So you need to come up with a routine, and you have no idea where to start?!
When planning out your first pole dance routine, it’s important to figure out early what “type” of dancer you are. It’s great to be well-versed in many styles of dance; however, as you develop or continue to develop in your pole fitness journey you will notice that one style may speak to you more than another.
A few common examples…..
Artistic: Your style is inspired by ballet or contemporary dance movements. You like your movements to flow or tell a story. You won’t see any booty-poppin’ or heel clacks in this routine.
Exotic: Naturally, this is probably the go-to style we think of when someone mentions pole dancing. It’s the body rolls, drop splits, etc. that make this style of dance so much fun! It’s all about feeling sexy!
Athletic: You aren’t really the dancing-type. You prefer to perform a more acrobatic performance, and focus on strength and challenging moves.
Of course, you could be a blend of all 3. There’s no right or wrong style of pole dancing. Just do what speaks to YOU!
Picking a Song
Once you’ve figured out what style you would like to go with for your routine, the next step is to pick a song that will fit your vision. If you’ve selected a modern/mainstream song, it probably has an 8 count. We won’t dive into music theory here, as this post is for beginners. If you can find a song where the simple 8-count is easily detected, it will help you time your movements better. If you are new, or you have no idea idea how to count music, then pick a song you know really well, and could easily sing in your head without the music. It’s important to develop a visual blueprint for your routine. Print or write down all of the words to the song. As you plan out your routine, you’ll want to write it out with the words of the song.
Building Your Routine
This is just an example of how to put together a routine! As you progress, you will create new processes for developing routines. Not every process is the same. This article was created to give you a framework.
Let’s get some terms down first. Combos are a combination of 2 or more moves. For example, chair spin into front hook is a combo. Transitions are the things you do in-between your tricks and combos, OR something that connects 2 moves.
Step 1: Pick 10 moves (tricks or spins).
Step 2. Pick 5 transitions and 5 pieces of floorwork. The floorwork can include ways to transition to-from the pole and floor.
Step 3: Put together 4-5 combos. Example Combo: Trick>Spin>Transition>Trick
Step 4: Write out your combos in the order you want to do them, then add in any remaining transitions and floorwork if needed to complete the routine.
Example Of A Routine:
Transition (ex: Sexy Pole Walk)
Transition (ex: Body Rolls)
Transition (ex: Pirouettes)
Final Move or Combo
Your routine should go in waves. Make sure there is evenness to your routine. Waiting until the end to do all of your harder tricks is not ideal. If you are being judged in a competition, judges have already made many decisions about scoring at that point. It’s a good idea to start off strong and pull your audience in. You don’t necessarily have to end your routine with the most complex combo, but you want to end with intention. Don’t let it look like you just threw a move in there to finish everything off. Make sure it fits.
Do’s & Don’ts
Do make your movements fit the words, theme, and pace of the song.
Do use more than one pole (if possible).
Do write down your routine and match it to printed lyrics of your song.
Do record yourself and go back and watch it.
Don’t forget floorwork! It’s not just about the pole.
Don’t look at your pole or floor the whole time, engage with the audience.
Don’t forget to breathe.
Don’t rush through the routine. Even if it’s a fast song, there are appropriate times you can hold a pose so the audience can see it fully.
Don’t wait until the day of your showcase to wear your stage outfit. It’s important to practice a few times in what you will actually be wearing.