How to put a pole dance routine together.

Emily Smith pole dancing routine

This article has been written by PDC Approved 4 star pole dancing instructor Emily Smith. Emily is the principal instructor at Emily's Pole Fitness in Swindon, UK. Emily has extensive competition and showcase experience. Check out Emily's impressive list of performances:

International Pole & Aerial Arts Tournament 2016 - Runner-Up in Doubles Hoop with Leah Hewlett
International Pole & Aerial Arts Tournament 2016 - Advanced Aerial Hoop Finalist
International Pole & Aerial Arts Tournament 2015 – Runner-Up in Doubles Hoop with Leah Hewlett
International Pole & Aerial Arts Tournament 2015 – Expert Pole Finalist - Expert Pole Most Spins Award - Expert Pole Best Costume Award
UK Professional Pole Championships 2014 – Professional Competitor (online heat)
Pole Theatre UK 2014 – Professional Competitor (online heat)
Polenastics Online UK Aerial Championships 2014 – Runner-Up in Doubles Hoop with Leah Hewlett
UK Professional Pole Championships 2013 – Professional Finalist

Polenastics Pole Championships 2013 – Expert Finalist
Emma’s Pole Dancing Competition 2013 – Runner-Up in Advanced Aerial Hoop
Emma’s Pole Dancing Competition 2013 – Expert Pole Competitor (online heat)
UK Professional Pole Championships 2012 – Professional Finalist
Bristol Pole Championships 2011 – Performer Winner
UK Professional Pole Championships 2011 – Instructor Finalist
Bucks Pole Championships 2011 – Professional Competitor, Runner-UpEmily Smith pole dance performer
Bristol Pole Championships 2010 – Professional Competitor
UKAPP 2010 – Instructor Finalist
Pole Divas 2010 – Professional Competitor
Pole Divas 2008 – Professional Runner- Up, Online heat
Local Pole Competition, 14/03/2008 – Winner
Shows Emily has organised and performed at:
Weird & Wonderful - 16/07/2016
Halloween Show – 30/10/2015
Weird & Wonderful – 29/09/2015
Halloween Show – 31/10/2014
Weird & Wonderful – 02/08/2014
Halloween Show – 01/11/2013
Weird & Wonderful – 31/08/2013
Charity Show – 29/03/2013
Halloween Show – 26/10/2012
Charity Show (set up with Kat Williamson) – 17/08/2012
Wonderland (outdoor show) – 16/06/2012
Charity Show (set up with Kat Williamson) – 24/02/2012
Halloween Show – 29/10/2011
80s Show – 08/04/2011
Halloween Show – 29/10/2010
Students’ First Show – 20/08/2010

This article is aimed at helping people put together a perfect pole routine for either a pole dance grading, showcase or competition.

If your routine is for a competition make sure you know the rules so you can tailor your routine accordingly.

Step 1 – Pick your music

Choose a song that you really like and enjoy listening to,

you need to know the music as it will show in your performance if you don’t really know the song. But saying that don’t chose your favourite song just in case you end up sick of it after listening to it over and over again. Think about if you want to dance to a slow or fast song. I suggest a song no longer than 3.5 minutes but if you want to dance to a longer song you can, just remember it is hard to dance for a long time and you don’t want to be out of breath half way through your routine.

Step 2 – Put your song into sections

Emily Smith pole dancer

Splitting your song up into sections will make it easier for you to build your routine. Think about verses and choruses, note where the song climaxes and think about what your favourite and most impressive move/ moves are that you can do at that moment. Split your song into 3 or 4 sections and treat them like mini routines which will help you remember everything better.

Step 3 - Write a list of your favourite moves

Make a list of moves you enjoy doing and can do well. This includes transitions, all the dance elements around the pole help link everything together. DO NOT include moves you like but are unsure on, you want to be confident with everything you do on the night. There is no pressure at shows, you want to have fun and enjoy performing, not stress out about moves you’re unsure will work on the night.

Emily Smith Pole dancing
Step 4 – Putting moves into combinations

Now you have your list of favourite moves and have split your song up into sections you can think about putting your moves together into combinations. Think about how you will go from one move to the next but remember routines are NOT all about tricks. Dance, spins and floor work is also important. Once you have put your moves into combinations you can then decide where they fit in with your music choice.

Step 5 – Do you want a themed routine?

If you are doing a theme, think about what kind of dance would work for your song choice and theme. For example, will you need sharp and quick transitions or slow and elegant? Cute and bouncy or scary and mischievous? Have fun with theme ideas but don’t go crazy and over do it, keeping it simple always works best.

Step 6 – Costume

Think carefully about what you are going to wear, your costume is important. It will need to suit your routine, something you can dance in and think about grip! Try and get your costume as soon as you know what you are dancing to and if you are doing a theme, the more you practice in your costume the better.Emily Smith pole dancing performer

Step 7 – Finish your routine with time to spare!

We have plenty of training sessions so please make use of them so you can finish your routine with lots of time to practice it before the show.  Keep running through your routine from start to finish until you are completely happy with it. If you are struggling to run through your routine then you will need to re-think it and maybe change bits of it so you enjoy it on the night. No stress remember, all about having fun!

Step 8 – Practice in front of people

A full run through in costume in front of people will help you be fully prepared on the night. This is a good chance to get feedback too and see if there are any little things that you can make better. The more you perform in front of others, the less nervous you will be! Practice makes perfect!

And finally, remember this is a performance!

Have fun and enjoy yourself!

Thanks to Denyer Photography for the use of the white background images.

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