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When Phones Get Banned in Pole Classes

By on May 1, 2017

I’m an addict. I admit it. My phone goes everywhere with me. There is nothing more fun to me than to video a newly conquered move in pole class, and then post the video to Facebook or Instagram. It seems like once you get past the music copyright police you are home free when it comes to posting pole videos.  But recent developments in some pole studio policies are changing that.

Some studios are now restricting the use of phones in pole classes. The main concern is student privacy. An additional concern is the sharing of the pole studios classroom information without proper compensation. Finally, cell phones in class can be a distraction. We all know the student that is constantly checking their phone and texting during class.

Kimberly Gomez from Grip and Spin studio


Let’s look at the first issue, student privacy. When I see someone making videos of their freestyle or pole moves on an adjacent pole, I make an effort to get out of the picture. It’s not because I’m worried about ending up in my supervisor’s Facebook feed. I just don’t want wreck another dancer’s video or photo inadvertently. First time it happened I remember the dancer’s friend commenting on her FB post, “Is that a guy?” and my friend trying to explain that men pole dance.

But even more sensitive of an issue is the person who does not want to end up in their supervisor’s FB feed. Given the quality of the cameras in modern smartphones it is easy to identify someone in a video or photo taken from quite a distance in a pole studio. A fun clip of someone nailing their first Superman could cost someone their job if we aren’t careful. No one wants this to happen and we know that a studio owner might be held liable for such an incident. Here is a fun and illustrative example of what can happen during pole class and how nice if was that my friend asked me if it was ok to video us together.

What about intellectual property rights? Every pole studio that I have ever attended has a teaching syllabus for every pole class they offer. At some studios, the syllabus and methods used to teach the class have been paid for in sweat and long hours of experience.  At other studios professionals have been paid to set up the classes, and teach the studio’s instructors how to teach the syllabus. You can see why videotaping parts of the class and then sharing them with your friends might upset a studio owner.

Photo of Isabel Eslava doing an Allegra at Uptown Girls Pole Fitness & Art Studio, Colombia


Honestly, an outright studio phone bans bother me. Sharing is part of the pole fun and losing that privilege because individual dancers abuse the privilege seems unfair. I would rather see issues and problems addressed on a case by case basis rather than banning phones outright. What can we do as dancers to keep our phones in class?

Communication and awareness are the keys. Ask permission before you set your phone up in the studio and then try to isolate yourself in the field of view of the camera. This is probably the safest path. If you are the only one in the picture lots of potential problems disappear. If someone else is in the picture you need consent before you can share it. If an instructor is demonstrating, you need permission to video or take pictures. Finally, it is just good manners to keep your phone use to a minimum during pole class.

What are you studio’s policies on phones in class? What experiences have you had with videos in pole class? We want to hear your thoughts!



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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