I get frequently asked the question “should I start to learn pole dancing in spinning mode or static?”.
The answer to this question really depends on you, your fitness level, and existing dance experience.
Beginners often wonder if a spinning or static dance pole is best for fitness reasons. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
When I first started teaching pole dance class, I followed the same mode of mentality that most pole dance teachers do which is to start your students in static mode first and then graduate into a spinning mode. However, after teaching for several years, I began to question that process and wonder if it was truly helpful for the student or just a pastime we are sticking to for the sake of “safety”.
While I can’t prove what is right or wrong, I can tell you my experiences and hopefully help you decide what is best for yourself.
First off, dancing poles can be both spinning and static. A single pole can be just static only. If the dance pole can spin, it most likely can be static as well. Locking nuts on the bottom allow you to choose the mode it’s in.
It has been traditionally expected that beginners start in static mode. For those of you who don’t know what static (also called stationary) mode is, it means the pole doesn’t spin when you are dancing on it. The reason to begin in static is to prevent the student from getting too much momentum while they are trying to learn the basics of a pole spin, trick or position.
It is very important to learn to do the basic and advanced pole spins with proper dance technique and form to prevent injury AND make the spin look good while you are dancing. Injury prevention is the number 1 reason for the beginner dancer to start in static.
When a pole is in spinning mode, it allows momentum to come into play and much like swinging on a merry-go-round, if you don’t have good strength to hold on… well … you could come flying off!
But here is the reality of what I discovered; beginners rarely use a lot of momentum in a beginner pole dance class, even if the pole is in static mode. They don’t have a super strong grip right out of the gate and won’t push that button for fear of falling. Most people will willingly choose to take it slow and learn to do it properly. Nobody wants to get hurt.
I allowed my beginners to try learning a pole spin in both static and spinning mode and then they would choose what they liked best for learning. As long as I was there to supervise, I saw no harm in giving my student the option that worked best for them. To my surprise, NOBODY and I am not exaggerating when I say NOBODY wanted to learn in static mode as a beginner.
The reason is that it was MUCH easier to learn in spinning mode. In fact, when the pole was left in static mode, most of the beginners weren’t able to completely do the move.
The difficulty they encountered learning in static caused some people to give up dancing altogether because they felt frustrated like they were never going to be able to do it. They felt they just didn’t have enough upper body strength and didn’t enjoy the process of learning in static.
In contrast, when I allowed my beginners to learn in spinning mode while using caution and emphasizing proper form, my beginner dancers could do complete spins and dance almost immediately! They left class feeling accomplished and with the hope that they could eventually get the hang of pole dancing with joy!
After so many students requesting the spinning mode, I gave up suggesting static entirely. I personally leave the pole in spinning all the time unless I am teaching a static pole spin that I don’t want ANY rotation in.
My beginner students are MUCH happier and feel like a kid again when they can joyfully hang onto the pole and just enjoy the breeze as they spin.
NOTE** Using proper posture and form is EXTRA critical when using spinning mode due to the added momentum of the pole. Be sure you are using your shoulder muscles correctly and everything is pulled “back and down”.
All this boils down to your fitness level as well. You should never push your body or muscles beyond a point they are not prepared to go. If you don’t feel strong in your grip and shoulders, take the time to improve that area of your body BEFORE you increase or add momentum from a spinning pole into the equation.
If you have better muscular control and previous dance experience, you may find spinning mode an easy task.
It doesn’t matter if you are using a pole as a workout to burn fat or to prepare for a dance competition, in the beginning, it’s all the same and highly depends on you.
I was in the industry for around 12 years (stripping) and I didn’t encounter spinning poles until the last year or so of my “career” (can’t put it on a CV even though stripping requires so many skills- motivational, people skills, salesmanship, confidence, strength both physically and emotionally/mentally especially when dealing with rude customers, but apparently it’s not “real” work hence the ” “).
Anyway, it took me a lot to learn even basic spins as a result. I wish I had had access to spinning poles from day one, it would have made it far more enjoyable for me as a dancer and entertainer. Plus it would make those 15-30 minute sets on the stage a little less exhausting haha
I so hope I can get either one of your poles or an x-pole so I can start dancing again, this time just for my own physical wellbeing as I have had some major orthopeadic surgeries (15 screws with plating in my pelvis now!) and have lost so much of my fitness.
Anyway, thanks for the awesome site and for offering a well made accessible pole for those of us on limited incomes 🙂
You welcome doll! Injuries are no fun fun (15 screws is a lot), ouch! I do think pole is a great way to get your fitness back. And I can only imagine how a spinning pole would have made your previous job as a stripper easier. I know I can dance longer on a spinning pole which helps me get a better workout. I had a customer of mine tell me that strippers have magical powers 🙂
Maybe it’s because I’m a heavy girl, but I find that I can “get more done” on static mode than spinning mode. I feel it’s likely due to the momentum I can get going vs being able to hold all my weight in a hold while the pole does the spinning for me. I’m sure if I was 80 lbs lighter, spinning mode would be the more satisfying mode. Just my $0.02.
Thanks for the $.02 cents 🙂 Love the feedback, everyone is different for sure.
I love the fitness and how pole dancing has given myself a great tone and i find that the spinning pole is much harder to use exspecially one handed fall spins but love it anyway
Usually beginners don’t use one-handed spins because their grip is not strong enough to be safe, that might be part of the reason for the difficulty in spinning mode too, however everyone is different 🙂 Thanks for the feedback 🙂
I recently started teaching myself with an x-pert static/spinning x-pole. I know it is probably better to learn in a studio with supervision but unfortunatly i live in the middle of nowhere. I got lots of videos to get me started and honestly it did not even occur to me to start in static. I went right into spinning and like you said i made progress quite quickly but then i realized many people started on static so i switched it over and found that i can barely do some of my spins only making around the pole once and a half for my stronger moves and only halfway around on some of my weaker ones. I really would like to be able to do both and worry if i just continue in spinning i may be cheating myself out of developing the strenth to do static. Would you have any suggestions to finding a good balance between the two as far as practice goes?
Hi Maggie, that is a great question. Dancing in static does take a bit more physical exertion to perform moves. You won’t ever be able to have the same amount of rotations in a pole spin performed on a static pole as you would on a spinning pole. The laws of science won’t allow that to happen. But you can find a balance by practicing all your moves in both spinning and static mode and spending the same amount of time working in each mode.
In the end, you have to decide what is best for you because neither decision you would make is right or wrong, it’s a matter of preference. If you plan to compete you will need to learn to use the both in both static and spinning very well as a requirement. If you are only using your pole for your own personal enjoyment and fitness purposes then the choice is yours. Many of my students mostly use spinning simply because it is just plain more fun. We call it “fun mode” around here. Dancing in static definitely has a different feel and can make some moves more or less challenging, you have to decide if that is what you need for your fitness goals. For me personally, I find it very easy to remain very fit and lean while dancing in “fun mode” most of the time but in the end of the day, fun and fitness are equally important to me. Hope that helps.
I have started doing pole in static mode I’ve been doing it for about a month now. My grip is really good but my strength isn’t all there. I like static but have yet tried spinning mode. I can already spin with one hand ( one hand on top swinging forward legs in the air and grab the pole on bottom as your turnning) I don’t know what the move is called but I love doing it and I can only imagine spinning mode would be even more fun. I’m going to try it soon. I think I will love both modes as I love pole dancing. I’ve also thought it was good to stretch and get flexible for the more difficult moves.
All wonderful and valid points! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us, keeping going! <3
Chair spin may be
Our Studio for the most part teacesh on spinning poles only. We usually only lock the pole if requested an intermediate or advanced classes where the moves Are complex.
We have’s had students come from other studios and have a difficult time converting to the spending mode, and almost complain as if that method is incorrect to start in spending mode. However it is much easier for someone to go from spinning to static, as opposed to static to spinning We feel that students find themself having more fun while the pole is in spinning mode, and only get very few comments of Students getting too dizzy. The dizziness can easily be addressed by simply informing the student to attempt To apply less force or decrease the momentum.
I love spinning poles
Hi Jen, thanks so much for the comment. It’s nice to know there are other studios feeling the same way! Mine is almost always in spinning mode to. Much love and keep poling!
I started on static mode and was able to do some sort of pole spin. But after I got a more stable pole that is dual, I can only hold myself on spin mode. My grip is too tight on static. My fingers won’t let me go anywhere lol. I want to do static because my hands are extremely sore from holding the pole so tight. I went through my grip aide in 2 weeks. I spend around 4 hours daily dancing around. I get home and want to hop right on the pole without stretching, but I’m so sore from spinning for hours. I did notice that my strength has increased to hold myself in fast spins on spinning mode though
Thanks for sharing Jennifer! Im so glad you are having so much fun that you can easily spend hours dancing around the pole! 🙂 There are some grip gloves available for long hours of training so your hands don’t get so sore. I would use the liquid or powder grip aids if you are dancing shorter periods of time 🙂
I’ve been learning pole dancing in a studio where beginners only do static pole. Now, after a year and a half, I started to teach myself to dance on spinning pole. It was tough! , like I am a beginner again. I wish I started or were encouraged early to try spinning, as I am so discouraged with not being able to cope with the dizziness and lack of skills on spinning pole control. Simple spins and even inverting are not problems but doing combos , like from a spin direct to a pole climb without touching the floor , results in a very rapid overwhelmingly dizziying spin! Any suggestions ? Thanks.
Hi Jasmine! Yes, this is a very common problem and you aren’t alone. The dizziness will get better, just like building stronger muscles, it takes time. Here is a great video about how to manage the dizziness and stop it completely while you are learning to dance on a spinning dance pole > https://polefitnessdancing.com/managing-dizziness-when-learning-pole-dancing-at-home-on-a-spinning-dance-pole/
Hope that helps : )