How to find your own pole style
I remember when I first started pole and started competing with my doubles partner I noticed that everyone had their own style.
I remember looking up to artists and admiring how they moved on the pole, how they came up with such cool routines and the way that they had their own unique touch to what they did, I always felt a little behind because I didn't have my own style.
On top of that competing in doubles was always a little more difficult, this is because you have to try and blend two styles together, yours and your partners.
With doubles, you have to compromise with what each other wants to do, mimic how your partner moves especially if parts of your piece is synchronized. There may be some things that your partner can't do that you can, or you may end up having to do something completely out of your comfort zone which makes it 10x more difficult to bring out your own individual identity on to the pole.
So how do you find your own style when all you seem to be doing is copying what the instructor is asking you to do? and I don't suppose you want to mold into a mini version of your instructor, right?
The answer is simple. Time. patience and practice. You will learn to become the master of your own body, you will learn what way your body likes to move, what movements look and feel good on your body, and slowly then you will end up creating your own unique way of poling. A way that YOU like to pole.
I used to attempt every move that appeared on Instagram, try to master everything that I saw, whether it be a new pole trick, bendy moves or flips, half of the time I didn't even like it I just did it for the sake of everyone else doing it. Although it took some time I will now only attempt combos or tricks that I like doing.
I won't kill myself to get into the bendiest move, nor will I risk doing something that may potentially get myself injured, I will simply work with what I've got, what I like doing and I will own it.
I enjoy pole a lot more now being able to put some music on and just flow and play around. Not having the pressure to get to the studio to learn a new trick or combo thinking that I'll be "behind" if I don't master it.
I now know my style and I hope that as the years have past the students that I have had the pleasure of teaching have taken elements of what I like to do and implement what they learnt into their own way. But this didn't just happen over night, in-fact it took years!
With this blog I am going to create a step by step guide in hope that you will walk away feeling more confident stepping out of your comfort zone and start to explore what you can truly do when you learn how to find flow.
Here is your how...
Spend time exploring Whether this is upside down in a trick or on the floor. Slow down and try and see what looks good, is there a particular way that you like to move? Do you like the way you did that combo? I always tell my students that they will never look like me, likewise I will never look like them, my body moves differently to theirs. The combos I teach in class is because I like it and I like the way I do it. However that doesn't mean to say you can't be experimental, change it up and make it your own. If you're more comfortable moving your hand mid combo to help you perform something better or adding in another transition of your choice to help a combo flow more smoothly then why not do it. If you have noticed, in many workshops/masterclasses that you attend (unless it's choreography based) the instructor will show you small snippets of things that they like to do, quickly moving from one thing to another. This is for you to practice it and take what you want from it, you can then experiment with what you have learnt. Maybe you might try to continue the movement on, you may have even found an cooler entry into it than the instructor did. So what if it look shit the first time you do it. I laugh at myself all the time when I mess up or if something ends up looking absolutely tragic, If you never try to create something or explore what you can do you will never truly be able to know your full potential. When you walk into your next pole class or open training session take your time, spend time feeling and expressing and less time trying to focus on mastering a trick. Simply start by just playing, attend open training sessions, pole jams with your friends, spend time rolling around on the floor, just spend time monkeying around. literally!
Attend other classes Although you may have your favourite pole teacher by attending other teachers classes you will learndifferent ways of doing things. You might pick up on something that you like to do, or learn a new way to get into a particular move that you may have struggled with. Attending different classes will give you more training experience and help you to grow. Attend retreats, explore, travel and meet new people! In February 2022 the Dubai Pole Cup will be hosting it's second retreat! Our retreat strives to provide our athletes and all pole and aerial enthusiasts the opportunity to train and learn from some of the most iconic athletes in our industry. The 4-day long retreat, aims to provide a high energy environment where you can share your passion with like-minded people, make long lasting friendships and create an experience to remember.
Attend Dance Classes I think this is a pretty obvious point. Everyone has their own style, or style that they are more drawn towards. For example, I know that I much prefer static pole and I like the smooth fluid rotational static transitions. I like body waves and I like isolating certain parts of my body on the pole. I know that I am good at using my static strength and have power in dynamic moves. Therefore, If I had to choose a dance class to attend that would suit my style I would most probably go to a contemporary class or a more acro floor based class as a posed to an afro beats class lets say. Now ask yourself what style do you like? What kind of dance class would you like to attend? Attending classes other than pole will help to push you out of your comfort zone, it will help you to become a more fluid mover, you will start to feel more confident free styling on the pole, doing floor work or creating your own routines.
Create Mini Routines Believe it or not creating small mini routines will help your style come out! Routines help you to perfect a skill or a combo then once you have mastered the hard stuff you will start to notice things that you never thought about. You start to pick up on what angles and lines look better on your body, you start to feel and hear the music and pick up on different accents that you could potentially hit. You'll be able to add in new things, whether it's a new transition, trick or floor flow which in the long run will help to increase your pole stamina and fitness levels, routines will push you to your limits.
Practice, Practice, Practice and Practice even more Ok so this may be a given but I truly do mean it when I say that you can't practice enough. When you think you have reached your full potential there's always more. I remember as a kid I would spend hours in the studio (of course because I had all the time on my hands to do so🙄😅) I would say that at times I used to spend at least 6 hours in the studio with my friends pole playing and thi sis where I found my true strength. I understand that not everyone has a spare 6 hours to throw around to train but what I am trying to say is that you need to make time for it. An hour here and there just won't cut it. You need to become a little bit obsessed with what you are doing and work at it every day, become a master at it. Whether this means taking up another sport/art form or training regime in order to help get better at your craft or practice it by yourself.
Don't take it too seriously ;) Relax! Yes you are going to have ups and downs you're going to cry, get frustrated, mad at yourself, that's good it shows that you care, that you are passionate, that you want to get good! Imagine a world where there was no passion, no fire... eww. We are here to have fun. Pole is fun, have fun with it. Don't loose your passion, remember why you started. Cry it off, laugh it off, laugh at yourself and when you fall get back up and go again.. (Just remember to film the fall😅) Remember the creative process! 1. This is awesome. 2. This is tricky. 3. This is shit. 4. I am Shit. 5. This might be ok. 6. This is awesome. 7. I AM AWESOME - Added this one in there ;)