If you’re beginning to learn pole dancing, you’d already have come across the question of what kind of pole you should buy. Most beginners find it confusing to decide whether to start practicing on a static pole or a spinning pole. The answer really depends on what your needs are and how experienced you are.
Static vs spinning pole, what’s the difference? Static poles do not move as you dance and, traditionally, are preferred for beginners because they are easier to balance on, judge your body’s own momentum, and learn basic techniques. Spinning poles rotate as you dance, and are used by dancers to execute speedy moves which can’t be done on a simple static pole. An adept pole dancer would have mastered both.
This is not the universal rule though. With experience, we’ve seen that different learning techniques have worked for different people. Read on to see what other differences are there between static and spinning poles and when each kind is preferred.
What is a static pole?
Static or stationary poles are those which don’t spin when you dance on them. Static poles usually have a single functionality (while spinning ones can also be operated in static mode). Thus they are also cheaper compared to spinning poles, but you can’t upgrade them to add the spin functionality later on.
The advantage to using a static pole is that it prevents you from getting too much momentum initially when you are just trying to learn the basics of a dance move. You don’t have to focus on the movement of the pole at all, just your own position and technique. You also need less muscle control, grip, and strength to hold on to something that is static.
What is a spinning pole?
The counterpart of a static pole is a spinning pole. These are made to spin in the direction of your movements. As your movements apply force on the pole, the pole also starts to spin with the pull. That gives you an added momentum, which can even get out of control if you don’t have enough practice.
It does make it easier to spin because the pole helps you, and you can feel like you are flying in no time. Care must be taken however, to avoid injury.
Spinning poles are more expensive, but they usually have the option to switch to static mode, so that’s a plus.
What kind of dancers use static poles?
So, as we said earlier, one thing that static poles have going in your favor is that the spinning does not interfere in your balance or throw your momentum out of control. Thus, traditionally, it is considered appropriate for beginners or for dancers who want to practice a new position or technique. It lets you be very precise with your movements and perfect technique rather than speed. There are unlimited creative moves you can invent with a static pole.
Although traditionally, dancers are expected to start off with static poles, it can sometimes make it harder for newbies, as we will discuss in a while.
What kind of dancers use spinning poles?
Spinning poles are more precarious and used by intermediate and experienced dancers to add flair and speed to their moves.
The combined effect of your body’s movements and added spin from the pole can really let your momentum peak up, and as magical as it looks, it becomes very hard to manage flawlessly unless you are a professional.
You can do fancy spins and spirals, and start spinning at mind boggling speeds to entrance your audience. If you can manage to suddenly change your direction in the midst of that speed, that will leave the audience baffled. In fact, even the simplest moves look so elegant and amazing when you have speed added to them.
Disadvantages of spinning poles for beginners
Although every pole dancer should move on to it eventually, there are reasons why using a spinning pole is not recommended for beginners and a lot of caution is advised. Here’s why:
- Speed can scare some dancers. If you swing too fast and lose control, you’ll start spinning and become disoriented, not being able to do the right move. So it is easier to fumble, basically.
- Beginners can experience dizziness initially, especially if they do it too fast.
- Your momentum builds up so fast, that if you don’t have enough strength you can lose your grip and go flying off. This can lead to serious injury.
- Using proper posture and form is also very crucial because, again, you can sprain a muscle or two with the high momentum.
Why some beginners love starting off on spinning poles
Danna, a pole fitness dancing expert, says that she decided to change the teaching methodology at her studio a bit, and let students choose whichever pole they felt more comfortable with. To her surprise, nobody wanted to use a static pole!
This is because beginners felt demotivated when they had to do a spin with sheer body force on a static pole and could not do it. It made them feel that they just did not have enough upper body strength to pull it off, so many would give up easily.
But on a spinning pole, with that extra spin aiding them, they were able to lift off so fast and feel like they were soaring in no time! The ease of movement with a spinning pole ended up making everyone feel confident and motivated. They could do full spins almost instantly.
Danna also found that she did not have to worry about injuries as long as she emphasized on precautionary measures. She also noticed that beginners were automatically careful and did not try putting in too much speed in the first place, for fear of getting hurt.
What should you choose?
Keeping everything said above in mind, here’s what we recommend:
- If you are serious about pole dancing and continuing it professionally in the long-term, then buy a spinning dance pole. You can use it in “static” mode initially, and add spin later on.
- If you’re not serious about pole dancing professionally, then you could just buy a static pole for playing around with and save the extra money.
- If high speed and spinning makes you dizzy and you are physically not able to handle it without feeling sick, sticking to a static pole is a good idea. There’s a lot of creative things you can do (and professional performers do too) with a static pole.
- If you’re not sure, buy a spinning one so that you can switch between modes and decide which you like.
Read more: Best Dance Pole for Home Use
What do pole dancing competitions ask for?
If you’re aiming to compete in a competition, then you should know that all major competitions keep both types of poles on stage and often insist on using both to see how skilled you are. It is part of the rules sometimes.
This is because both modes have their own characteristics, and both help decide how skilled a pole dancer is. Not everyone can manage spinning poles with flair, even if you love using them. The way you combine speed with technique can differentiate a professional from simple enthusiasts.
It all boils down to what suits you best, but we do recommend going with static mode to build some muscle control and strength before you add speed to the mix. In terms of what to buy, a spinning dance pole is better because it gives you the convenience of switching between static and spin modes as required!