What is your pole weakness, and how do you compensate for it?

Natasha Wang

Natasha Wang

I think everything is possible.
Let say if I want to do a front planche I need to work on special muscles for this planche.
And I know I will do it if I will really work hard. 
The same with everything I do. (drops, flexibility, salt, flips)
If I really really want to get it then I will. 

- Anastasia Skukhtorova

Hands down, the answer is LINES.  As a pole dancer with no previous dance, gymnastics, or performance training, my pole weakness has always been in creating intentional and attractive lines.  I had never even heard of "foot pointing" until I read someone speaking about pointed feet on a Studio Veena forum post in 2009, and then I had to type "pointed toes" in a search engine to figure out what this was a reference to.  I’ve found that I have had to become very mindful and disciplined to keep specific muscles engaged for prolonged periods during practices and performances.  I also have had to do a large amount of very specific strength training especially through my calves, quadriceps and hip flexors in order to be able to create the shapes I want to without fatiguing while dancing.  Another factor is that I have had to become more conscious of what my hands and arms are doing while I am in aerial holds and floor transitions.  Because most of my favorite pole skills do not involve the hands as a point of contact, I have had to think about and ask questions about the lines created through arm extension, practice mindfulness of what my hands and arms are doing during my holds, and experiment with shapes made by the arms and hands.  

Often I find I still fall short of my own ideals in the creation of the most ideal lines, but this has been the area of my dancing which has come with the highest degree of difficulty, and I feel that compared to my days as an ape flailing around a metal tube, my progress is gargantuan!  In school, I had to work very hard to maintain even a C in algebra, and when I could maintain that C I was proud of it.  Likewise, even though my body does not make the shapes a classically trained dancer turned pole acrobat has the ability to make, I'm enormously proud of the results of putting what I have learned about lines to work in my pole dancing.  Making purposeful and elegant shapes is still a challenge, but it becomes less difficult and feels more natural every year I continue to practice.

- David C. Owen

To be honest I feel one of my biggest weaknesses are balancing my strength and flexibility. It is so hard for me to maintain my flexibility as a guy we build strength much faster, but my flexibility  is much harder to gain. Every time I do pole or aerial my body gets so tight I am forced to stretch almost everyday. Another pole weakness is my left side we all have a shameful side and my left is certainly that. I have many more weaknesses but I will keep the rest as my dirty little secret. :)

- Derick Pierson

My pole weakness, super contortion moves that require tons of flexibility. I can usually muscle my way through some, but it is defiantly a weakness. I love strength training too much.

My other weakness is setting aside more time to pole for myself. I get too involved in teaching, traveling and coaching, that I don't take enough time to get lost in my own dance. 

- Estee Zakar

My weakness in the pole is a time.

I believe that people can reach everything they want. 

It means you can improve any your skills.

In my case I just want to have more time for my own practice. 

May be don't sleep anymore?   :)

- Evgeny Greshilov

Believe it or not, I don’t dance on a spinning pole. It’s getting ridiculous really, and I joke now that one of these decades I will learn and come to love dancing on a spinning pole. So here I am staring my third decade in the face, so perhaps it’s time. I left the competitive exotic dance scene in 96’ before there was spinning pole and actual pole competitions. I compensate by performing on static pole only and place emphasis on theatrics, exotic dance, and floor moves.  Plus I market myself more as an instructor, judge and now MC.

- Fawnia Mondey

I don't train a lot of flipping or Chinese pole-type moves. Instead, I focus on my strengths: flow, dance, creativity and emotion.

- Jamilla Deville

My pole weakness is my active hip flexibility. It's hard for me to get a flat split in the air without being able to push or pull one of my legs to get a flatter line. So I choose split moves that I can push or pull one or both of my legs into a more flexy looking line. 

- Karol Helms

I develop a style around flexibility, stage presence and dance and I have to say that I am used to struggling with dynamic and power pole dancing.

As a performer, I do believe that knowledge comes from experience. You can think about something a million times but it’s not until you get there and perform you will understand more about yourself and your dance.

I am always in research to find new ways to move, express myself and also challenge my body and limitations. 

If you keep doing what you are doing, you'll keep getting what you are getting.

We use to say that magic happens out of your comfort zone.

Nobody ever feels 100% ready but it is good to be willing to take some risks.

Avec Passion 

- Marion Crampe

I spent my life prior to pole being a super oozy dancer. Speed, power and precision come far less naturally than flexibility and fluidity. To work on my weaknesses, I try to understand how to generate power by studying great movers. I do 100m sprints, lots of jumps, break dance classes and create custom exercises to improve my force generating abilities.

- Marlo Fisken

My main pole weakness is my inability to dance. Chances are, in group choreography, I'm the one in the back going the complete opposite direction! My proprioception on the pole is great - give me a move and eventually my body can figure it out on its own. Give me traditional dance choreography however, and I get so overloaded with the logistics of where my arms, legs and head go, that my brain basically short-circuits. To compensate, I focus less on dance choreography, and more on free, organic movement. That's not to say I don't take the odd dance class here and there for inspiration and for the challenge - but what my body really wants to do is move according to my own metronome and movement style, so that's what I prefer to do on the stage.

-Natasha Wang

Pole Weakness would have to be explosive acrobatic movement and extreme flexibility.  Pole has evolved in such a way that it's important be able to do things gymnasts and contortionist are capable of doing which have always interest me but never have been my main focus.  Coming from a trained dancer perspective for me it's all about the movement quality which is where I think I pick up the loose ends.  I like to pay close attention to momentum, musicality and transitions.  I try to highlight my ability to move especially because I enjoy it and intern I think the viewer or audience enjoys watching as well. 

- Steven Retchless

I would have to say my pole weakness is flexibility. I am definitely more flexible now than when I first started pole but I still have a long way to go. 
"Fake it til you make it".

- Zoraya Judd