Top 5 Tips To Stay Motivated Through Pole Slumps

We’ve all been there – you have been pole dancing for a while now and suddenly you seem to lose your ‘pole mojo’. Your normal classes aren’t as enjoyable as they were, and you are struggling to push forward with your training. Here are my top five tips to help you beat the pole slump, and kick yourself up the ass and back into gear!

Keep It Fun!

Why did you start pole in the first place? Was it to have a fun workout? Meet new people? Learn a cool skill? Then why are you putting so much pressure on yourself! Most people’s pole slump is actually caused by the pressure they put on themselves to be ‘great at pole’ (whatever that means!).

After the first year or so of pole things go from ‘OK this is challenging but I’ll probably get it in a few weeks’, to ‘OMG this is impossible, will I EVER learn this?!’ *panicked wailing* The excitement of getting a new move every week fades into the background, and you can easily become deflated if you approach these harder levels with the same expectations as you did the beginner moves.

Remember: pole is meant to be FUN! Don’t put pressure on yourself to get every move or progress as quickly as your class mates. If you joined pole to learn some cool moves, get fit and have a good time, then remind yourself of this, and approach your classes with this mindset.

Set Yourself Manageable & Rewarding Goals

A great way to breathe life into your rapidly declining  motivation is to set yourself clear and manageable goals. ‘Goal achievement’ is why pole is so addictive, fun and rewarding when you first start. Your instructor tells you, ‘Today we are going to learn this new spin’ and then you do, hurrah! When you exercise endorphins (aka happy chemicals) are released into your system, and on an emotional level achieving something new elicits an immediate response from the reward centers in your brain. This is a powerful cocktail and explains that post-pole ‘high’ when you have learned a new move.

However, as you progress, you don’t get set goals that are easily achievable within a few lessons, so you don’t get that emotional ‘reward’ as often. This is when you need to practice a little self-discipline! Your pole slump is a bit like your brain having a whinging toddler moment – ‘I want my reward, and I want it now!’ To off set this you can lay out your own goals: these can be small and manageable, things that you can achieve in one lesson, or bigger and long term.

Here are some examples:
  • Learn a cool low flow combo using my favourite spin (1 lesson)
  • Relearn my beginner spins and clean them up (4 lessons)
  • Learn a 1 minute routine with 2 spins and 1 inverted trick (4 lessons)
  • Get my front splits (long term goal – 6 months)
  • Enter a competition (long term goal – 6 months)

pole dance tutorials to do I would try to swerve you away from the longer term goals as they can seem too big and unmanageable. What I would do with those is break them into sub-tasks that you can try and achieve in shorter time periods, such as: start flexibility training twice per week, take ‘before’ progress photo, lower by 2 inches, get calf to touch floor, and so on.

Sit down and write what you want to work on in a note book. Ticking off your own goals will help to motivate you in your training as you’ll get back some of that emotional ‘reward’.

Mix Things Up With Workshops or Pole Dance Tutorials

If your usual classes are leaving you feeling deflated then the obvious option is to try something new and mix up your training. Usually just do tricks? Go to a choreography class in stead for a while. Usually do sexy style? Try out a class that focuses on lyrical.

There are so many ways to challenge yourself and improve your pole out there. Do a workshop with your favourite pole star. Look up pole dance tutorials online to try new moves or routines. Follow new pole dancers on Instagram who are a similar level to you and see if you can copy their moves (that’s right, you don’t always need to follow mega pole stars to get cool pole ideas! This way you can actually practice what you watch, rather than just dribbling in awe).

Don’t keep doing the same old training and complain when you are getting a bit bored or unmotivated – you are in charge of how you are feeling!

Don’t Be Afraid To Take Some Time Off

It's OK to lie around like a cat for a couple of weeks

It’s OK to lie around like a cat for a couple of weeks

If you have tried all of the above and you are still really not feeling it, then you can try taking a bit of time off. Don’t worry about doing this! It can often be the thing that you need to re-spark your pole passion. I would recommend not putting an indefinite leave on it however, so ensure that you schedule in your return date so that you don’t end up pushing it off.

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What are your top tips?

So there you have it… I hope this has been useful, and if you are currently going through a pole slump then make sure you some of this advice and set yourself some goals, watch some pole dance tutorials, and maybe even take a short break if you need to. Tame that naughty toddler in your brain!

Have you ever experienced a pole slump? What did you do to get out of it? Post your advice in the comments below.

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