you’re ever unsure, check with the instructor before you arrive. 

All you need to bring on your first class typically are short-length activewear shorts and a sports bra. If you don’t feel comfortable in these, you can bring a tank top and leggings that you can roll up to mid or upper thigh. Bring a refillable water bottle to help you stay hydrated throughout the class. 

A lot of what will keep you secure on the pole is skin contact, so the more skin you have showing, the better experience you’ll have. On your first day, however, you should only be going through basics, which means you won’t be doing any crazy upside-down tricks yet. You have time to get more comfortable and find what works for you. If you’re feeling comfortable, rock those booty shorts! Just make sure they’re made for activity. 

When it comes to shoes, you’ll mostly be going barefoot inside the studio itself as street shoes can interfere with your ability to pole. If you’re taking an exotic class, your instructor may ask you to bring Pleaser brand heels made for pole dancing, kneepads, and a pair of thigh-high or knee-high socks. 


  • Hand towel 
  • Arnica Gel 
  • Grip aid
  • Protein bar, banana, or another healthy snack 
  • Loose tanktop 

A hand towel can come in handy if you tend to sweat a lot; it will help you cool down and stay dry. Your studio may provide a towel and isopropyl alcohol for cleaning the pole but bring your own for body wipe-downs.   

If you bruise easily, you’ll want to bring some arnica gel with you. This is easily purchased over the counter at most pharmacies, or you can order it online. Test it on your skin 24 hours before class – while rare, allergic reactions are no fun. If you notice any bruising at the end of class, dab a bit of gel over them. 

Grip aids are common in pole dancing, whether you’re using liquid chalk, Dry Hands, iTac, Dew Point, or many of the other reputable brands. Generally, you shouldn’t rely on grip aids, however, so only use them when you need them. Some studios have special policies about grip aids, so be sure to ask your instructor about it. 

Your instructor will take all the students through a warm-up and a cool-down. A loose tanktop may help your body warm up during these off-the-pole exercises, especially during the winter time.  

For Guys: 

  • Activewear shorts 
  • Pull-over or high-cut tanktop 

Additionally, for Guys: 

  • Dance belt or tight-fitting underwear 

For the men of pole out there just getting started, there are not many differences in what you’ll want to bring to your first pole class. Some studios allow you to go shirtless, so if you prefer that to a tank top, just ask your instructor before the class. Remember, your skin contact will give you the best hold on the pole so the less you’re wearing, the better. 

You do want to make sure you’re protected in all the right places, however, so keeping everything neatly tucked in place is key. You can wear a dance belt if you want, however, most men just wear tight-fitting underwear underneath their shorts. So long as you feel secure, then you should be fine. 

What to Leave Behind: 

  • Lotions 
  • Body Oils 
  • Jewelry or watches 
  • Nail extensions 

None of these are recommended in pole dancing. You’ll want to forego lotions and body oils 24-48 hours before your pole class. If you can’t go that long without lathering up, try a glycerin-based lotion such as corn husker’s oil the night before. Avoid putting anything on the day of class. 

Jewelry, watches, and other accessories will just get in your way and you could damage the pole itself. The same applies to nail extensions. Sharp or hard objects such as plastic charms, gemstones, metals, and so on may scratch the pole’s finish, which directly affects the grip that the pole has. A pole without its finish can be dangerous to you and anyone else who uses it. Leave these at home or take them off before you start the class.  


When it really comes down to it, your studio may have their own preferences and policies for what to wear, but this is a basic overview to help you feel prepared for your class. You’re entering a brand-new world and you’ll learn and feel more confident as you go and doing your own research will only help you go further.  

When you get to class, introduce yourself, sign your waiver and make friends. Everyone is there to learn and enjoy their time, so there’s no reason to feel tense or awkward. Everyone else there, no matter their current level, has had their first day feeling awkward and unsure at some point before. 

Enjoy your first class! Let us know how it went in the comments below, and if this article was helpful, share it with others!