FAQ

Here you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about my pole dancing classes, lessons and worksops. If you have other pole dance related questions that are not listed here, please contact me and I will be happy to help you!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Are Online Classes?

My online lessons are pre-recorded and available to watch on demand. They are not intended to replace in-person training at the studio; they are designed to supplement your learning and support you between classes. You can use these tutorials to train from the comfort of your own home, whilst still making progress on your goals.

How do I sign up?

Simply click my ‘Store‘ page! Here you will see the different membership and course options available. Once you have purchased your membership or course, you will be able to gain access to the lessons. Just make sure you log in to start, and log out when you’re done, every time.

Can I watch a lesson before I decide to join?

Sure thing! I have a lesson that is suitable for first-timers that you can watch, for free, on my homepage. You don’t need to have a pole at home, all you need is floor space.

Where can I buy a pole for my home?

I am affiliated with Lupit Pole, you can buy a pole from their website and use my handy discount code IRISHPOLE123. Hurrah for discounts! 

I recommend a 45mm stainless steel pole.

I don't have a pole at home, can I still join?

Of course you can! I have loads of floorwork and conditioning lessons available that you can access on the dedicated ‘Floorwork Only’ option. In terms of floor space, you only need about the space of a yoga mat to take part.

But training at home isn't the same?

Yep, there is no substitute for training with other humans in an encouraging environment that has full-length mirrors, loads of floorspace and lovely high poles. Online training is better than no training at all, I promise you that you will be glad that you’re using my tutorials! They’re highly detailed and designed to help you learn at your own pace.

I don't want to do online pole dancing lessons, why don't you open a studio?

I actually used to have pole dancing studios in Dublin and Galway. Now, I am focusing on online lessons.

Whilst it is flattering that I get so many requests to teach pole dance classes all over the country, I simply don’t have the resources to do that.

I am not Starbucks; I a one-woman team. Everything that is Irish Pole Dance Academy-related is me.

My very extensive library of pole dancing tutorials that I developed during the lockdowns works in helping people to learn pole dancing safely at home; I’ve seen unreal results from participants!

All you need is a pole at home, I recommend Lupit Pole and you can use my discount code IRISHPOLE123.

What should I wear for a pole dancing class?

As it is a dance class, I recommend wearing clothing that you can move freely and comfortably in. Form-fitting shorts and a comfortable t-shirt or tank top are good. Leg-warmers or knee pads are also recommended for your comfort.

For the warm-up I advise wearing long pants with your shorts underneath, so that you are ready to get on the pole after stretching!

You can choose to work barefoot in my pole dance lessons as well as in my flexibility and conditioning lessons (you can leave your trainers at home!).

If you choose to dance in heels, I advise wearing pole dance specific shoes, such as Pleasers. I advise against wearing normal high heels as these don’t offer the same ankle support as shoes that are designed for pole dancing. In my lessons, I will point out the important techniques that you need to know in order to be able to dance safely and effectively in heels.

Also, I know that pole dancing lessons can be daunting as it is a highly visual form of movement. Some of my students like to wear fishnets and cheeky booty shorts with red lipstick, some prefer to dance in hoodies and baggy pants with zero make-up, and others are somewhere in between. Please know that whatever way you choose to dress will not be judged or critiqued.

I have always wanted to try pole dancing! Where do I start?

If you are a first-timer, I recommend you begin with my ‘Floorwork Fundamentals’ 6-lesson online course

I designed this course for absolute beginners to learn at home without needing to invest in a pole. It covers dance movements and short choreographies on the floor to develop flow, strength, mobility and coordination. All of the skills and movements that you will learn during this course are directly applicable to pole dancing.

What is the difference between 'pole dance' and 'pole fitness'?

There is no difference, apart from semantics!

Here at Irish Pole Dance Academy I take a holistic approach towards pole dance instruction. This means that my classes, lessons and workshops focus on the dance side of pole as well as the fitness side: I include choreography as standard, as well as awesome pole tricks and exercises.

You will learn how to move around and with the pole, as well as learning floorwork and connecting smooth transitions between your pole poses, not just fancy tricks in isolation. This is why I prefer to use the term pole dance rather than pole fitness: I feel it more accurately describes my approach to teaching. After all, pole dancing classes were first invented by strippers; it’s important to acknowledge the history of this artform.

Do I need a lot of upper body strength to take part in a pole dancing class?

There are no pre-requisite strength, flexibility or skill levels required in order to take my pole dance lessons.

With my pole dancing lessons, you will start at the very foundation with grounded movements, poses and spins, and to build upon whatever strength/flexibility you already have.

I will not be forcing you to do crazy upside down tricks from the start; we build up to this in a controlled and safe manner.

For anyone at any fitness level, I always recommend that you consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.

Do I need to have a background in dance to try pole dancing?

Nope! Although it is very helpful if you already have a dance / fitness background already, it is not necessary as I will teach you all of the fundamentals, good technique and everything else you need to know. You have the freedom to progress and learn at your own pace!

Is there an age limit for pole dancing?

Nope! Everyone is welcome to join! There is no maximum age limit for potential pole dance students. It is never “too late” to start. However, if you are under 18 I can’t permit you to join (sorry!).

Is there a weight limit?

Nope, no weight limit either. And no, you will not “break the pole”. I aim to create a body-neutral environment in my lessons.

Is there anything I should avoid doing before pole dancing?

I advise avoiding the use of body lotions, oils, fake tans or oil-based moisturizers within 24 hours of practicing pole dancing as this will prevent your skin from properly adhering to the pole. Water-based moisturizers are fine.

I have a medical / physical condition that I am worried may hinder me in taking pole dancing lessons, what should I do?

I recommend that you speak with your doctor/physician to check that this type of exercise is suitable for you and to get a doctor’s note if necessary.

Can I wear high heels when pole dancing?

If you would like to dance in heels, you may do so! My pole dancing lessons focus on the unapologetically sexy side of pole dance (after all, pole dancing was invented by strippers so let’s celebrate that fact), creating seamless movement between your tricks and slowing everything down.

However, I advise that you chose a ‘dancer’ brand of heels (Pleaser, Ellie, Anthonys, etc.) as these are designed for safety and comfort for pole dancers. Normal heels or ‘going out’ heels are not advised, as they are not designed for pole dancing in and have a risk of causing damage to you and your equipment.

I'm not ready for the sexy side of pole dance...

That’s totally cool. You don’t have to wear stiletto heels or sparkly hot pants to enjoy my pole dance lessons. I aim to foster a supportive and empowering environment at this online studio: all styles are welcome.

Choreography is a part of of my pole dance lessons and I guarantee that you will love it and reap the benefits of learning a structured routine!

As well as this, I feel it’s important to acknowledge and respect that pole dance originates from stripping. Whilst it’s totally grand to not want to dance in heels, it is not at all grand to adopt a “hashtag not a stripper” attitude when practicing pole dance. I feel it’s not hard to respect our stripper foremothers.

I'm a guy, can I take part in pole dancing lessons?

Of course men are welcome to join! It’s 2023 after all.

I'm a non-binary / non-gender conforming person, can I take part in pole dancing lessons too?

Absolutely. I have a lot of clients who are non-binary as well as some clients who are transgender. I try very hard to make this online space welcoming to all, because I really think that should be the norm in this day and age.

But, there are only 2 genders?!

Gender is a social construct. 

 

Is Arlene qualified and insured to teach pole dancing?

Yes. I have completed the relevant professional training courses in order to teach pole dance safely and effectively, you can rest assured that you are in good hands!

Here is a list of my certifications:

  • Liquid Motion Floorwork 1.0
  • Liquid Motion Floorwork 2.0
  • Liquid Motion Heels Floorwork
  • XPERT Pole Fitness ‘Essential Science of Heels’
  • elevatED Pole Fitness Level 1 & 2
  • XPERT Pole Fitness Levels 1 – 4
  • Vertical Dance Pole Fitness
  • Freestyle Fitness Yoga
  • Exercise to Music
  • Moon Mná Women’s Circles Facilitator

I am also qualified in Sports Specific and Occupational First Aid, with the relevant insurance.

I want to become a pole dancing instructor, how I become qualified?

Unfortunately, at this moment in time I do not offer professional training programs.

I recommend checking out the relevant training courses (eg: Xpert Pole Fitness, Liquid Motion, elevatED, etc.).

I recommend having a high level of experience with pole dance prior to taking one of these professional training courses. You can take private lessons with me and I will share my skills and high level of expertise with you, which will be very helpful for you on your journey to become a pole dance instructor.

Please note that taking part in my lessons does not qualify you or give you the necessary skills that are required in order to become a pole dance instructor.

I joined a course / membership and decided that it's not for me. What should I do?

Sure thing, I totally get that folks change their minds!

If you have a membership, you can cancel your membership before the next billing date.

If you log into your account and click on My Account > Subscriptions > Your Susbcription ID (it will look something like “#12345 – Membership Subscription: All Tutorials” > Subscription Info > Cancel you can cancel the membership from there.

You can also refer to this helpful video here for a visual guide.

Unfortunately I cannot refund you if you join one of my courses or memberships and then decide you don’t want to continue, you agree to these terms and conditions upon signing up.

I am a person suffering from anxiety / body dysmorphia / an eating disorder / mental health issues. Can pole dancing help me?

Pole dancing is an excellent outlet for creativity and expression and can work alongside a mental health hygiene practice. I aim to create a body-neutral environment.

My clients, that I am proud to support, have reported mental health benefits such as reduced anxiety, increased self-worth and increased body confidence when taking pole dancing classes alongside proper therapy.

I also aim to create a judgement free atmosphere for persons with mental health issues, including self-harm: I won’t point at your scars and make a big song and dance about it!

Please note that I am not a qualified mental health practitioner / counsellor, and that pole dancing classes are not a substitute for proper therapy.

I am a neurodivergent person, can you accommodate me in your pole dancing lessons?

No problemo! I understand that no two people learn the same way. I aim to be as inclusive and accommodating as possible in regards to neurodiversity with these pole dancing lessons. I have taught many neurodivergent folks in my classes over the years. Simply let me know if there’s anything I can do accommodate your learning style.

rafahlia pole dancing

…In IPDA, I not only felt comfortable among others, I genuinely felt the desire to applaud others; I wasn’t feeling jealous of other girls. The inclusiveness I felt was amazing. It doesn’t matter if I am Greek, it doesn’t matter if I think my legs are proportionally way bigger than my arms, in IPDA there are people that are happy to see me and I am happy to see them.

Rafahlia