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15 Things To Bring to Your First Pole Class

By on April 13, 2017

At Bad Kitty® we frequently get asked the following question by pole newbies: “What should I bring to my first pole class?” In an attempt to get a complete list we crowd sourced our team of writers for answers. The result is a comprehensive list of items you will need for your first pole class, along with some tips for your state of mind and a few things you should leave at home. Hint: Your first pole class is all about your mindset.

1. An open mind

Pole dancing is challenging – physically, mentally and sometimes even emotionally. And although pole dance is more widely accepted, there is still a stigma associated with it. Come to pole class ready to embrace your experience and you will increase your enjoyment tenfold.

Young healthy woman practicing yoga on the beach at sunset by Rostyslav Zabolotnyi on


2. A positive attitude

If you show up thinking you can’t, you won’t. Your attitude is everything. Come wanting to learn and ready for a challenge. Learn to respect your limitations with grace.

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3. Water

It’s a workout. You WILL get thirsty.

Beautiful young runner by Jozef Polc on


4. Shorts.

Something with breathable, flexible fabric that allows you to move freely. It’s recommend they be above the knee, but do not have to be short-shorts (yet). Check out some of the “Original Pole Wear” PoleFit® pole shorts at Bad Kitty. Bad Kitty® was the first company to study the movements & motions of pole dancers with the goal of creating the perfect fit for pole dancers, by pole dancers.


5. Legwarmers. Especially if it is a floor work class.

These athletic ribbed thigh highs are the perfect length for floor work.


6. Knee pads

Also indispensable for floor work- especially when you are first learning. Check out Mighty Grip for pole friendly knee pads.

7. A Yoga Mat.

Some studios provide them, however, you may want to bring your own too.

8. The expectation that you will sweat. Don’t go to the gym and then to pole class.

If you go to the gym before class, you might not have the energy for class and you will have a higher risk for injury if you are tired. Many people think that you have to already be fit in order to take pole class, that is a myth. Taking pole dance will teach you strength, no matter what level you are starting at. However, like any sport in takes dedication and hard work to get better. It will take time to develop  strength, endurance, and flexibility. Don’t expect to invert on your first class, there are steps you need to learn to build up to the harder moves. Once you get hooked on pole, you will find that cross training will also help with your strength and endurance.

Also if you are prone to excessive hand sweating consider investing in a grip aid. Don’t know what the hell that means or need more help picking one? Check out this article on grip aids on our blog.


9. Plan to be barefoot.

Street shoes are forbidden in most pole studios. Aside from tracking in outside dirt, they also lack the rubber sole that ensure you will not slip on the floor. The heels come later. If it is a floor work class then bring socks so you can glide around.

10. Child-like wonder and playfulness.

Pole dancing is magical in a lot of ways; eventually you defy gravity and move effortlessly. Unlike many other dance disciplines, pole has a lot of room for interpretation and creativity when it comes to moves. Being curious about the ways your body responds to the movement and being willing to explore how that movement lives in your body will make your pole dancing experience even richer.


Harmony by Tatyana Nevmerzhytska on


11. Courage.

You will learn to hang upside down by one leg. You learn to climb to the top of the pole. You will learn to spin with just one arm. All of this will seem terrifying at first. Maybe even impossible. But with courage, it will not only become possible, it will become effortless. And then you will tackle the next scary obstacle. Pole requires you to show up and be brave. Bringing a buddy to class can also help alleviate the nerves.

12. A willingness to trust your instructor.

When you are doing terrifying things, whether that means hanging upside down on a pole 14 feet in the air or strapping on 8 inch heels for the first time or even exploring sensual movement, your instructor is your rock. He/she is there to guide you safely through your classes and bring you to the next level. But in order for that to happen, you have to trust them. They have your back. Literally.

13. A willingness to be vulnerable.

Pole dancing is not for the faint of heart. It can be a highly sensual movement, and sensuality requires vulnerability. In fact, most dance requires a certain level of emotionality and connection in order to fuel a connection with its audience. And that also requires vulnerability. But taking it a few steps back, putting on your first pair of booty shorts require vulnerability. So does standing in a class full of people as a first time pole student.


14. If the class is exotic, wear something that makes you feel sexy.

If the class includes any exotic techniques, be sure something that inspires you. Check out these sexy sets for inspiration. Perfect for layering underneath a tee shirt or button down. You don’t have to wear a whole outfit to feel sexy. It can be something as simple as a choker or thigh highs for your first class.

15. Respect.

Your teachers, your fellow classmates and the pole community are a hardworking, hard playing and very passionate group of people. While pole may not be for everyone, respect for other peoples choices and lifestyles is. We ask that you check your judgments at the door.

There are many types of pole dance styles including Sport-style, Fitness-based, Sensual pole, Floorwork, and Tricksters. Each has its own place in the pole world and there is often overlap. Not sure what class to choose? Check out this guide to Choosing the Right Pole Class. Studios teach different styles of pole. To find a studio that offers what you seek check out the listings
We know that walking in to your first pole class takes mad courage and we applaud you for taking that first step! If you want to know a little bit more about being new in pole, check out this article on our blog. You can also learn more about the positive benefits of pole and different studio styles around the world on the Bad Kitty® Blog.

And a few things not to bring:

Make sure not to wear jewelry, especially rings and bracelets or anything dangly. Jewelry scratches and can also damage the poles. Also don’t wear lotion or oils on your skin before class. Oils and lotions guarantee that you will not stick to the pole and the person you share the pole with will not either. If you are incredibly dry and have to wear lotion, there are some brands that are less slippery and more grippy – check out this article for some suggestions.

And be sure to leave all your f*cks at home.


Do you have anything you would add to this list? We want to hear from you! Email with your tips for pole newbies. Let’s make everyone’s first pole experience the best! For more inspiration follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Claire Griffin Sterrett
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Claire Griffin Sterrett

Editor in Chief at Bad Kitty Inc.
Writer, pole dancer, teacher, social worker and editor of this whole awesome thing.You can find out more about me at
Claire Griffin Sterrett
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