This term I had signed up for classes at both Slap Dance Studio and The Yoga Pole Studio, and both studios use 40mm poles in different finishes.
40mm brass is great, but 40mm chrome is… slightly less great.
Over at The Yoga Pole Studio where I do Pole Fit technique classes, the poles are the new generation of brass X-Poles which have a natural, grippy feel to them. And thank goodness for that, because that’s where I got spotted into my first Russian Splits!
…By 3 people at the same time, and I’m not even kidding: that’s one person to hold my butt, one to direct my extended leg, and one to glue my foot onto the pole.
(And you thought that pole dancing isn’t a team sport…)
Being a self-confessed grip addict, I usually slather myself in shaving gel. But because the brass finish of the new X-Poles is different from the ones at Bobbi’s, shaving gel can make me a little too grippy… I tried to do a superman once and it felt like my inner thighs were getting waxed by a gorilla. OUCH!
Luckily, I scored a sample pack of Dew Point spray grip to try. (Thanks, Yoga Pole Studio!) It comes in Light, Medium, and Ultra, and is basically a liquid moisturizer for your body. So unlike shaving gel which leaves my knees sticking to each other long after class has ended, the Dew Point sort of disappears into the skin after a while.
The Medium grip gives me just the right level of stickiness for leg hangs and Supermans on new-gen brass X-Poles without leaving fierce red pole burns on my skin. And I’ve successfully learned some new trick combos without too much fear of falling off.
Using chrome poles is a totally different story though! I need to be both super warm and super brave to attempt new tricks, and I still might not be able to pull them off. Shaving gel does nothing for me on chrome except to help me fall off, and even Dry Hands doesn’t seem to help very much.
In fact, I feel like my skill level drops by half on chrome because I just slip and slide off the pole. Simple things like Laybacks become impossible, and I wouldn’t dream of attempting a Russian split even with 5 people spotting me, unless someone invents industrial-strength body magnets that can work on X-Poles.
So far, the Ultra version is the only option out of the three Dew Point options that lets me stay in an Inside leg hang well enough to Allegra, as well as Layback. Which is very useful because you just can’t do a Brass Monkey from Layback when your head has slid all the way down to the floor!
Now that term 1 is over, I can safely say that I can see what the advantages are from the different finishes of poles. Chrome is way gentler on my hands, (but harsher on my self-esteem) and I can do Superman bum rolls without ripping off any skin. whereas the new stickier brass X-Poles are great for overall confidence in trying new tricks.
In all, training at 2 new studios and trying out different tricks and styles has been a great eye-opening experience. But I have to confess that I still miss my familiar 38mm brass…