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.