The most fantastic thing about pole dancing is the fact that everyone is different and each dancer has their strong suit. Some are amazing at the flow and dance. Some love pulling off jaw-dropping tricks. Others can easily combine the two in the most beautiful way. While trying to find your way in the pole dancing world, you should ask yourself a question: What's your niche?
If you have a background in dance, whether it's hip hop, ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical -- whatever it is, use it! Practically any genre of dance can be used during your pole dance. If your extension makes even non-dancers envious, your routine should reflect that grace and beauty. If you have a background in cheerleading or gymnastics, and are ridiculously flexible, use that! If you can rock the splits like no one's business, your routine should include them. If you have a background in fitness and weight lifting, and you are stronger than the average dancer, flaunt it! If you can flip into strength-based moves like handstands without batting an eye, you know what to do...
The best and most interesting routines include all three parts of pole dance. I love to see awesome climbs, inversions and tricks. I am envious of smooth and sexy floorwork. I am also impressed by those who can pull off backbends and splits without batting an eye.
As a plus-sized dancer who sometimes struggles with inversions and tricks, I have chosen strength-based moves like handstands as my "signature move." I have no background in dance or gymnastics. However, I love that the pole doesn't discriminate. I am learning to be a dancer and am working hard on my strength and flexibility. In the meantime, I am working my niche and enjoying every minute.
Don't ignore your weaknesses but make your routine shine with what you know how to do. I'm sure even the pro competitors -- who, in my eyes, are equal parts beauty, strength and flexibility -- will tell you that they are better at some moves than others. We all have to figure out what we do well. Which part of pole dance is your favorite? Have you figured out your niche yet?
Photo credit: Diana Kottke of Twirly Girls Pole Fitness by Liquidpulp Photography.