With each pole class you go to, there will be different students, different teaching methods and different approaches to all things pole.
That said, we should behave in a respectful way in every class we do – we all want to get the most out of our lessons.
I have come up with a few things that will hopefully be obvious to all polers – so here’s my Pole Etiquette list, which will help you get the most out of all your pole sessions 🙂
Before Getting On The Pole
Show Up On Time For The Warm Up
The warm up is designed to get your body ready for the workout ahead – it is really important. I know some pole and fitness classes will not let you participate in the class if you have not made it in time for the warm up. It is there to keep you safe! I know lateness is unavoidable sometimes but let’s try to not make it a habit. I was once told that if you are late for work, it is a lack of respect to those around you. So let’s respect all of those in our class – we all have to warm up!
Now sometimes we do forget that we have pole class coming up and accidentally moisturise. Sometimes it’s something that you don’t even think of – fake take, cream for a new tattoo, burn cream (you probably need this one!), sun tan lotion etc. I get silky smooth and slippery when I use fancy shampoos, so I now save them for non-pole days. I’ve had people ask me why the poles are so slippery when I can feel the moisturiser on one of the students while I spot them in an invert. Just because you might not mind slipping, others do!
Poles are super expensive as we all know, and small scratches from rings, watches and bracelets etc can scratch the poles. You can also catch your skin in between your jewelry and the pole which will be painful. Even belly bars, anklets and necklaces (which definitely need to come off!) can scratch. This then leads to the covering chipping off the poles which is bad for us all. No one wants to replace parts of their poles so take your jewelery off. If you can hear it clink on the pole, it needs to come off.
Make sure you are covered up properly! Wardrobe malfunctions do happen and some of us see more than we want to, which we accept sometimes happens. But I mean those of us who turn up in thongs and tutus – yes, I’ve had this.
Share The Pole
For most of the time it’ll be up to you who you share a pole with, whether you’ve joined with a friend, or made some in previous classes. You may find however that sometimes you’ll find 4 people on one pole and 2 on another. Have a scan around the room – if you are in that group of 2, ask someone to join you – or at least make them feel like they can. More time on the pole for you is great, but one day you’ll find yourself in that group of 4 wanting to go on the other pole.
Don’t Hog The Pole
Everyone learns in a different way. Some people need to try a move 5 or 6 times in a row and others need to try it once, watch someone else and then have another go. See what those around you want to do – you can ask them aswell, and you don’t have to do the same thing. If someone wants all theirs turns all at once, let them – don’t try and rush on the pole while they’re finding a cloth to wipe it down for their next go.
Treat Everyone Equally
Try to include others. I know this sounds like we are back at school, but pole fitness is such a great way to make friends. If you are with friends and there is someone clearly by themselves, try to involve them in conversations – you can really make great friends. If you notice something that might help another person on the pole, let them know. Your instructor might be helping another student, and if you notice their hands are the wrong way round, tell them.
Get Your Turn
As much as we share the pole, we all need to make sure that we get our turn on the pole as well. I love going last as I learn by watching, but that also means that I tend to have less pole time. If there’s a spare pole, take it. If you need to try a move again, do. We all know when we’re pushing it in terms of hogging the pole so just make sure you get your fair share. If the class is about to move on, ask to do your other side if you haven’t already.
Ask Before Gripping
This is a tricky one. A lot of people now use grip frequently, which is fine. The problem arises when you’re on a pole with someone who doesn’t. I was in a masterclass recently where the person I was on the pole with, covered the pole in grip without telling / asking me. I probably would have let her do it anyway, (even though I didn’t want it on there) but felt a bit annoyed when she didn’t ask. Gripping yourself is one thing but the whole pole? Hmm.. If you do use grip, make sure you wipe down the pole properly after you, for those who don’t. You might think that everyone wants to be as grippy as you, but it can also make them too grippy, and if your naturally sticky anyway, it’ll be painful. Spins also will start to hurt.
Wipe The Pole
We all know when we need to wipe the pole, and that’s fine. When I do armpit holds, I know that my deodorant ends up on the pole, no matter how many hours ago I put it on. So I always wipe the pole so that someone else doesn’t get a handful of it. I’m not saying to wipe the pole for everyone, but you know when you’ve been a bit more sweaty than usual!
You may have had times in the past where you would have liked a spotter. I know I can’t be in two places at once, so I try and encourage students to spot when appropriate. If you want a spotter, ask! There will be plenty of people to help you, and no doubt they will want help to.
Step Up To The Pole
I know we all get nervous but we are all there for the same reason. We love to pole and want to pole, so let’s do it! Try to make sure you are using the pole when you are on it, rather than watching someone else or watching back your previous move on a camera – you can always come off the pole and come back on later. You’ll get more time on the pole if you just go for it. So what are you waiting for? Get on that pole 😀
What else would you add to our Pole Etiquette list?
Comments From the PoleFreaks Community:
Being mindful of other people’s space. I sometimes find myself unable to do anything on my pole because my neighbor is taking up so much of my space I can’t participate safely.
the poles at my class are already pre-scratched. scratching is good for the pole…. it helps you hold on to it better. so i don’t see the problem with scratching it. also, i can’t even stick to the pole without lotion. my skin gets so dry that it has no moisture and it slides right off the pole no matter what i do, so i have to use some kind of lotion to make my skin have some kind of texture or else its way too dry especially in the winter. maybe its just me.
Pole Etiquettte – when the teacher is talking through a move, or explaining something listen! You never know you may learn something! Even if the chatty ones don’t want t to learn the rest of us do!
Very true Sara! 😀
Don’t muscle in on someone else’s time with the instructor!! I have seen a situation where an instructor was explaining a move to a student and showing them the move they wanted to work on, another person in the session went over and started badgering the instructor to go with them and help them with what they wanted to do. The instructor landed up having to be firm and tell the person to go and do some spins and wait until they had finished with the first person. Yes we are all keen to pole, to get our moves signed off and do new ones but I think we all need to be mindful of our enthusiasm coming over as being pushy. Not everyone is confident, in pole or themselves, not everyone picks things up straight away, I know I have to have moves explained/shown to me three or four times and then be talked through it a few times before I can be left to work on it on my own. The instructors will get to us all in a session, they will help us so it doesn’t hurt to just wait your turn. Alternatively, if you’re super keen and can’t wait, support your instructor further by booking a private session. Polers are family, we need to make sure we support each other fully at all times.