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Trusting Your Pole Dance Partner With Your Body and Soul

By on February 17, 2017

What do you look for in a partner if you decide to try a pole duet? Typically, you might think of things like body type, musicality, gymnastic ability, personality, stage presence and a number of other requirements that are largely related to the technical side of the pole work. What we don’t always think about is how safe your partner makes you feel when you work with them.

There are two kinds of safety. Physical safety and emotional safety.  No one wants to worry about their partner’s safety skills when they are ten feet above the stage floor. But how about feeling emotionally safe? Can you express your opinion about the work you are doing together or make a mistake in a rehearsal or performance and walk away from the experience still wanting to work with that partner? Can you trust your partner with your body AND soul?


I never really considered how important emotional trust was for a woman in pole doubles until I was the only guy enrolled in one of Tracee Kafer’s Finding Your Freestyle Workshops. Over the course of the three-day workshop I had a chance to partner with all of the dancers that were taking the workshop.

I asked a few of the dancers I worked with in Tracee’s workshop and some of the dancers I have worked with in other stage performances if the gender of the dancer makes a difference. I also asked what quality in a partner makes the most difference in the art you create together. The answers were split between physical trust and emotional trust. Two of the best answers came from Daisy and Shawndalanea.

Trust by Gretchen Kyte on


Daisy emphasized the physical trust you need to have with your partner. Daisy, who was a professional ballet dancer says “I partnered with men professionally for over a decade in a ballet company. In two contemporary pieces, I partnered with females but have never partnered with females on the pole. Partnership in dance is trust based. If the trust isn’t there, the partnership will never function.” Daisy had a ballet teacher who made the dancers switch roles with one another. Daisy said it really helped them understand where they lacked trust and helped them to understand the body mechanics of their partners and themselves.

Still Believe, Ashley & Jerilyn by Ashley Giles UK on


Shawndalanea’s answer focused on emotional trust. She has done some doubles lap dance work with women and basically didn’t enjoy it. She said there was no connection. She has a male partner that she really enjoys working with and she said that the emotional trust made a big difference. “It was fun working with him because we cared about each other’s needs, safety and boundaries. We were truly interested in creating something new and beautiful to both of us.” She also mentioned that the male dancer she works with is able to show vulnerability in his dance and that quality makes working with him very comfortable for her.

From my own experience in partnering I find that giving the partnership time to grow is important. Some partners are explosive and you know that the routine is going to work the very first time you work together. Others may take time, or simply may not be a good fit. Building trust and creating an atmosphere of emotional and physical safety, especially as a male partner, can go a long way when it comes to doubles pole work.

What experiences have you had with trust and doubling up in pole dance?



Bob Zamora

Bob Zamora

Bob works full time as a research meteorologist.During his thirty-seven year career he has published his work in several scientific research journals, and participated in weather research experiments all over the United States.He started pole dancing in 2009. Bob has performed in a number of Denver area pole shows and the 2013 Great Midwest Pole Dance Championship. He was a Masters Division finalist in 2013 Colorado Pole Championship.Bob is a student of USPDF 2010 Silver Medalist Estee Zakar. Bob’s pole style is inspired by sexy, artistic pole dancers, and contemporary ballet dancers. In addition to pole dance, Bob also takes ballet classes, and plays ice hockey with his beer league friends.He lives in Westminster, Colorado with his wife Carol.
Bob Zamora

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