Monday, September 29, 2014

How to build your own around the pole portable dance floor

Every pole dancer dreams of having beautiful hardwood floors to pirouette effortlessly on around the pole.  Sometimes ripping up the carpet in our designated pole room or area just for this purpose is not feasible. Buying a portable dance floor can also be quite pricey.  This is why I decided it was time to build my own portable dance floor.  Below, I've included all the supplies with links for how I built my portable pole dancing floor.  If you're wanting yours to be extra portable you may want to cut the flooring differently to allow the pieces to break down smaller.  Once mine was built, it remained in place as I had a space in my home designated as my pole room so I didn't need to break it down and move it.  If I was to move it, it required two people to move or disassemble.  With all that said, let's get started on how to assemble your very own portable pole fitness dance floor.

Supply List:
1. 2 4'x8' pieces of plywood
2. Package of straight metal fasteners
3. Screws -the size will depend on the thickness of plywood you selected
4. Peel and stick laminate hardwood tiles- square or strips

1. Drill
2. Saw (optional if needing to cut plywood down to fit in an area that will not accomadate 8'x8' flooring)
3. Safety glasses (if you're sawing you should wear these to protect your eyes!)
4. Tape measure
5. Pencil
6. Level

My finished flooring was 8'x7'.  My husband cut down one piece of plywood to 8'x3' length to fit the flooring in my pole room.  This also allowed my to place my pole in the middle of the dance floor as it offset the seam where the two pieces of plywood came together.  If you're wanting to wear heels, offsetting the seam may be something you want to consider when planning the layout of your floor.  The seam wasn't too big on mine and I wore heels all the time on it and never got my heel caught, but depending on how your finished project comes together this may be something you want to strongly consider throughout the process in order to prevent the seam versus heel scenario. 

Steps to building your custom portable pole fitness dance floor:

1. Cut plywood to desired size using measuring tape, level, pencil, safety glasses, and saw (skip this step if no cutting needed)
2. Fit 2 pieces of plywood together with groove into edge on the floor.  My pieces of plywood were bowed slightly so I had to flip the plywood for bow side facing down to create a flat dance floor surface. 
3. Fasten two pieces of plywood together using straight fasteners along the seam. 
4.  With 2 or 3 strong people, raise the flooring and flip over.
5. Apply peel and stick tiles to floor avoiding placement over seams if you want to be able to disassemble your floor in the future. 
6. Allow peel and stick tiles to adhere and add pole for completed project. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dear New Student: A guide for beginner pole or aerial silks students

As a new student, you will have a lot of questions.  One of the most importance questions on the top of your list is most likely- where do I start?  At Pole Harmony, all new students start off by taking an intro class. We have two classes to choose from.  If you're wanting to start pole classes, you will take the Pole Discovery intro class. If you're looking to start taking aerial silks classes, you will take the Aerial Discovery intro to silks class.  Each of these classes are offered on various days and times depending on the current semester.  You don't have to wait until the start of a new semester to get started.  Our classes change on a semester basis in order to allow us to change up the days and times classes are offered to appeal to a wider variety of clients who have busy work schedules that often conflict with their favorite class offerings.

Once you complete the intro class, you have several options for proceeding with our alternative fitness program.  You can take any one of our non-series pole or aerial fitness classes that are offered throughout the week or you can register for a pole or aerial series.  Our non-series pole and aerial fitness classes are offered pay as you go and allow you to show up as often as you want or are able.  In these classes, you will learn something new every week.

We offer a variety of payment options for the non-series classes.  The first payment option is pay per class.  This is a great option for the occasional student who may have other life obligations but still wants to get in a pole or aerial class every once in awhile to balance life stresses or to work in conjuction with other forms of fitness disciplines. The next option is our class pass packages.  You can purchase 5 classes or 10 classes that are valid for a specified time frame.  This option is great for students who want to budget their workouts by allowing them to also stretch out their fitness plan according to a suitable time frame that enables consistency through progressive fitness.  Our final option is geared towards our serious pole and aerial enthusiasts, an unlimited monthly membership.  The unlimited monthly memberships include unlimited non-series classes and discounts that are applied to the overall cost of series classes.  Our unlimited monthly membership is a great deal for those who want to get the most out of our programs or for students who need a financial incentive for accountability towards their fitness regimen.  Whatever your motive or life situation, at Pole Harmony we want to be sure you are able to enjoy everything we have to offer.

Another option for your post intro class workout includes taking one of our series classes.  We currently offer two series options- Pole Foundations and Aerial Foundations.  In the Pole Foundations series, you will learn an arsenal of moves choreographed in a fun routine.  Our Aerial Foundations series focuses on specific moves and conditioning exercises to increase strength, endurance, and flexibility. All our series classes are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Now that you've either decided or have an idea of what course of action you'd like to proceed with in regards to taking classes at Pole Harmony, we'd like to cover some basic class information tailored to some of our frequently asked questions.  The first question we often hear focuses on attire.  Below are the following what to wear descriptions for both our pole and aerial silks classes.

What to wear for pole classes:  For your first Pole Class, you may wear a comfortable t-shirt/tank, yoga pants/capris, or shorts. Footwear is optional and limited to dance approved foot protectors, socks, or gym shoes. It is recommended students attend classes bare feet. Certain moves may require extra mobility and students may want to bring a pair of socks to protect feet. Please refrain from wearing lotions or oils on your skin as well as strong fragrances and perfumes.

What to wear for aerial silks classes: For our Aerial Classes we recommend wearing form fitting attire that covers legs, torso, and under arms. Leggings/yoga pants recommended with a short sleeved top. Classes are taught with students in bare feet. Please tie back long hair. Do not wear any jewelry such as rings, bracelets, watches, necklaces, or dangling earrings. These items may get caught in the fabric and ripped out or may create tears that will damage the fabric.   The next question we often hear is; how do I sign up for a class?  At Pole Harmony, we utilize an online booking program that allows our students to sign up for classes or book parties 24/7.  Simply visit our online schedule page ( and click book next to the class of your choice.  We've created an online tutorial on how to book a class at Pole Harmony which can be viewed here:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Yes you can!

Every so often, when someone discovers I teach pole dancing for fitness, one of the first things that person says is, "I could never do that."  I completely understand where they're coming from.  Pole dancing can be intimidating.  A lot of what has taken years to achieve is what is out there for all to see.  The impressive tricks and flow is generally the representation of our sport.  What people don't see firsthand is the hard work, struggles, and time that has gone in to getting to the point where one can levitate effortlessly and defy gravity. 

Everyone starts somewhere. And it usually isn't pretty. No way does someone just walk up to a pole and start moving- let alone flipping, effortlessly around the pole.  Even if you have supernatural existing strength, you will still find struggles where you thought things would be easy.  There are many aspects to pole that everyone should learn first and foremost for the safest technique to be performed each and every time.  These foundational skills are the building blocks to bigger and better things in your pole fitness journey.  We crawl before we walk. When we were little, we didn't just jump out of the crib and start walking.  It was a process of building up muscles in our legs and increasing balance.  The same process goes for learning pole- or any other type of dance discipline.  You will first learn very easy moves that help you build strength in your legs and increase balance.  Many of these moves consist of walking techniques and getting comfortable with apparatus dancing. 

Going back to the generalized statement I often hear in response to my teaching pole, "I could never do that." My answer to that is, if you can walk, then you can pole.  Although, I'm beginning to think that times are changing and the matter of walking to do pole may no longer be a prerequisite as I'm almost certain if you're wheelchair bound, you can also find a way to pole.  So if you've ever shot down the idea of pole, I strongly encourage you to rethink your stance.  Pole dancing for fitness is fun, rewarding, and an activity that challenges areas of your body that typical gym workouts and equipment fails to engage.  Pole dancing embodies all disciplines in fitness- from strength, cardio, flexibility, to balance.  You can't get this much attention to all areas of focus from any other workout.

If you're trying to decide if pole dancing for fitness is right for you, the only way you will ever know is by taking a class.  To get started, check out your local pole dancing studio and sign up today for an intro to pole class.  In a year, you'll wish you started today. Happy poling!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Someone Reported Your Photo...What?!

It's never happened to me, but it has to a lot of my fellow pole dancer friends.  The technological slap in the face- I reported your photo to Facebook because I didn't like it maneuver.  Generally when this happens, people are reporting pictures they find offensive by claiming the photo in question contains nudity.  Of all the pictures I've seen reported- NONE have contained nudity.  They have all been women wearing standard pole attire. For the average pole dancer/competitor, your attire is a safety issue.  Yes, we show more skin than a football player.  Some may even argue certain sports or dance disciplines such as volleyball or gymnastics actually wear LESS than pole dancers.  Much in regards to the great attire debate can be disputed.  The one thing that can't be debated is, when you put a woman wearing a bathing suit type attire with a pole- suddenly people take offense. 

I'd like to take a few moments to explore the "why?"  Simply put- people fear what they do not understand.  I used to have an extreme fear of flying in an airplane.  The strange thing about my fear of flying is it was just a fear of flying in airplanes.  I could sit all day long in a helicopter and fly over the mountains all day long.  This never bothered me.  On our honeymoon helicopter ride over the Great Smoky Mountains, my husband was beside himself as the wind grabbed our helicopter pitching it up over the mountain peak in an unsettling ride that left us momentarily assessing our fate.  Through this encounter, I wasn't as panic stricken as I would have been if we were on an airplane.  The reason?  If you've ever been in a helicopter, you're practically in the cockpit sitting with the pilot where all the action is.  I have a better understanding of the mechanics of my ride.  Knowing what is going on eased my anxiety, therefore flying in helicopter always felt safer to me.  (Statistically, I'm not sure this is true compared to an airplane?)  It wasn't until I went on a Florida trip a few years ago with my husband that I really began to lose my fear of flying.  I was in my hotel room on St. Pete beach skimming through the television channels as I got ready to turn in for the night.  I happened to come across a show about "When flights meet disaster."  Not entirely the type of show I was wanting to watch given I was about to board a flight home in the following days.  Initially I didn't settle on watching the show as I knew it would further my anxiety about my upcoming flight.  A funny thing happened while watching this documentary depicting flight tragedies.  I learned more about planes and the safety mechanisms in order to evade tragedy.  It was through this insight that I was able to finally understand my fears and for the first time I actually looked out the window and payed more attention to why I felt sick and what was going on to make me feel the way I was in flight. 

I'm not entirely sure people "fear" pole dancing in the same magnitude as they would flying.  What I can decipher is that pole dancing images make people uncomfortable.  Simply because they don't understand what they are seeing when looking at a picture of a pole dancer.  The group of people that are offended by pole dancing pictures see a negative connotation.  Others privy to the pole world see athletes.  It's an amazing world out there full of so many interesting differing opinions.  I love how the pole community is dedicated to shedding light on the dark areas of pole and what it really is compared to what it used to be. I feel like as time goes on, more people will begin to understand we're just working out in the best way we find appealing to us.  Treadmills aren't for everyone, and for that percentage of the population that has found their true calling in maintaining a healthy lifestyle? I applaud you and encourage you to not sweat those who don't understand.  Continue to share your achievements and maybe some day they will eventually realize their unsettling feelings of discomfort as a response to your picture is really more about their misunderstanding of a movement more welcoming than their misinformed judgment.