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My top 10 recommendations for all things POLE

I get asked ALOT about my recommendations for Pole. I'm talking: Where to get a pole for home, where to get the best pole wear, a quick guide to grip aids, other Pole Studios in London I love, my favourite Pole photographers, at-home learning resources (online and in book form), where to see more pole performances (comps & shows) and other Pole accessories we have that show pole is more than just a fitness class... it's a lifestyle! At some point in the future I would like to go into detail for each category, but for now I am starting with a quick insight into my top 10 general recommendations for all things Pole.


1.

Thinking of getting a pole for home? DO NOT BUY A POLE FROM EBAY OR AMAZON! If you do decide you want a pole for home I recommend X-pole or Lupit. In general X-poles are more common and the slightly cheaper of the two, they are the ones we use in the studio (Chrome, 45mm). However, people have struggled with their customer service and stock availability in the past. I have also found from my use of them that their quality has declined recently, and it feels like they are doing a bit of an 'Apple' on us and making the product only last for a set period of time before the chrome coating peels, or the tightening mechanism stops working, meaning you may have to repurchase sooner then you wanted if you are using your pole very regularly. Lupit are the newer brand on the scene and I have heard nothing but excellent things about their quality and customer service. This is reflected in their price as they are the more expensive of the two.


2.

Let's all be honest Pole Junkie is where it is at for POLE WEAR! They have the widest range of brands available and their customer service is amazing! I will definitely do a dedicated post about Pole Junkie in the future, reviewing as many brands as possible and making a look book style guide of what they stock. For a quick-fire round, my favourite brands are Pole Addict for basics, CXIX for sassy but comfortable and MilaKrasna & Rolling for if you are feeling spenny or have a photoshoot coming up. You can get £5 off you first order via this link if you want it. A couple of honourable mentions if you wanted to go for smaller, independent brands, are Hoodlum Fang they are unmatched in terms of fun patterns and excellent quality. Genie pole wear who makes amazing basics that are super comfortable and beginner friendly. And lasty Posto9 who were the first brand of dedicated pole wear I ever got and when I tell you I wore those bad boys out, I mean it! I lived in their shorts for a good few years.


3.

Grip Aids can be so personal, and we stock four different ones in the studio. Dryhands is the crack cocaine of the pole world. It is the best 'all rounder' in terms of grip and sweat drying, it is good for hands and body but it is super spenny and we don't always have it in stock. It is THE BOMB though and it is what I use when I train. We also sell Griptinite which I like in the winter as it is a little bit tackier and great for aiding hand grip. The last of the hand grips we sell is Girlie Grip, which is great in the summer as it's a little bit chalkier and better for drying out sweat. For body grip, we only stock Grip + Glow which you shake up, spray on the legs and arms before the warm up and let dry thoroughly. This stuff is great in the winter when your body can't stay warm enough to grip (think knee hangs and elbow grips) or if you have dry skin, it gives you just enough moisture to become tacky. It also smells delicious!


4.

As much as we would love to provide everything you could ever need in your pole journey, the reality is we can't... yet. If you do wish to explore other aspects of pole, things like Heels Classes, weekday pole hire or Workshops, I have a couple of recommendations for other studios for you to explore. Firstly, Akila Pole in Brixton for heels and flow. Ultimate Pole in Kentish Town, and

London Dance Academy in Old Street for daytime Pole Hire. Venus Pole in Islington, and

Pole Fit London/Ecole De Pole London in Stockwell, both for high-level tricks classes and tall poles. Kelechnekoff Studio in Peckham for the most forward-thinking and beautifully inclusive studio. The Pole Nook in Hackney is amazing for 1-2-1 sessions and is a beautiful space. I actually strongly recommend going to as many pole studios as you possibly can, and learning from as many teachers and you possibly can! It really will broaden your Pole Horizons.


5.

Pole Photoshoots may feel like one of those things you only do as an advanced student, but I am here to tell you that just ISN'T true! The best photos are always of the simplest moves and its all about the experience .

Pole Photography in London
Photo of Alex in a Spatchcock

I ADORE Ray Marsh at The Pole Nook, she is a poler so knows how to make moves look their best and is just a wonderful human! I've done a couple of shoots with her and I am always amazed by the final product. This Spatchcock is from one of my shoots with her.

Pole Fitness Photography
Photo of Alex on a Pole

The Image Cella is probably the most famous Pole Photographer and has photographed every big name poler out there. This upside-down triangle elbow thing is from a shoot with Simon. Millie Robson has also been around for a long time and is a poler herself. Her style is beautifully eccentric, stylised and alternative.


6.

So you have a pole at home and you want the best way to train away from the studio: Where do you look? There are some incredible online resources out there. My favourite style of at-home learning is online memberships, and you are in luck, most of the polers you love will have some sort of online platform ready for you with hundreds of hours worth of pre-recorded videos as well as live classes. During lockdown I subscribed to The Pole Destroyers with Dan Rosen. I used it for conditioning and to make sure I practiced my bad side at home, and they have loads of other live or pre-recorded classes of all the pole goodness you could need. Aleksandra Karolina, one of my favourite sexy heels flow teachers has her own online platform. The legend that is Kitty Velour has all the butt-shaking, floor-humping tutorials you could ever need. And lastly Anna Frost, a woman who can only be that flexible by having zero bones, has Flexy with Frost her online platform with fab flexibility live classes, and on-demand videos.


7.

But what if you're not such a fan of learning online and want other at-home resources for pole? Welp I've got that covered too!! I have the Spin City Pole Bible at home, a great reference book for pole moves, even if the names are questionable. The Pole PT has one of the most well received pole conditioning books ever published, very well written and great if you are an anatomy nerd like me. Bendy Kate has some great books on Pole-adjacent skills (handstands, flexibility etc). which I also used a lot during lockdown, they make great reference books for cute poses to do for Instagram. Pole Junkie also has your back here, they sell these really fun Pole Cards that you can use to make combos more interesting, or to get you going if you are stuck in an inspiration rut.


8.

Maybe you want to see more pole in real life? Well you have two options, competitions and performances. There are hundreds of pole competitions but my faves are Pole Theatre, London Pole Championships, Eden Pole Competition, PDSM, Elite Pole Championship, Exotic generation finally the original and ultimate Pole Championship Miss Pole Dance Australia. If you ever wanted to be inspired I would look up Felix Cane, Amy Hazel or Miss Filly's MPDA performances, MIND BLOWING! I would strongly recommend having a google and seeing what style of comp tickles your fancy, there truly is something for everyone.


9.

Pole Performances are a little tougher to nail down as they are going on all the time, but are one-offs or in different venues around the country. But obviously I have some recommendations, duh. The best pole showcase I have ever ever been to is Blackstage. They haven't announced their next showcase (at the time of writing this) but rest assured I will be first in line and front row when they do. I also thoroughly enjoyed Pxssy Parlour run by Kitty Velour, I would link to their Instagram but it has been shadow banned so... that sucks! Also not strictly pole but can we just talk about La Clique, actually we better not start because I will never stop! All I will say is LJ Marles on the tension straps is my spiritual calling. Over all it is the most clean, well put-together and professional cabaret I have ever seen. For something a bit more laid-back you have Proud Cabaret which is a fun night out and The Box Soho - warning - you may see a man shove something in his penis... yeah, it's that kind of a cabaret.

10.

We made it, go us! My 10th and final all things pole-related recommendations are some fun & cute accessories so you can show off your love of pole in public! My favourite is going to be very predictable but I don't care! Pole Pins by Nikkie at Little Paper Forest. We have our very own collaboration with Pole Dancing Pins available on our website but I would absolutely suggest having a look at her website and Etsy and maybe picking up a few others as they are all so cute! Or if you want to be slightly less subtle you can opt for some harnesses to be worn over your muggle clothes. I have a couple from Purple Sky and they are great quality for their price and of course Pole Junkie (I swear they aren't paying me, I just think they're great) has a massive selection of harnesses. Other useful things are dedicated Pole Bags so you always have your grip & cloth together and ready to go. I have loads of SoleilDee's toiletries pouches (who we did a collab with for duffel bags), which are the perfect size for your pole accessories. You can also search on Etsy for other pole-specific bags.


Those are my top 10 recommendations for all things pole. Let me know your favourite pole-related recommendations, or which of these you want more info on!


Cheers


Alex :)


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