How Do Pole Dancers Prepare For A Competition

Getting ready for your next pole dancing competition?

Maybe you’re a little rusty.

Maybe you stumbled into the whimsical world of pole competition and decided to give it a shot!

Pole dancing is a great workout for those who dread going to the gym. This article aims to provide pole dancers with a pocket full of tips before spinning like a ballerina! (Did you catch that TikTok reference? Well, you’ll be able to pole dance to any song with practice and precision.)

Via Exotic Pole Dance "Human" | Showcase General Rehearsal - MPDSMTL

Here are some tips on how you could prepare yourself to smash your next pole dancing competition:

1. Take note of the competition deadline 

You should have enough time (e.g. 3-4 months) before you submit your performance. Many competitors will train full time, 6-7 times per week, for 5-6 hours so you need to put in the hard work.

Evgeny Greshilov shared that in the competition period, she trained about 5-6 hours per day 6-7 times per week. 

Karol Helms also shared that when training for a competition, she trains 5-6 days a week for up to 4 hours per day.  

This would give you sufficient time in your preparation process to plan your rehearsal schedules, training sessions, and recondition your body if you have not been pole dancing regularly.

2. Eat well

From what I have heard from my friends who are pole dancers, they eat 5-7 light meals a day or a full breakfast, light lunch and full dinner to replenish their strength. Regardless of how many meals you choose to have, a pole dancers' diet should consist of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

Via BBC Good Food: Healthy Avocado Recipes 

One dish my friend recommended is cheese and steamed broccoli with a side of apple salad! Even though you might not be able to have fast food regularly, it’s important to have fun with your food! Even if you now have to be stricter with yourself.

3. Take note of the competition entrance fees and setup

Some performers often divert their focus to the prize money and competition’s accolades without taking into account the possible fees which may arise from just competing in the competition.

This includes travel fees, accommodation fees, costume fees, etc. Planning your expenditure helps to organize your savings without panicking or compromising your regular expenditure.

Competitions have

  • different criteria,
  • different stage dimensions,
  • numbers of poles,
  • distance between poles,
  • costume,
  • point systems with point values for compulsory moves (strength moves, flexibility moves, spinning, and aerial deadlifts), and
  • music requirements. 

Get as much information from the competition organizers as you can before you start choreographing.

4. Stretching every day should be the norm. 

Like ballet dancers and aerial silks artists, pole dancing also requires a strong core and a certain degree of flexibility.

Personally, stretching can get tedious and too mechanical at times. In these moments of procrastination, it’s important to note that our bodies get comfortable very easily when we take out the “uncomfortable” bits of our daily routine.

Via Pinterest 

It’s like how Duo the Owl haunts our notifications bar every time we ignore their reminders to finish our Duolingo course. Eventually, we would lose our skills and embodied knowledge, even though stretching is a fundamental of any performing art form.

To curb this, it helps to video call your friends or put a funky playlist on replay. You could even put an old episode of your favorite TV show on! The whole point is switching up the vibe to your stretching routine but also getting it done!

5. Dance, Dance, Dance!

Movement is the core of pole dancing. Have a bunch of upbeat songs to vibe to! It could be your party anthems, your favorite Lady Gaga album, or even your clubbing playlist!

Whatever it is, don’t forget to bust those moves throughout the training weeks. You could dance while making dinner while taking a break from work or even as your showering, but be careful of course.

6. Choosing your Costume and Makeup

Just like rehearsing, you would want your costume to be comfortable and easy to breathe in. However, adding a little bit of sparkle and accessories would breathe more life into your performance


Via Pinterest

Your costume should be simple, yet effective in bringing about the intention of your performance. Most importantly, have fun with it and remember not to use moisturizer the day before!

6. Choreograph your routine with other pole dancers!

Though pole dancing seems relatively individual, it can be so much more than that!

Hopping into the studio alone after a long day may be therapeutic for some, but one may never improve without critique and feedback. By choreographing your dance routines with friends or instructors, you would be able to bounce ideas off each other and value-add to your dance routines.

One other possible way of switching up your dance routine is recording your rehearsals and getting a fellow pole dancer to review them.

This would certainly help in recognizing your bad habits on stage. Don’t worry all performers have their little quirks even when performing!

You would be able to fuel your creative juices by looking back at old rehearsals or competition routines. Remember that receiving and internalizing your feedback is most significant. 

I believe that all rehearsals truly reveal the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that go into crafting the best performance. Where’s the fun if you go through your journey alone? Having your fellow instructors, dancers, and choreographers with you makes the experience more worthwhile!

7. Don’t Give Up!

Do not feel dejected if other pole dancers progress further and faster than you do! Our gravity-defying spins may not always match what we initially had in mind. It can be frustrating when this happens and understandably so.

If this happens while you are choreographing or rehearsing your routine, review your work so far and identify what you are practicing incorrectly and focus on what you want to gain out of this performance. Perhaps talking to other pole dancers may help as they could provide alternative solutions or ideas!

Remember to participate actively in self-care after difficult sessions too. While pole dancing may be a strong passion of yours, you should not compromise your health over it!

Sharing from Arloa Reston, a participant of the North American Pole Dance Championship in Chicago, during competition prep, it is exhausting. 

I told my husband, it's funny that I can go to the studio and warm-up and do tricks on the pole, but when I drive the hour back home, I'm so stiff I can barely get out of the car! I think it's due to age. I love it anyway! I think that all of the concentration and prep for the competition made me a better poler. 


Before you learn to run, you have to learn how to walk. In an increasingly busy society that thrives off the notion of “putting yourself above everyone else”, our ambitions can often get to our heads if we do not strategically plan our route to success.

Taking mental and physical care of yourself is just as crucial as staying on top of your rehearsals.

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Author: Hannah Elizabeth Lim
Hannah is a content creation and journalism student pursuing freelance acting and writing. She is based in Singapore and is always on the hunt for cheap pho. As a young artist, one of her goals include learning pole dancing. Check out her personal food blog @ elichomps.
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