You have all of heard of pole dancing… You probably have heard of silks, but have you heard of pole fabrics? There are a few different names for the combination of pole dancing and silks – pole silks, pole fabrics and I’m sure there’s a few more. For the purpose of this article, I shall call the combination of pole and silks ‘Pole Fabrics’.
Over the last few months I’ve been going to silks classes and have started to develop my skills on the silks. I loved the idea of the combination between the two and gave it a go!
What Is It?
Pole Fabrics is where pole meets silks. You attach a clamp to the top of your pole to which the fabric hangs off – it is more fancy than I describe!! The fabrics hang down in 2 halves – this way you can hold all of it together, or split it in two for different moves. The fabrics are usually a little longer than the pole so that you can hold it, move away from the pole. hang around the pole and tie it in knots.
You usually wear shorts are you mostly grip on the pole with your legs. Your top half needs to be covered up – layers are good!
The First Surprise
I thought I would be quite well prepared to try this out. I am well used to pole and have been working hard to improve my strength and moves on the pole. As I have been going to silks classes, I have some concept of what that aspect would be like. I tried to watch as many videos and demos as I could in order to be fully prepared. The thing that none of these would prepare me for, was that the pole would be on spinning mode!
At present I only use static poles – I have used the spinning mode a few times but not very often. The hardest thing about this was trying to do basic spins using fabrics on the pole… while it was spinning! I felt like a complete beginner again. It took a lot of getting used to! Climbing and inverting on the pole wasn’t really a problem as the poles didn’t really spin that much for the moves we were trying.
The Basics In A New Light
The thing I was most surprised about was how difficult all of the basic spins became. We went over about 5 different types of grips on the fabrics – which can all be used across a range of spins. Take a fireman spin for example. You can grip the fabric with one hand and hold the pole with the other. You can grip the fabrics with one hand and have only your legs on the pole. You can hold both fabrics in one hand. You can hold the the fabrics in two hands. You can do all this with single wraps or double wraps. Even after you’ve tried all of these, there are still more grips to try!! Everything becomes brand new again.
The spins that I found the most interesting where you were going around the pole with out touching it. Think of trying to do a chair spin or a carousel with both hands gripped in the fabrics rather than around the pole. We’re so used to using our hands to put our bodies in the correct position on the pole, but it’s a lot more tricky to figure this out when you’re not touching the pole, but orbiting around it instead.
After realising that I founds spins more difficult than I thought, I was preparing myself to struggle. Upon the first invert, I realised that this was not the case. I really have been doing a lot more strength training than usual and can feel that I am a lot stronger than even just a few weeks ago. I think this really benefitted me.
Imagine trying to invert. You have your inside arm on the pole and your outside arm wrapped in the silks. From here you can invert – the possibility of which moves you could try is endless. It was very surprising to me how easy I felt it was to hold myself upside down. Of course when I say easy I don’t mean effortless – these are still tricky moves but compared to what I was prepared for, I found it easier.
Brand New Moves
The really interesting this about pole fabrics is that they open up a whole new side to pole. Not only can you do old moves in new ways, but you can also come up with your own moves. You can wrap yourselves up in the silks so that you feel safe to try out new moves. It’s simply a case of thinking of something to try and going for it.
Having the support of the fabrics also means that you can try out moves that you have been struggling with in a new way, or trying out combinations that aren’t usually easy / possible.
I found it a little disconcerting at times when I realised that it if I slipped on the pole, I would swing straight into it. I do think that this phase would pass – there are so many times on the pole when you are held on my just on limb and that doesn’t feel dangerous.
Oh The Pain
Pain. It wouldn’t be pole related if there wasn’t any pain! I remember my first silks class when I climbed up the silks. Not knowing any different, I slide down the silks to the floor. My instructor was very surprised and told me never to slide down silks again as this can really burn you. Luckily my hands didn’t really hurt – but the message stuck with me.
I was prepared for the pain – but this pain is different. I managed to get big bruises on the back on my knees from enthusiastically trying out back hooks. I also managed to get bruises from when the silks where around my body and kind of pinched me in – two weeks later and I still have bruises on my sides.
I got quite a lot of burning on the day, which very quickly died down. You know when you climb the pole a lot in one day and your foot goes red? Well that’s kind of what I got. You know the redness is going to die down quickly but it can cause pain while you’re still working out. The pain I got like this was around my body – effectively pole burn. I was wearing quite a lot of layers and could feel the fabrics through. You are quite often held by the fabrics across your body. It was a little painful at times, but nothing that stopped me getting on with it.
The surprising pain was the feeling in my fingers from gripping on to the silks. My hands are hardened from years of pole, so I didn’t get any burn on my hands. There was however an aching sensation all throughout my fingers from gripping on to the fabrics. I had to keep stretching out my fingers through out the day and was a little grateful when lunch time came around – only so that my hands could have a quick break. They next day they were absolutely fine.
I really enjoyed the pole fabrics. It took a lot of getting used to but I can feel that would come relatively easy. I love how it opens up some many combinations of moves as well as new moves. I think it would really help me to improve on the pole and work on my strength.
All in all, a really interesting session! 🙂