One of my favorite classes / workshops I have taken was focusing on the dance aspect of pole.  This particular workshop focused on ballet and worked teach students about making proper lines with their bodies, learning to turn out from the hip, extension and fluidity.  For dancers who had previously been trained en pointe were permitted to work en pointe.

Pole en pointe is very different from pure ballet en pointe.   For one thing most of the work is centered around the pole and you are not covering great distances on the floor, typically.  Most often jumps and grande jettes are not an issue, but maintaining balance in a tight circle in and out of spins is more challenging.

Another challenge of using pointe shoes (or satin shoes in general) is using your feet to grip the pole. For example when performing an Extended Butterfly the heel of one leg catches the pole.

That heel is the only thing holding the dancer’s lower body on the pole.  Satin does not offer a lot of grip which can make tricks such as this more difficult.

Prior to pole dancing I was a trained in classical ballet and adding some ballet finesse to pole can make a dance less overtly sexual and more ‘pretty’.  Adding dramatic devolopees and pretty pirouettes can add flair to any performance routine or free dance.

Sometimes being very sensual or sexy is fun- and I appreciate that but sometime something a little more refined is necessary.

Ballet leaning pole dances classes can be found at many studios or you can take an adult ballet class and add in steps you learn in it to pole.  Most instructors are very willing to help students meet their pole goals and will work with each student to do so, who knows, you may start a new craze at your studio.

Be aware that if you have not been trained en pointe it can be very dangerous to just start.  Your feet and ankles need to be sufficiently strong and you need to have good technique to prevent injury.  The muscles used in pole are not used in very much else- they are very small and developing the necessary strength and control of them can take significant time.

However, not taking the necessary time to train your body you are risking career ending injury.  Even if you are not a professional dancer, you can severely injure your feet and ankles, which could prohibit you from taking or teaching classes in the future.

Adding elements of ballet to a pole class can be a fun way to add variety to your dances.  It can add some interesting visual elements and long extended lines that are beautiful.    Like any form of dance remember to practice and master the techniques properly so as not to injure yourself.

Often there are workshops offered at pole conferences to introduce the basics and peak your interest so check and see what is out there.

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