Too Old To Pole?

Published on: Nov 18 2012 by
Too Old To Pole?

Is Age Only Number For Us Pole Dancers?

Of course there are older generations participating in different sports all over the world, but at what point does our body say:

‘No! No more pole for you!’

Alternatively, does our favorite sport give us longevity keeping us supple and flexible, maintaining our strength without causing great stress on our bodies?

All pole dancing schools around the world claim that pole dancing is for all genders, shapes, sizes and ages. We certainly welcome all of the above to our weekly classes. But, I wanted to take a look at the older generation of our Pole Dancers – as age is hugely variable and I personally have taught ladies between ages 14 to 65 years.

There Are So Many Questions This Raises:

Do the older ladies struggle more with pole tricks or is there no difference at all?

Do age related medical conditions make pole dancing in the senior years more difficult?

Pole dancing is known to be a low impact sport, with exception to extreme leaping dismounts and some holds. As it has a low impact on the body should we all be continuing to pole dance into our 60s? 70s?

Shirley, a 65-year-old lady, attended my beginners course and she loved it! She thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and had been looking for something that was fun to do and to give her a bit of exercise. Shirley had never done any dance before, and had always wanted to give pole dancing a go. She was spinning and putting together routines! The only difficulty she had was her arthritis in her knees which made it difficult to get back up from landing a spin.

Bella, a 58 year old lady, also attended a beginners course. Bella had always been a dancer. She had tried many styles and again wanted to give pole dancing a go. She enjoyed the flexibility side required in pole dancing. As she had done years of ballet her muscle memory and suppleness gave her a head start towards the clean lines and finishing the tricks elegantly.

As an instructor these ladies were welcomed and treated as normal. I checked their health issues and existing medical problems and found that there was no difference between them and a twenty-something person with a knee problem.

Debby, 56 (shown in the picture at the top of the article) is a regular attender at my classes and is now reaching her level 4.

I suppose looking forward, with many of us continuing to pole as long as possible, perhaps will we need to categorize our lessons by age?

Will it help to have ladies of a similar age together in one class so they can share there difficulties with each other without feeling that they haven’t kept up with a 20 year old?

In my opinion No. To categorize the classes will take away the enjoyment some of us have in attending classes with ladies of all age ranges.

I have now been pole dancing for 7 years and I did my first ever lesson with my mother and sister in law, so our age range was 15 to 46 and we expected it to be cheeky, full of giggles and a bit of fun…. how naive we were…. Of course we all fell in love with pole and enjoyed the new challenge in front of us.

We are all still Pole Dancing, me of course now teaching… Annaliese (my sister in law) is currently living in Australia and goes to a local pole school there and my mother in law, Karina has a pole at home to occasionally have a girly night and drinks with pole antics.

To attend as a group was most important to us and separating us into age range would of put us off and I might not be pole dancing at all now.

Looking over the experiences of ladies in my class and taking time to think about how much age is related to pole I don’t think I have come across all of the answers to my questions. I think it’s a case of time will tell.

I do think age is just a number and any one with the right attitude can achieve anything regardless of age.

Greta Pontarelli 61 years old. 

I came across Greta on YouTube while doing some research – this is a write up about her from Midwest Pole Dance Competition US, a great inspiration to us all!

Greta is 61 and has been pole dancing for 2 1/2 years. She was the PA state gymnastics champion in 1966 and a national winner in martial arts in 1976. She was searching for an artistic sport that developed core strength, flexibility and could take her well into her senior years when she discovered pole dancing.

It wasn’t until 2012, however, when she became a winner in the master’s division of a national pole competition and a semi- finalist in America Ninja Warriors (and the oldest person ever to attempt the course) that her mission became more pro-active.

Greta has always had a passion to inspire others, regardless of age, to manifest their dreams and shares her philosophy.

Her motto: 

“Your attitude determines your altitude and fuels your dreams”!

Category: Discussion

About Lisa Hickey

I have been Pole Dancing for fitness and recreation for seven years, and it is my passion, I love it! A good training session or class and I am on a high…. still…. will it ever change?

I started Pole Dancing at the age of 22, to lose my baby weight, I worked full time and this was a fantastic release from being a mum and employee, for me it felt like I was Lisa again and I have never looked back!

Pole Dancing was the first form of dance I had ever done; up to the age of 17 I was trained in martial arts, which I found helped me pick up the technique side of pole dancing.

After my second child I decided to become a qualified instructor and I set up my Pole school, Totally Pole Dancing in 2010.

I am always looking forward for new challenges and to see where pole will take me, I have recently started training in aerial hoop and look to become qualified in the new year.

As one of your Pole Freaks blog writers I want to bring you a range of different topics, to highlight what is going on in the pole world, what is current and discussions you find yourself having at your local pole schools.

Visit TotallyPoleDancing.com

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4 Comments to “Too Old To Pole?”

  1. Angela says:

    Agreed! DON’T split the classes by age group – I’ve learned so much from all ages and we need that broad support group! Plus, if an older lady who was more naturally athletic could only be in a class that happened to contain only less athletic older ladies she wouldn’t be challenged sufficiently. We need a mix.

  2. Kim says:

    Also agree- there is no reason to split the classes by age. People of all ages are perfectly capable of determining what is right for their bodies and their life.

  3. Natasha says:

    I started pole just before Christmas at age 59 and am quite surprised how well I am getting on. Bought my own x pole and practice about half and hour a day and one hour private lesson a week,it is most certainly never too late

    • Millet Bruçe says:

      Hi Natasha, i started pole training just before Christmas too in 2015. My only regret is I did not start sooner. Lol. I do onçe a week group class and some at home DIY practise doing very little inversions for safety. We do lots of travelling and so my pole journey has been somewhat haphazard. But I am very happy I found it.

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