You know that feeling when you’ve been trying to do a move for so long and then all of a sudden you finally get it? Every part of your body is in the right place, and you’re feeling happy.
And just then, when you thought you’d nailed it, the question ‘Where do I put my hands?’ pops up in to your mind.
Sad to say there is not definite answer for moves where you have a choice (as far as I’m aware!) – but here are my thoughts on the subject.
Your First Attempt
When you first nail a move, if you are taking a picture, you don’t want to be looking scared as if you are about to fall. Take the cross knee release for example. You take so long working up to taking your hands off the pole that when you do, you have no idea what to do with your hands! Your first instinct is to probably try and hold back on to the pole or put your hands on the ground. You need to push yourself and get out of your comfort zone. As long as you have a good grip with your legs, then there’s no need to worry about your hands being near the floor or the pole.
With this move I used to try and take my hands out to the side – almost proof that I could get my arms away from the pole. The problem is that I have very long arms… when I look back through pictures (like this one!) I look like I’m about to take off! Not my finest moment. So now I try to take my hands away but try and focus on having elegant arms – arms nice and long, fingers together (As in the image at the top of the article)
Forgeting One Hand
It’s nice when you get into a move where you don’t have to worry too much about your arms. Let’s think about the Gemini or Scorpio. When you end up doing these moves no handed, you usually take one of your hands onto the ankle. This means that your other arm is free to use as you please. If you’re not using the back of the arm / armpit to hold onto the pole, then you can do as you wish with this hand. The question is – what do you do with it? I try and take my arm out parallel so that my arms line up – although often hidden in pictures!
I think this looks nice and finishes the move perfectly. That said, one of my friends hates the symmetry and prefers to have her hands slightly out of sync as she finds it more aesthetically pleasing.
One Handed Spins
You can spend so long trying to get spins from two handed to one handed that when you get there, you’re not sure what to do with the other hand. It can feel awkward to have your hand just sticking out. I try to use this arm as an extension of myself. If the spin brings your body close to the pole such as a Pike to Mermaid, then I take my arm out and then bring it in close to the body to make it part of the spin.
How Do I Fix It?
You need to figure out for yourself where you would like you arms to be – what kind of style are you going for? It can help to watch others in class as well as the instructor. You’ll get a big range of arm placements in one class so watch the others and see what you prefer. You might find that you need to put your arms in certain places – it may make you more comfortable to have your ‘spare’ arm close to the pole just in case! Needless to say, experiment, take pictures and see what you like 🙂
The most important thing is to be yourself – decide what your style is and stick with it. The really great thing to remember is that you’ve got to a point where you don’t need to rely on (one or both) arms to hold on!