So you’ve signed up for your first sexy pole choreo class. What do you bring to it? What do you wear? What can you expect from it? Here’s a quick post to clarify your sexy pole choreo doubts if you’ve been wanting to try one of my classes or choreo classes in general.
What’s a sexy pole choreo?
I didn’t invent sexy pole, and while you could say that, generally, sexy pole choreo is about dancing with heels, it gets so much deeper than that. It has a history that precedes pole dancing as a sport.
Pole dancing originates from Vaudeville and US-based circus acts, which were then censored during prohibition and ended up being a staple of speakeasies and striptease bars. According to Jordan Kensley:
Because space was limited, many performers would have to perform on a bar or a raised platform and the pole was added as a safety precaution so the performers would have something to hold onto while they stripped. Once prohibition was over, some performers went on to hold shows more similar to the vaudeville life before they were forced underground (now known as burlesque). Enough people enjoyed the sexy table dance so much that bar and restaurant owners converted their interiors to host girls to perform strip dances in their bar, these conversions were made both with and without a pole. Since then, weâ€™ve seen crossover in all three mediums- burlesque, circus and striptease to create what is now the pole industry.Jordan Kensley
So in short: if you want to join a sexy pole choreo class, remember that pole dance – and particularly this type of pole dance – comes from stripping. Just because you are not a stripper, you should not appropriate a style that comes from that line of work to then differentiate yourself from sex workers in order to sleep at night about your pure, innocent set of morals. If you like the sexy side of pole, respect its founders and creators.
How Does Sexy Pole Choreo Class Differ From A Tricks Class?
Sexy pole choreo classes generally focus on learning a routine – usually around a minute long – incorporating floorwork, spins around the pole and some tricks that don’t require gripping with more than your hands. This means it’s not unusual for people to take a choreo class in their leggings, as they rarely need their knees or hips to grip.
While you may learn some combos that require strength and stamina in a sexy pole choreo class, generally you won’t need to do more than one climb up the pole. That being said, there are different levels even in sexy choreo classes, and this might change. Some of my choreos feature harder tricks, while others may focus on flow – either way, pay attention to whether the class you’re signing up for is “all levels” or has some specific requirements.
One thing is certain: the fact you’re not climbing up the pole doesn’t mean you won’t get tired. Running a routine over and over again, on your toes, in heels makes you sweat like crazy 🙂
Are Sexy Pole Choreo Classes Just One Style?
No! In a fantastic blog post explaining the difference among styles of pole dancing in heels, Peach Lee Ray splits sexy pole into three categories:
- Stripper Style (characterised by heel clacks, body rolls, twerking, touching your body, filthy sexy faces, clothing removal and eye contact);
- Russian Exotic (all about strength moves, handstands, leg waves, power spins, accented tempo changes and other specialties associated with the Russian school of pole). Some argue this should be renamed as “Russian Flow” due to the racist origins of the word “exotic”;
- Classique (a ‘cleaner’ side of sexy pole featuring splits everywhere, multi-trick combos, spinning pole, coy audience engagement, floor work shapes).
New styles are also developing, incorporating all sorts of dance styles, from burlesque to strip plastic, from commercial heels to hip hop and twerk.
Peach says it’s not all that clean cut: many pole dancers travel among those definitions and categories. I myself like to incorporate all of those styles in the routines I teach, having started pole in the very “Classiquey” Australia, to continue in the pole fitness obsessed UK learning from stripper style and classique instructors to then teach at a Russian studio in my earlier days.
Think about it: if at pole competitions you have as many divisions Hard Style, Old School, Theatre, Flow etc, it means sexy pole choreos are not that black and white. And that’s the beauty of it: pole is about you and how you can use your own body to feel sexy, without trying to be someone you’re not.
“Appreciating the beauty of the body and watching it moving and twisting in beautiful ways. It involves ultimate muscle engagement. In order to engage every muscle in your body, you have to stand tall with gorgeous posture. This exudes a look of confidence and control over your own body. Control and ownership of your own body is the most beautiful thing. Itâ€™s not about pushing your body to uncomfortable extremes, itâ€™s about using it to show proudly who you already are.“Tiff Finney
Do I Need To Be A Pro Pole Dancer To Try An Sexy Pole Choreo Class?
No! In fact, many pro polers agree that being a good sexy dancer has nothing to do with being able to do a Rainbow Marchenko.
Some people start out with sexy choreos even just a few months after learning how to pole. Others prefer to wait because they’d rather build up their upper body strength to manage some of the trickier grips.
My advice is: the earlier you start, the better. Sure, make sure you feel confident about spinning around the pole, but after a few beginner classes where you learn basic pirouettes, step-arounds, body rolls etc. you should totally give sexy pole choreo classes a try. It’s the fun bit of things! And every decent instructor will give you variations if the moves in the routine are too far above your level and/or if you’re injured and can’t do them.
What Should I Bring To A Sexy Pole Choreo Class?
My two essentials are heels (of course) and kneepads. Heels because, while you can do a choreo class without them, sexy pole choreo is about dancing on your platform (so on your toes), about drops, kips, heelbangs and pirouettes – and these all require heels. In fact, heels help protect your feet and toes from smashing on the floor, and they help you get up and enhance your movements in an easier and more fun way!
View this post on Instagram
ðŸ’¥ðŸ‘ HEEL BANGS ðŸ‘ ðŸ’¥ Where do they come from and what are they for? _ _ For those who donâ€™t know, Heel Bangs are when you bang the platform of your stripper shoe into the floor (not to be confused with Heel Clacks, which is when you hit the platforms of your heels together which makes a different sound – lighter, more clicky than the thunderous vibrations of a Bang) _ _ Heel Bangs originated with strippers in strip clubs. Dancers would be on stage performing, and heel bangs were the perfect way to attract attention to their stage shows. Bang bang! Over here! Look at me! Tip me! So the dancer was asserting herself, drawing attention to her show and getting customers to come and watch her slay the stage and throw some money ðŸ’¸ðŸ’¸ The dancer is the queen of the stage, every time she bangs her heels into the floor sheâ€™s reminding you whoâ€™s boss, enforcing her goddess power! _ _ Some people donâ€™t understand Heel Bangs at all…. â€œIs all that banging around necessary? Why do you keep hitting your shoes onto the floor?â€ … I think it frightens them a little, and I think heel bangs should be a little bit frightening. The shock factor of crashing your heels into the stage and watching the front row jump out of their skin or scream with delight is probably one the most satisfying experiences there is. _ _ Heel Bangs represent feminine power, and asserting yourself as a woman. Every time you bang your heels, you are demanding to be heard, you are allowing yourself to take up space and be visible, you are embracing yourself. Things we donâ€™t always allow ourselves to do in every day life. _ _ So go forth and bang to your heartâ€™s content. Stripper Style Exotic is more than just feeling a bit sexy, itâ€™s a revolution!ðŸ’¥ðŸ‘ What do you love about Heel Bangs?
Now, if you’ve watched any of my performance videos and have noticed I’m not wearing kneepads, please understand that I am a crazy bitch, and that my thighs are chunky yet funky so I feel like I look like a leg of ham if I add kneepads to them. Secondly, performances are ONE run-through. Imagine doing a WHOLE class with drops to the floor and pivoting on your knees for a WHOLE HOUR without kneepads. Kneepads are life. Kneepads are safe. Kneepads are a MUST. So invest in a pair and WEAR THEM TO CLASS! Your knees will thank me.
Can I wear street heels?
HELL NO! Street heels have a different shape from pole-specific heels. They don’t have as sturdy a platform and can’t help you perform the majority of movements (e.g. glides, drags, pointe flow etc.) you’ll be performing in a pole class. If you haven’t yet bought a pair of stripper heels, ask your instructor if you can join barefoot to get a feel of the class. They’ll give you variations for your moves, but at least your feet will be safe!
What Should I Wear?
This is entirely up to you and to your studio. Some studios welcome you dancing in lingerie, some prefer activewear.
I’m a sucker for a good sexy thong, but I must admit that good polewear, or sometimes even leggings, are much easier to dance in. Why? Because you don’t have to flap check or worry about nip slips every damn time. So dance with something you feel comfortable in. Ideally though, something that doesn’t cover your arms cause you’ll be using those A LOT.
Still unsure about what to wear? Check out my outfit tips in this blog post and in the IG reel below.
Can I Dance In Heels If I’m A Boy/ Non-Binary?
Hell yeah. If you ever get turned down from a class because of your gender or gender identity please stir up a shitstorm because that is bollocks. Sexy pole is not about what you have between your legs or what you identify as. Plus, the more boys or gender non-conforming sexy polers we have, the more interesting things we’ll be able to see on stage. It’s a win for all of us.
Even Voldemort has been allowed on stage at a pole dance competition, so if villains are allowed, so are you. (JK, Jakub is my idol).
View this post on Instagram
Sneak peek!â£ â£ Here’s a little sneak peek into my performance from @exoticgeneration that earned me both Male division and Overall Pro Champion â¤ï¸â£ â£ Tempted to post the whole thing, but I think it’ll be much better to wait for official footage from the videographer than post a phone recording ðŸ˜Šâ£ Special thanks to @warrenjallen for recording! â£ #poledance #poledancer #polelove #poledancersofinstagram #menofpole #polelife #fitness #fit #poler #poledancefitness #exoticpole #gay #gayuk #meninheels #poletraining #malefitness #pleasershoes #voldemort #harrypotter #potterhead #exoticgenerationâ£
Will I Suck At It?
It depends. You might be a trained dancer and know how to carry yourself even when you don’t get the move. Or you could be a complete newbie when you start.
In any case, while previous dance experience might help your poise, sexy pole is its own beast and you might find it really difficult at first. God knows I struggled – I was APPALLING. I could not point my toes to save my life. I could not make movements flow. But don’t worry: people are not looking at you in class. They’re not thinking: “OMG look at that troll over there!”
More often than not, they’re looking at themselves (and if they bully you or judge you, they have no place in my class). Not trying something out of fear to make a fool of yourself isn’t the way to learn new skills. Make a fool of yourself. I did it for quite some time before picking sexy pole up – and I still struggle when I learn someone else’s choreography, because everyone’s different and so are their dance styles.
So try it. Be brave. You’ll pick it up in no time – and you’re guaranteed to have fun!
Learn from me
Wanna learn a sexy pole choreo from me? Here’s where to find me!
If you are based in London, I teach both pole tricks and sexy pole choreo every Tuesday at Akila Pole Studio in Brixton.
If you’re far from London or prefer learning remotely, you can find all my recordings or book me for a 1-1 via Buy Me A Coffee.