The hardest pole dancing tricks
There are many things in our pole lives that will challenge us. Finding a place to store our heels and pole wear is one of them. Discovering the ultimate pole grip for sweaty hands is another. And restraining ourselves when being hypnotized by Blue Phoenix’s leg twizzles is often a challenge.
Although without a doubt, it is our pole tricks that challenge us the most. From beginner pole dancing levels all the way to elite pole dancing, there will be that one trick that will torture your mind and body. Just like Batman and The Joker, Harry Potter and Draco, or Selena and Hailey, each pole dancer will have their own nemesis pole dancing tricks. However, some tricks will tease and test even the best pole minds, bodies and souls.
What are the hardest tricks you will learn in pole class? Let’s find out.
Ayesha and Aerial Ayesha
Getting your ayesha is like a rite of passage in the pole world and achieving the hat trick of twisted grip, straight grip and cup grip ayesha should be worn like a badge of honor. It is one of the first advanced tricks that possess many pole dancers. We become fixated on practicing it over and over until we finally understand the mechanics and have the strength to pull it off.
It’s wild when you think of just how much work your body needs to do in an ayesha. Shoulders, arms, lats, obliques, hip flexors and quads all must get their life sorted and work together to be able to lift you up into the air. Oh, and don’t forget to breathe and point your toes too! It can take months for your brain to catch up and finally execute this pole trick.
Then, in true pole dancer fashion, we make it more challenging. Because, why not. Let’s take it AERIAL. Kicking off the ground wasn’t hard enough.
LET’S KICK OFF THE POLE.
LET’S KICK OFF THE POLE.
So the next time you’re in practice or a pole dancing class with someone who nails their Ayesha, fan girl hard for them! Encourage them, cheer for them and do the damn happy dance with them when they get it!
(Photo: @thebarewitch.project / @danceflicks)
What a journey the Fonji is. Like why not combine a shoulder mount, a flip and a shot gun grip all into one dynamic static pole trick and do it as many times as possible? Sure, we’ll rotate mid-air and try to catch our body again on a 40mm pole. (Honestly, are pole dancers okay?!)
The Fonji is as much about strength and dynamic movement as it is about bravery and trust. You need to know how to do a Shoulder Mount and a Brass Monkey press confidently to even start to learn how to Fonji.
Having a good understanding of the movement is also very important. Can you perform Shoulder Mount “pops” and pencils well? Can you grip change in your Shoulder Mount? Can you dynamically swing and control your legs in a shot gun grip?
Once you have all of that worked out, then comes the bravery (plus a spotter and a safety mat)! Committing to this trick is an absolute must – so say your positive affirmations, tighten your ponytail and go Fonji baby!
While you were joyfully happy dancing for getting your Ayesha, the Iron X was sitting in the corner of the pole studio patiently waiting to raise its beefy head. Whoever thought it would be a great idea to hold their entire body weight to the side of a pole was clearly crazy, or a bored pirate looking for something to do at sea.
The Iron X is the trick that the pole muggles in your life will ask if you can do it after one beginner pole class. It’s the trick that some random tried to do on a street pole at 3am after a night at the pub. But as you soon discover, an Iron X demands more strength and conditioning, and less tequila shots.
The Iron X is super impressive to pole dancers and non-pole dancers alike. It will never get old. Anyone who can hold themselves in that position for longer than 3 seconds should get a very large trophy.
Once you can do an Ayesha, an Iron X is not too dissimilar in the way that it works. However, to be able to HOLD an Iron X, you need to work at strengthening and conditioning your body even more so. Finding that sweet spot of being able to stop and hold the position is the challenge.
Having great middle splits will help as it provides the illusion of holding your body side on and creating that “X” shape with your arms and legs. The Iron X will make you work for her, but once you put in the time and effort training with her, she will become your pole bestie for life.
Nothing says pole glam like performing a trick identical to a rotisserie chicken. We’re unsure if Felix Cane was just stuck on the pole the day she invented the Spatchcock or if she legitimately meant to create it – either way it’s a doozy!
The Spatchcock has made this list of the hardest pole tricks because of the need for a combination of extreme flexibility and strength. Strong muscles will stretch safely, and the time put into conditioning your hips, hamstrings, back and shoulders so that you can perform this trick is a total investment.
It’s a trick to be injury-weary of (especially hamstring injuries) so prevention is key! Work with an experienced pole and/or flexibility coach to do the work of getting your body ready before trying out our beloved Spatchie.
However, once you have unlocked this trick it will forever be amazing. Usually pole dancers aren’t just in awe of the trick itself, but we also know just how hard you worked to get there! Sometimes it is YEARS in the making, so well done boo! Whip out the Spatchcock whenever you like and keep that spreadie going!
We can't forget, the good old Straddle
This had to make the list because we have ALL hit a roadblock with this bad boy at some stage in our pole dancing lives. Inverting in beginner levels is tricky, then you’re asked to take your legs off and you are suddenly introduced to a straddle, AKA holding your bodyweight upside-down while forcing a smile. Say ANGELS!
The Straddle is often the first time pole dancers realise pole is a full-body workout. Arms pulling, shoulders engaged, core switched on and leg tension is at its max. Transitioning that into another trick, like an outside leg hook, only adds yet another layer of complexity. And just like our friend the Ayesha, a Straddle can take on other challenging identities. It can progress into tricks like an Aerial Straddle and its famous cousin, the Shoulder Mount.
So, let’s all take a moment for the pole Straddle and give it the respect it deserves. Now get up and go practice those straight legs! We totally get that all pole tricks present a challenge in their own ways. It’s relative to the level you’re at with pole. Just because you’re a beginner pole dancer, doesn’t mean that the tricks you’re learning are not hard – because every pole trick is a challenge when you first learn it!
And as you will soon realise, no one is safe – not even the elite pole dancers of the world. There will always be a new level and a new devil to tackle. So, no matter what level you’re at on your pole journey, we see you and respect your pole bruises AKA pole kisses because we know you work that pole hard! What pole tricks took you months, years or even decades to master? Tell us in the comments what should be on this list of the hardest pole tricks?