When you walk into our Austin aerial studio, there’s one apparatus you just can’t miss. It’s fifteen feet tall (the tallest in Central Texas!), permanently installed, and so shiny! Yep, we’re talking about the pole. Pole is one of our most versatile apparatuses — it’s a conditioning tool, a dance partner, a way to unlock your sensuality, and so much more. Let’s take a quick look at the various styles of pole (with a focus on what you might learn at Sky Candy) and break down all the tricks this deceptively simple apparatus has up its optional, silicone sleeve.
Even if you’re not interested in learning pole tricks or dance moves, you can’t deny the pole’s excellent conditioning potential. Pullups, tuckups, and a variety of crunches can all be performed on the pole. Climbing the pole will strengthen your upper body and core (you’ll have to work extra hard, since the pole doesn’t move with you like other vertical apparatuses). With its emphasis on kicks and other dance moves, pole is also a great workout for the lower body, and any pole fitness class will include a slew of exercises for your legs and backside.
Acrobatic pole, often referred to as “vertical gymnastics”, is the style that many Sky Candy students are initially attracted to, as it focuses on the types of skills we teach in other aerial classes. Inversions, flips, and tumbles are all part of acrobatic pole, as are various climbs and spins.
Pole flow puts the “dance” in pole dance. Expect fluid choreography that takes the dancer from the floor to the pole and back down again in graceful nonstop fashion. Pole flow might include acrobatic tricks or it may focus on beautifully simple shapes. It may or may not be sexy, and it sometimes (though not always) incorporates a narrative structure. If the focus is on the dancing more than any other characteristic, that’s pole flow.
There’s no denying pole dance’s very sexy roots, and some dancers really enjoy letting their sultry side come out to play.. Sensual pole includes skills like body waves, hip rolls, hairwhips, and lots of sexy floor work. At Sky Candy, we never discourage the sexier side of pole (check out our After Dark performance series!), but we also never force students to perform moves that make them uncomfortable. You’re in complete control of your sexuality, and how you choose to express yourself is entirely your call.
Chinese pole is most similar to acrobatic pole, but with a twist. The pole is encased in rubber, eliminating slipping and sliding. While regular pole dance requires exposed skin to stick to the pole, Chinese pole dancers cover their skin to prevent burns. The stickiness of the Chinese pole offers even more leeway for death-defying flips and drops — this is definitely the choice for adrenaline junkies. (Please note that our Austin aerial studio does not currently offer Chinese pole; we hope to add it to our schedule in the future.)
For a pole experience unique to Sky Candy, check out Caroline Poe’s flying pole class, in which a pole with a flat base is suspended from a rig point. The pole extends up towards the ceiling at an angle and orbits around the base. Flying pole opens up a whole new world of shapes and transitions and is best suited for students with some pole or aerial experience. Championship pole dancer Natasha Wang sought out a private lesson on this innovative apparatus during a recent trip to Austin.
Whether you’re looking to build strength or grace, to fly and flip, or just whip your hair back and forth, the pole could very well be your new best friend. Check our schedule for class times and series start dates and make Sky Candy your pole-ing place!