Pole dancing has been my outlet since I started dancing four years ago. It is rather funny actually- when people find out that I am a pole dancer there are almost always comments about my significant other (in this case my husband) and all the fun he must have with it. There are also follow up comments about the number of children I have and how pole dancing played a role in that- which could not be further from the truth.
Truth be told- my husband has never seen me dance and I started dancing shortly after I had my 4th child, incidentally number 5 was a vacation accident, totally unrelated to pole.
Recently, I decided that my husband may enjoy a dance- after all he has been so very supportive and patient, but I had no idea how to go about putting a dance together for someone else.
Here is what I learned:
Pick a song, the song is accompanying you, the dancer, not the other way around. Make sure you know the song forwards, backwards, and inside out. Familiarize yourself with the lyrics and the emotion of the song. If the song you are dancing to is about being scared and vulnerable it is not a time to rock a crazy trick. A recommendation to choosing a song would be to let your audience member choose the song. A few weeks before I was ready to dance I asked my husband for a few song ideas. He gave me a few and I played around with them before choosing one. This way I knew that he would like the song.
When I was choreographing my piece I used tricks I knew will on both dominant and non-dominant sides. I also focused a lot on flow and combinations instead of just trick to trick. When planning combos it is crucial to think about how you are going to end. Setting up the start for a combo a dancer can take as much time as necessary, setting up for the landing a dancer only gets a few seconds. These positions need to be second nature. As part of this I also worked on making eye contact with my audience, which for practice sessions I used a video camera to see where I was struggling and to use it as a thing to make eye contact with.
As I was planning a dance for my significant other I did include some interaction, which is not necessary, but something I that I wanted to do. I also choose costuming that was comfortable and made me feel beautiful. If you have seen pole competition videos you know how extravagant costumes can be, I stayed away from that and stuck with clothes that were more ‘me’ than performance.
Even if you have executed the tricks on your list hundreds of times adding an observer can add a ton of nerves, for safety sake stick with tricks you know well, this is not the time to be performing a trick that you are anything less than 100% solid with.
Pole dancing can be for yourself exclusively but sometimes at some point it can be fun to add a performance. Remember, pole is for you first and foremost. No one else, so do what makes you feel good.