Here at the Irish Pole Dance Academy we strive to create the best pole dancing classes in Dublin! But just don’t take our word for it, read what our clients have to say about our instructors and our classes…
“I wanted to find some fun exercising! Before enrolling at Irish Pole Dance Academy, I didn’t think this was possible; I was so bored of the gym. I had no idea I would find as well such a supportive community and kind friends.
I moved to Dublin to study Costume Design – I originally got a place because of the drawings I’d done of dancers and I didn’t really know anyone here in Dublin. When I started pole dancing my outlook on everything became more positive and I began to set small goals for myself like climbing to the top of the pole or inverting for the first time. Though I have always admired dancers of any kind, I never saw my body being capable of moving that way in 1000 years! At the same time I guess that’s why I’m so fascinated by it all. I began to see a change in my body’s strength and my health and now I want to continue pole dancing for life…
It all began when I saw an aerial performance in Wicklow one summer at 16 and thought WOW AMAZING and since then have always wondered what it’s like to go upside down like that… now I know!
Before I signed up to pole dancing classes, I was worried I would be too weak to do anything – I think that’s the most common thing people say and like anyone I was blown away by the strength I began to develop. I never felt welcome doing anything sporty before so I was worried about being judged but that’s not at all the mindset of anyone at the studio.
When I got to Dublin I gave pole dancing a Google, rang Arlene and never looked back… When I saw photos of the studio it looked like a different world with all its pretty lights so I guess I was like a moth! It hasn’t changed – one of my favourite things to do is spin around, look up and see the lights all blur together. The studio is more amazing with every performance I see there.
Before I joined pole dancing, I did just a little exercise with spinning classes – now I think of it as ‘wasted time I could have spent dancing’. I’ve always struggled with my view of my body. For example I used to love swimming as a kid but I gave it up because I began to hate it since I was teased for being fat/ugly/slow/whatever and I have always wanted to bounce back from that and feel powerful in my own skin. I still find a lot of tricks in pole a struggle but seeing my progress and having a supportive atmosphere in the studio makes a difference every day.
I think no matter what background or age we are when we show up at the studio we all want similar things – to improve and have fun. I feel there are lots of women now I can turn to for advice, older or younger, everyone is so approachable. And of course the teachers are the best out there!
To anyone else who might be on the fence about joining a pole dancing class, you are so much stronger than you think, even if you’re not yet as strong as you want to be. (And you’ll live through the bruises!)”
“My main goal when I first signed up was to literally get out of the house and do some exercise and have a better and healthier life style. At the same time, I was looking for a fun “dancing-like” exercise, something that I would have fun enough to make me avoid my couch and my Netflix!
Since I moved to Ireland, not only to a different climate that made me super lazy, it was also a stressful time to adapt to a different routine, new friends, seeing my husband struggling to find a job for more than year. All these things simply drained my energy completely and going from work to home and home to work was becoming very depressing and, although I had my husband by my side the whole time, it was also very lonely. Finding a place where I could exercise in a very fun relaxed environment and at the same time being able to meet new incredible and powerful people was one of the best decisions I’ve made!
I had been meaning to find a nice way to exercise even before I moved to Ireland in 2015. I have tried ballet for adults as well, but it really didn’t click! I had always seen videos of performances and always found pole dancing amazingly challenging! At some point I just decided to search for “nice ways to exercise”, “best exercise ideas”, “how to exercise and not hate myself every time I get out of bed” and through that I have found articles on pole dancing, aerial silk, amazing things. Reading through all the online reviews the Irish Pole Dancing Academy had not only the best ones but the most inspiring ones, so I decided to give it a try!
I was obese as a child so my mum actually had me exercising a lot when I was younger. I used to do swimming and ballet classes up to 15-16 years of age. When I moved from my parents house at age 18 and started college I enrolled in different group competition sports, mainly football. After I graduated I was working non-stop and doing loads of extra-hours so I could pay my bills so couldn’t find time to exercise (I know this sound very extreme but I was just sooo tired all the time). Finally, in 2015 I got a job offer to move to Ireland, to start a new fresher life and I made a promise I would take more care of myself.
I am proud of what I have achieved so far, let’s face it, I’m 32 and not getting any younger. It’s just amazing how much your body is able to learn and to adapt. I still have loads to accomplish, and I will just keep trying, no giving up! I don’t have a lot of goals, I found something that I actually enjoy doing and I don’t want to give up on it.
The environment at IPDA is very accommodating, you don’t feel pressure or discomfort, everybody is always happy and cheering when you get something right, or wrong, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that everyone can see and recognize your effort, just a great energy! Pole dancing is an amazing exercise, I am always trying to bring people but there’s still a lot of stigma to it, unfortunately. I would definitely recommend pole dancing as an exercise or as a means of knowing your body, your strength.”
“I’ve always been fascinated by movement and dance since a young girl, but never been given the chance to try. I remember being glued to the TV whenever any ice skating competition was on, or how later as a young adult I wanted to dance ballroom dance, was fascinated by Salsa and Tango. It’s also curious that I remember sharing pole dance content on my Facebook page without ever considering doing it, just because I thought it was so beautiful.
I rationally joined pole firstly due to health problems, I needed to exercise but gym wasn’t something I enjoyed or could commit to in the long term as it bored me to hell. But I guess on an unconscious level I wanted to be like those girls I shared on my Facebook feed. I wanted to dance like that, I was attracted to their confidence, strength and how effortless they make it look. Pole came in a time of my life where I was rediscovering myself, I just moved country, left family, friends and a very comfortable and predictable life for the chance of challenging myself and doing things that I once thought were unthinkable like dancing.
Having as a teenager dealt with anorexia and now a recovered adult I can honestly say that you can physically recover but the psychological scars stay longer. Self acceptance of my body was an issue, having to be in a position where I have to take my clothes off for the practice, having to look at a mirror, actually look, was a battle that I won and if at the same time I was taking care of my health pole was one of my best decisions in life. I can honestly and proudly say that pole has changed me from the inside out, in these two year of pole I’ve became stronger, healthier, and learn how to love my body and the things I can do with it. Pole to me means self-acceptance.
I was looking online at different options on joining gym when I came across the Facebook ad and thought “why not? I could do this”. Everyone close to me points out how much more confident, happier and how much my body has changed since I started pole dance. I believe pole dancing will be in my future forever, it’s an addiction, it’s a lifestyle and it’s the best therapy in the world, if I could only recommend it to everyone I’m certain many more women would love themselves.
IPDA is my happy place, a friendly and supportive environment where I’ve met wonderful people and made new friends. There’s no judgement just dance!!! Go for it! ”
“When I initially signed up to Irish Pole Dance Academy I was at a stage where I was desperate to try loose weight and get fit. I had snapped my Achilles 10 months previously and was finding it hard to do any form of exercise that didn’t hurt. Everything I had tried previously was so high impact and always left me in so much pain. I couldn’t even go swimming (I used to do competitive swimming) as it was causing me so much pain during and after my training sessions.
I have always been fit and strong due to my swimming, but they became more important as I suffered with chronic back pain from the age of 16. After a spinal fusion I followed it up by snapping my Achilles during my back-rehab. I had put on weight and lost so much strength that I needed to try get my fitness back.
Being active and staying fit has always been something that I have had drilled into my head from a young age to help with my chronic back pain in order for me to try help reduce the pain. The fear of causing more pain to myself has always held me back from trying new sports. I have always been involved with swimming and I have always trained in gyms etc. but pain has always ruled things for me. While I do enjoy gyms, they just don’t like me. Thankfully, I have found with pole dancing it’s not just about building strength but also flexibility which my body loves and responds so well to…
I came across Irish Pole Dance Academy while I was on the internet one night and was looking for something different. Something that would be a good fit for my body which needed to get strong but so much more importantly needed a good stretch especially while tying to rehab my Achilles.
I loved that the classes at IPDA didn’t seem like just pole dancing classes but that there was substance to them and a community feeling. The fact that there are flexibility and conditioning classes aimed at improving your poling abilities speaks volumes – they are there to help you achieve your goals and provide all the tools to help you get there.
Before I enrolled at IPDA, I was going to my local gym but they just didn’t understand my needs at the time. It was all about throwing more weight at me and hoping my body didn’t break in the process!
My first goal with pole dancing was to stretch out my Achilles and get some strength back into my legs. I felt extremely scared when I signed up. I thought no one would get my issue and even worse that they would tell me “Oh sorry, you can’t train with us. You’re too broken!”
Now that I have achieved the above goal, my view of myself has changed. I have always secretly had a love/hate relationship with my body and it’s abilities. The only love I have for my body is that it has given me 2 beautiful children and after that I have always hated it. It has let me down throughout my life. I have had to endure so much pain because of my body. Now though I really do have so much more confidence in my bodies ability and so I have started a new friendlier relationship with it. I have also begun to trust it which is something I have never been able to do.
I feel so excited about the future! The atmosphere at Irish Pole Dance Academy is addictive! The instructors are amazing. I love the empowerment that I have been taught. It really is a community of amazing people. I just can’t say enough good things about the place.
Another thing I have been working on and overcoming with my training at Irish Pole Dance Academy is learning how to ‘freestyle’ dance. I remember thinking one day “Oh god the thoughts of freestyling makes me want to vomit”. It was just so unnatural to me. I was just holding myself back; it was a confidence thing. I actually overcame this by talking it through with the girls in the class. Voicing my fears about myself and finding out I wasn’t alone and that we could all work through things together. I think this type of spirit is a rarity.
To anyone else who might be thinking of trying pole dancing, I have never looked forward to a workout class as much. It’s not only good for your body it’s also so so good for your soul. I had a friend comment to me the other day saying “I saw a picture of you on Instagram doing a pole trick and couldn’t believe it!!! 2 years ago you were in a wheelchair and now your hanging outta poles without a care in the world.”
“I had dabbled in the aerial arts before but wasn’t ever fully committed to it, constantly trying new activities and never moving beyond “Beginner” status in any of them. I usually dropped out because I felt too weak or just not bothered. After a series of unfortunate events in my personal life during 2016/17, my emotional state hit rock bottom. It was at this time that I realised how much better I felt after partaking in an aerial class and realised I needed to be committed to one practice and one studio to see the real benefits of the sport. I chose pole and my goal at that time was to use it to improve my overall wellbeing, as well as helping me gain strength and flexibility.
Though simple, these goals were achievable, measurable, and time-based and gave me something concrete to focus on and work towards during a particularly challenging time of my life. At the beginning, I didn’t care about choreography, it was solely about strength and flexibility – all I wanted to be able to do was climb that pole and invert! My goals helped me look beyond the bad stuff that was happening in my life and in many respects helped me to find myself again by doing something that was just for me.
Pole classes can be daunting if you don’t have a dance/gymnastics background. It can be frightening because of self-judgement; no one ever wants to feel like a beginner! I guess it’s why I put off aerial classes for years, despite being fascinated by the practice. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do it.
I don’t think I would have ever tried pole if it wasn’t for Arlene Caffrey who has been a personal friend of mine for some time. Really I only discovered pole because of Arlene so owe her a lot! I work as a photographer and had been photographing the students and instructors at showcases in IPDA for a while – I knew a lot of the other students pretty well before I even started and so it made logical sense to choose IPDA as my pole family.
I’ve never been athletic and gyms bore me to death. Things like running or cycling never really chimed with me. As a child, I couldn’t do a handstand like most kids and PE was the bain of my existence. As an adult, I had done some aerial training but as mentioned above, never moved beyond beginner status and so never really saw the true benefits. When I started seriously training in pole in summer 2017 I was pretty weak and not feeling too great about my body; in fact my whole life I’ve always had an unhappy and even unhealthy relationship with my body image. I was never ever the “skinny” kid and definitely had a complex about how I looked for years.
Now that I’ve stuck with pole I actually can see visible changes in how I look. I have defined arms for the first time in my life (and I’ve always hated my arms!). My shoulders and back look completely different and I’ve dropped several inches without even trying. I feel so much better both mentally and physically. I’m also much more comfortable in my own skin and can say with absolute certainty that I love my body these days – not just how it looks, but what it can do.
I’m feeling great about the future. Now that I’ve seen tangible results it motivates me to push myself even further. I’ve only been in IPDA for a little over six months and recently went from two classes per week to three. I guess this reflects how motivated I really am at the moment. My goals nowadays are a bit different to what they were when I started, I’ve fallen in love with the dance element of pole and want to work on my flow and choreography moving forward, eventually performing at some point.
The thing I like most about working with IPDA is the people. I absolutely adore my instructors! The support and guidance they give is phenomenal and to be honest, they’re also just really great craic to be around. I’m also very close to a lot of my fellow students who have been with me every step of the way, encouraged me during my bad days, and spotted me endlessly to prevent me falling to my death (it’s amazing the trust you build for each other!).
To anyone on the fence about joining a pole dancing class, all I can say is ‘just do it’. Yes it will be hard, despite the fact that it looks easy. Yes, at the beginning you’ll be sore, but you’ll get stronger and that’ll pass. You probably won’t be the best person in the class (when I first tried pole, I was the worst in my class!), but persevere and week by week you’ll see yourself improving. Stop making the excuse that you could never do pole because you have no upper arm strength – in fact, that is the exact reason why you should do pole. My last bit of advice is simple… always, always point your toes! ”
” I signed up for Pole Dance inspired by my pole dancing friend Roxi. Seeing all her videos on Instagram made me curious. I was impressed by the moves, the elegance, the tricks, the rhythm and the sexiness. Last year I was working a lot on myself and one area was self-confidence. I felt like learning to move my body nicely and feel comfortable in it would help me being more confident. I think the idea of pole dancing was in my head for about half a year. My self doubts held me back from signing up earlier. Will I look silly? Will the other people laugh at my body?
I went to a studio showcase as I was searching for events on Facebook. After the showcase I was on fire and asked Roxi for advice how to find the best studio and she recommended me IPDA telling me Arlene has a great style. Because of my wedding I already had started with some fitness and I also did some Yoga and Zumba before, but not very regularly. Wanting to get better in Pole Dancing it helped with being more consistent with my fitness – my upper body is so weak that it needs some more love. 😉
Pole Dancing is hard and I need to put a lot of work into it, but when I finally see some improvements and I am able to hold myself for 5 more seconds I feel like Wonderwoman. As I started with Exotic Pole Dance I discovered another style of Pole Dancing and I love it. Flowing together with the music makes me feel elegant, powerful and naughty – which feels just great. This year I want to take my Pole Dancing even more serious and practice more consistent so I can take part in a show case. The values of the studio are awesome and the best is that the teachers live them as well. The atmosphere is helpful and encouraging. I also love the Pole Reviews where you get the chance to discuss your progress and goals with Arlene which is super helpful.
There’s no reason to not do it – just try it out! There’s nothing you have to fear about and there’s also a 4 week starter class which gives you a sneak peak into the different classes – so nothing to lose, right ;)I’m not gonna lie: it is a lot of work and you will get some bruises, but it’s totally worth it! There are a lot of different classes so you will probably find something what you really like. “
” I didn’t really have a definite goal when I signed up except that I was looking for a sport that I would love as much as I loved gymnastics when I was younger. I was bored to death at the gym and needed to find something that would involve learning tricks with the right balance between strength and flexibility. I need to feel entertained in order to commit to something. Lifting weights or running on a treadmill seem like the most boring things to me, so staying fit was a real challenge.
I was a gymnast for about 15 years and I had to stop after I got injured in a competition. It broke my heart because for many years I couldn’t find a sport that I liked. I tried handball, dance, swimming, jogging, the gym… Nothing worked for me. It’s only six years after I stopped gymnastics that I started feeling addicted to a sport again, and it was pole dancing – which actually makes sense when you think of all the similarities between these two disciplines! I’m very fussy when it comes to sports. I want a full body work out while improving my flexibility and learning new tricks but most of all I want to have fun! It’s not easy to find a sport that covers it all.
I got very strong social envy when I saw a few of my friends posting all their pole videos on social media and somehow it just clicked! That’s exactly what I need in my life! I researched and compared a few studios online and IPDA almost immediately stood out. I wanted to get fit, lose a bit a weight but mainly I wanted to feel good about myself. I didn’t like the way I looked before I started pole dance. I felt insecure, fat, ugly, and getting back to fitness became an obsession that was almost insane. Trying different sports and giving up all of them added to the insecurity feeling and almost convinced me I would never be good at anything anymore. I feel so much stronger and able than before! (Almost) all my insecurities are gone and I know this is only the beginning.
Today, when I see all the improvements I made after only 8 months, I can’t wait to see where I’ll be at in a couple of years! When I was a gymnast, I was always told that I would never be able to keep it up past 20 years of age… This is so not true! I am 26, I am strong, I am flexible, and I aim to be in a much better shape aged 30 than when I was 20. I love that there are so many different types of classes, we never get bored! It also helps to get better faster. For instance, I was stiff as a board when I attended my first flexibility class and I got my left split flat in only six months!
I have a bad grip and bruise very easily, so being able to hold a position for more than two seconds was (and still is sometimes!) my biggest challenge. It took me months to be able to lean back with my hands off the pole while doing a sit and the most frustrating part of it was watching everyone around me getting it in only a few hours. Today, I don’t bruise as much as I used to and my grip is getting stronger so I can hold a sit or a leg hang for much longer! Learning tricks involving new points of contact with the pole is still a challenge though, but now that I overcame a few, I know I will be able to handle a lot more!
Be patient, keep practicing, be proud of your bruises and someday soon you’ll rock it! ”
“When I signed up with IPDA, I wanted to continue my pole journey. I had taken up pole in Donegal and wanted to learn more and advance my training in Dublin. I wanted to stick with poledancing and knew it was an activity I could see myself doing long term. I didn’t want to put it aside and then probably never get back to it – I wanted to keep my momentum going and keep making progress.
I hear a lot of people saying they got into poledancing almost by accident, that they hadn’t really thought about it but gave it a shot. I had actually wanted to do it for years before I got started so I wanted to commit to it after thinking about it for so long. If something feels like it’s taking me a long time or I’m just not ‘getting it’, I get discouraged and it knocks my confidence. I found IPDA through a Google search. When I moved to Dublin I started looking for a studio and it was one of the first ones I found. From what I read online, the studio looked good and it was actually just a short walk from my house, so I decided it was worth checking out.
I wasn’t a stranger to exercise, but I found it hard to get into a routine and stick to it. I had done some fitness classes and had done kettlebells and HIIT workouts, but there was no one thing I did religiously. I was doing pole classes in Donegal once a week, and I found that pole was the one type of workout that never felt like a chore. I wanted to get stronger and fitter, and nail some of those impressive looking tricks!
As I mentioned previously, I tend to get discouraged from things if I find them difficult. I wanted to persevere with my dancing and not just give up when I faced a hurdle. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep going if a trick seems too hard, but it’s important to tell yourself to keep at it. When I enrolled, I wasn’t 100% confident of my abilities as I was going through a transition in life and it’d been a short while since my last pole class. I felt like I’d regressed a bit so I was determined to make progress. Since then, I’ve learned more and become so much more confident. I feel at ease in the class now and I have more faith in myself that I’ll eventually succeed.
I feel positive about my future in poledance. It’s something I want to keep doing forever and don’t see myself giving up on. I feel determined to keep achieving more. What I enjoy about the studio is the atmosphere – the instructors are encouraging and the students are always pleased for each other when something goes right. I like how being there can take your mind off whatever else you’ve got going on. If you’re having a bad day or you’re stressed, paying attention to what you’re learning in class can really help to shift your focus. My main problem on the pole is grip. I’m not a naturally strong person (I used to be one of those people who always had to get someone else to open jars) and my hands often slip. It can be extremely frustrating. To overcome these difficulties I use grip aids as a temporary measure and I use grip strengtheners to make my hands and wrists that bit stronger. I try to do other exercises when I can to build some strength and make things easier on the pole.
I would tell anyone else facing challenges that I know it can be annoying and it’s so easy to just be in a bad mood for the whole class but if you keep going it will eventually be less of a problem. Every day isn’t perfect and you’ll have times where you just want to give up, but it’s worth it when you have times that you notice how much you’ve improved. Pole can be like life in that you have to push through the hard parts to realize how strong you can be.”
“I was looking for a fun and entertaining way to get fit and gain a good body weight & shape. I have been always a bit overweight and unsatisfied with my body. I tried several gyms and fitness courses, but I found them boring because they were not giving me specific targets to be reached, a goal to be achieved; so I dropped out of them all after a few months.
When I heard about the Pole Dance Academy, I was 32 years old and I feared that it would be too late to start pole dancing at that age. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to develop the strength and the flexibility that are necessary for performing some of the movements and figures.
I signed up to the “Introduction to Pole Dance” course with two colleagues; all the three of us were looking for a funny way to get fit. One of them wanted to try pole dance; she found the website through Google and she proposed we try it out. I have always been curious and eager to learn new things, in many fields. Pole dance aroused my curiosity, I really wanted to give it a try. I wanted to know how pole dancers were able to do dance on a pole as if gravity has no effect on them; I thought that it was a skill reserved for a few lucky people.
Despite my curiosity, I had no big expectations, I was sure that I would not be able to pass above the beginner level and that I would drop out of it soon. I am delighted to say that I was absolutely wrong.
Before enrolling at the IPDA, I was doing little exercising. It was a very stressful period and I left behind sport because I felt, wrongly, that it was stealing precious time for other things to which I gave priority. Before that period, I used to run and go to a gym where I attended spinning and sculpt classes. I was driven to solve my weight problem. In a few months, I changed my mind and I decided that I wanted to progress as a pole dancer by setting a number of goals and work towards them. The first goal was to move on to the intermediate level, the second goal was to climb up to the ceiling, then to invert and now I’m working on my flexibility. When I enrolled, I was losing the hope to solve my weight problem. After years of gym classes and running, I was still far from my target. Now my body is changing rapidly; I feel more toned and strong week by week and I am far more self confident. I am very positive about my future. I feel that I am capable to reach all the goals I am setting for me, in all the aspects of my life, pole dance above all. I know the journey will be long, but I am determined to enjoy each moment of it.
I really enjoy the friendly and welcoming environment that I found at the IPDA. All the girls and teachers are very supportive and enthusiastic in pole dance. I really enjoy every moment of each class and I am always disappointed when the time is over; I would love to keep exercising for far longer. I am not a sporty girl by nature and I tend to be a conservative person. Each new movement takes me quite a lot of time before I master it, because I am always a bit afraid, at the first attempt, to fall from the pole or to hurt myself. I decided to not set upon me any time constraints; if I need a month or a year to learn a new movement, then so be it. I am strongly determined to enjoy every moment of this journey and to be proud of myself for every new progress, even the smallest one. I am sure that, sooner or later, I will reach my goal.
Do not give up when things seem to become hard and you struggle with a new movement. Your body has its own ways to learn and sometimes it needs just a little bit of time and patience.”
“I was looking for a challenging sport where I could improve on my strength, flexibility and acrobatic moves. I can get bored very quickly, so I was looking for something original. When I signed up, I wanted to try pole dance and see if this sport would fit with my lifestyle and goals. Feeling good with my body is something important to me, and having a good and consistent training where you can see improvements and evolution is part of it. Fitness is a bit boring for me to go everyday, I needed a more creative activity to break the routine.Training has always been my priority, I was training other sports but I always want to try something new. I looked for schools online and found the IPDA was the most convenient for the location and the offer. The nice reviews on the webpage motivated me even more to sign up.
I was regularly training capoeira, a Brazilian martial art for the last 5 years, yoga and fitness classes. I have always been training and tried many things, but struggle to stick to a sport. Capoeira is the only sport I managed to train so many years in the row, I am planning the same for pole dance as I love it and it is a good compliment to my current training. I knew after the first few classes that I would love it, every class I can’t wait to try a more advanced move, or improve one that I did not master in the previous class. I love each training and can’t wait to go to the next one and see which move I will be able to perform, the most difficult, the best, those are the ones that I’ll repeat again and again until achievement.
The individual approach for each student, motivation and assistance during the classes, all those things that make you feel you became part of a big family. This is extremely important to keep students motivated and consistent in their training! I suppose in the past I was afraid to attempt sports that were “too hard” or “too complicated”. People would tell you “your body is not predisposed for that” or “Are you sure? You know it’s really hard!”. Those can easily make you give up on a dream. I told myself something very simple: “If he/she can do it, then I can too.
It might take a long time and be hard, but it is possible.” There is no problem, it’s actually very simple. You just have to do it, be consistent, fall, try again, try hard, and repeat. Results come when you train hard, for everyone. And at the very end, what is actually the best is to observe where you come from and compare to where you are now. That is something that make people extremely proud and helps greatly with self-esteem. ”
“My goal when I originally signed up was to become flexible, strong and beautiful, and to break the laws of physics! I had been dancing Scottish Highland for 11 years – and, although it’s a great style and sport, it doesn’t make the whole body work. So, I wanted to develop all parts of myself! I had this goal in mind for about a year before I actually started pole dancing classes. I live in Waterford and work in Dublin – so the main thing was to find time and handy daytime classes. I googled all potential pole dance classes around Dublin city centre – and it, of course, Irish Pole Dance Academy was the very first link. Thankfully, they provide daytime classes that suited my schedule!
When I got my mad wish to start doing pole dancing, I already had 5 years of Irish dancing and 11 of Scottish Highland. Also, I do plenty hiking and swimming. When I started pole dancing, my first goal was to understand the logic – to learn how to behave with the pole to become real friends with it as it is so different to what I had previously learned! I knew from the very first minute I came to the right place.
I’m still in process of achieving my goal – I really want to be a good pole dancer and I’ll do all my best for it. Some things that I’m already starting to do in the right direction make me believe that everything’s possible! What I love best about my pole dancing is the challenges that I encounter in every class – and that Arlene and Leanne don’t treat me much as a beginner. They encourage me to become better and better!
My biggest struggle so far has been that I didn’t believe in my body – and it’s still a bit hard to believe that I will ever be able to do all those amazing tricks. I’m overcoming this by working hard and practicing!
To anyone else who might be dealing with the same problem or goal as me, I would say to them ‘If you really want something – just stand up and fight for it!’ 🙂 ”
“My goal with pole dancing was to become more fit, stronger and healthier. I was trying it earlier in Australia and I loved it. When I moved back to Sweden I stopped practicing and had a break for almost a year and a half. Which made me lose most of the muscles and fitness I had built up. I entered some kind of side track in life and totally forgot about taking care of myself and my health.
When I had moved to Ireland and lived here for four months already I felt I had to do something. My health wasn’t good at the time, my lifestyle consisted of a lot of bad food and no exercise. I signed up for the gym, I went there twice and never went back. I said I was gonna go out for a run, but I never went. The only option for me was to go back to pole dance to get this bum off the couch, which I wanted so much, but I guess I was kind of scared to start again after such a long break.
And I’m so happy I made the decision to start pole dancing again! I’m also so thankful that my google search for pole dancing studios in Dublin introduced me to the Irish Pole Dance Academy.
Irish Pole Dance Academy has become my second home. Instructors and the other girls inspire me to become better everyday I’m in the studio as well as on social media. Even if I have a bad day, like we all do, if I still push myself to go to the studio these days, I will always leave happier than I was before I got there. For me, pole dancing allows me to love myself and my body more than I ever did in the past, it boosts my confidence in many ways. Not just body wise that I’m becoming stronger and more flexible, I also feel I’ve a clearer mind and more positiveness in my life, I actually haven’t felt this good in a long time! I know I’m able to do so many different things with just my body with the right practice, and that’s such a satisfying feeling. It is going to take time, as with everything, but I’m on the right way and I will get there, I just gotta stay focused!
My biggest trouble when I’m dancing is the sweat. Sweat everywhere. It frustrates me a lot when I can’t grip at all some days, not even the dry hands work on me sometimes. I got introduced to something called Driclor which has helped a bit on the way for my hands, I would recommend to give a try on this if you suffer like me! I don’t have to be ashamed over this in the studio though, in my case they got more fans for the studio that helps me a lot, things like this, small things, that makes everything easier progressing and I feel I always get the help I need to improve.
Goals for me within the pole world is to become confident enough and able to attend a pole competition one day with my own routine. I also want to be more flexible, to feel I can do moves without feeling that the body is “locked” in a position. That’s why I find it great to have different options for what classes to attend, spinny classes, exotic dance classes, flexy classes etc to get a little bit of everything and which also makes your work out much more fun and exciting. And obviously, to be able to call yourself a pole dancer and be a part of a society with all these amazing women and men with the same interests, that makes me feel proud!”
“When I signed up for pole dancing classes I was looking to start a new hobby. I was bored to death of going to the gym and needed some fun exercise in my life. I’ve always been into fitness but had no dancing background so it took me a while to pluck up the courage and start pole dancing. Once my gym membership was finished I looked online for pole dancing classes in Dublin and came across the Irish Pole Dance Academy. After scrolling through the website and reading the student stories I knew this studio was a good place to start my pole dancing journey. I enrolled in the introduction course and never looked back. I was hooked from the beginning, the classes were so much fun, instructors were amazing and met so many nice people.
When I first started, I thought some pole moves and tricks looked near impossible but one year later I have achieved a lot more than I could ever imagine. My strength and flexibility has improved so much and more importantly my self-confidence is up and I’ve never been happier. For me, pole dancing is great for my mind and body, and it is amazing to be a part of such a diverse and wonderful community. I have finally found a sport that I’m in love with and cannot wait to see what I can achieve in the years to come.
So far, I’ve performed at two showcases held in the dance studio and I can’t thank my fellow polers enough for encouraging me to stick on the 7 inch heels and show everybody what we got!! The IPDA instructors are some of the most kind and down to earth women and they have defiantly been my biggest inspiration! Thank you ladies <3″
“When I signed up at IPDA, I did not have a goal per say. I was curious and open to whatever experiences that I would encounter, but I was looking for a fitness activity that was fun and would boost confidence in myself. It was important too me to because I almost seldom did anything that could be considered “fun”, and you can never have too much self-confidence!
The top reason I was unable to achieve my goal was due to the fact that I had quite recently relocated to Ireland. It was during a conversation I had with a friend that I expressed having a desire to take pole dancing lessons, but had never gotten around to doing it. The question “why not?” was asked, and I realised then that I had not actually taken any steps to achieve that goal. Just like the quote that says “a goal without a plan is a wish”, it dawned on me that I cannot achieve something I am not actively looking for.
Prior to enrolling at IPDA, I had experiences of a gym membership and taking fitness classes (Zumba, Boxercise), and also going for walks, doing home workouts such Pilates, yoga, and online home fitness programmes. Initially I had no goal, but many goals have since been identified and developed. At the time I enrolled with IPDA, I had next to no fitness regime and I was feeling like there were limited options that I had not yet tried. I now see myself as a whole new person (almost like I have super powers). I feel there is nothing I cannot achieve if I put in the time and effort. I feel that my future is bursting with possibilities and opportunities. Having done my first performances at showcases held by the studio (and hoping to take part in subsequent ones), as well as attending workshops, I feel that these experiences will shape my future.
What I have liked best at IPDA is how inspiring the instructors are! They meet each student at their own individual level, while still encouraging us to go out of and beyond our comfort zones. They are never short on words of advice or encouragement.
My main challenge has been my distance from the studio, being able to attend classes on weekdays and making the long drive to classes. It was very frustrating to arrive late for classes or miss them entirely. First of all, I had to let go of any unrealistic expectations, since I was trying to attend classes I felt I must go to. After that, it was easy, and because the studio has a generous selection of classes available, I was able to find classes that better suited my needs (and I discovered how much I love exotic pole!)
To anyone who struggles with the challenge of attending classes, I would suggest re-evaluating your needs. Perhaps attending a different class, which would give you a chance to try something else and maybe discover a new love. Also, good planning is essential, such as having a pre-packed bag, ready to go. And the team at IPDA are always ready to provide information and help anyone decide on which classes to attend.”
“Ultimately when I started pole dancing it was to try something new and challenge myself a bit. I like trying new things and pole dancing had always intrigued me. I never thought I would ever hear about classes in Dublin so when Jean suggested we try it I was absolutely up for it! I had also thought about incorporating more weight exercises into my routine as I had seen positive results in friends and family… Buuuuut… The idea of weights in the gym was not very appealing (and scary). So I figured pole classes were a way to start body weight exercises. It was also an excuse to hang out with my friend!
I like trying new exercise classes to challenge myself physically and mentally. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone. I always find the first class (especially if you do one with a friend) can be so much fun because generally it’s a mess! But in a good way. Well for me they are. I’m not such a quick learner, but I am a trier so it can take me a while to master things.
Laziness is a factor for me. I like being active but I also like watching telly… Generally sitting down. Once I’m up, I’ll stay up. Once I have something booked, I’ll turn up. Once I have someone telling me what to do, I’ll try and do it. Once I’ve paid for it, I’ll go! This is why fitness classes are good for me. Fear and self-consciousness is another factor. It’s something that has definitely dwindled over the years but they still rear their heads sometimes. I used to be, and still can be, quite shy (yes I know I know!!) and I don’t want to regress and let that get the better of me again. So I use these to my advantage to push myself up and over. I don’t let them get me too down anymore.
In school I had played camogie and did some aerobics and dance classes but all fitness routines went by the wayside when I started long commutes to college/discovered a social life. When I moved out of home I started cycling to and from work to save money and so started a love affair. Cycling got me moving again and I began thinking about my health and fitness. Heart disease is an issue in my family and as I got older I became more and more mindful of it. I started running and in my late 20’s I signed up for a couple of adventure races. FYI… I hate running!!
When I signed up to pole dancing, my first goal was to keep it up! It was fun and I really, really enjoyed the classes but I have a bad track record of quitting exercise regimes so my first goal was to keep going. My problem is I am bad at keeping up exercise routines so my goal was to break that bad habit! When I started I honestly didn’t think I would still be doing this still!! I am more stubborn than I thought I was! And I realized I love to dance! I always have. I did Irish dancing, had a very brief ballet interlude when I was 5, I did street dance classes in my teens and have always been fond of ceili dancing because my Nanny taught me. I am still so stiff (thanks genetics!) but now my favourite class is Exotic Dance where I can roll around on the floor and dance and move. I love going to the three different classes on offer at different times as Arlene, Leanne and Olga all have different styles and it’s great to mix it up.
I will not at this stage be the most amazing pole dancer that ever was and I have made my peace with that. I love the classes and the company. I love moving and climbing. I love spinning and falling. And I will keep doing it for as long as I can. I have met so many good friends and awesome people over the years through IPDA, the instructors and the students alike. It’s a very supportive environment. You could be working on a move on your own struggling away and then there’s a loud applause from the rest of the class when you figure it out. Everyone’s always watching… But never judging!
I have all the challenges. Physical challenges… From sore things to tired things to not bendy things. Mental challenges… From tired brain to defeatist attitude to fear to body issues. It can be a slow process to overcome these things and half the battle is coming to terms with the time it will take. I could never do a ‘chopper’ and it bugged me. I didn’t give it the proper time to learn when I first started as I was too eager to throw myself upside down and so I developed bad habits and a left leg that had a magnetic pull to the pole not matter how I resisted.
My new motto is try. That’s it… Just try! I find though bringing it back to basics is a good way to get over most humps. It could be taking 5 mins to do some invert drills. By doing this at the end of every class I just this week have had a chopper related break through….TAKE THAT CHOPPER!! I like having a simple spin or (my personal favourite) rolling around on the ground. Take a little break or a breather, reset, and do something that makes you feel good. Pole related retail therapy works too. I recommend getting yourself a pair of liquid heroine pants and just admiring yourself in the mirror. Do what you need to! If you ask anyone in the studio or in on line pole forums there’s no end of support and advice. It’s good to get opinions and approaches from different people and to try new things. But at the end of the day do what works for you!”
“I love dancing so my main aim was to learn some sexy new moves. Also I’ve joined every gym in Dublin and never went – so I was looking for a new form of exercise where I could get fit, strong and tone up. I heard somewhere that dancing was really good for you both physically and mentally (one of the best forms of exercise) – and at this point I’d certainly agree. I always seem to forget what I was stressed about once I leave the exotic classes – how can you be stressed after rocking 7” heels around a pole?
I saw Arlene preform at the Miss Burlesque Ireland competition 2016 and thought she was deadly. I wanted to rock the floor work and pole like her. I didn’t actually realise she was part of IPDA until my first exotic class when I realised : OMG, THAT’S BOSCO! I’ve always been a member of gyms I never went to. I only ever have continuously done Yoga, some dance classes and also running *cough completed the 2015 Dublin marathon*. I had no upper body strength though and I wasn’t at all toned.
I think I was driven when I started to feel my strength building. I couldn’t believe it when something I struggled with only a few weeks ago I was doing effortlessly. I think of the times I would go to the gym with my workout program and list of reps I needed to get dumbbells for, but give up after a few weeks and never get anywhere. Now I have somehow gotten strong without really trying – deadly! I know the gym just isn’t a place I like to be in so I knew joining IPDA would help me achieve my goals (dance, tone etc.). What I didn’t know is just how much I love pole – I don’t classify it as exercise but a hobby – like reading books, doing something for the enjoyment of it. I think I’m constantly trying to reach new goals and new targets. I still haven’t reached my Human Flag target but I know I’m getting there.
The best thing in being part of IPDA is how supportive everyone is. There’s a really good banter and atmosphere in all the classes.
The only advice I would really give if you want to progress in pole is :
- Take videos of yourself and see where you can improve. They are also a good database of stuff you have learnt and useful to go over every few weeks.
- GO TO POLEPLAY. Linked with the above, it’s an even better idea to give yourself time to go over everything and practice until you perfect the moves and routines you have learnt in class.
- Remember it’s fun and you’re only going to get better. It can feel like you’re getting nowhere but the classes are structured to help you build strength progressively. What you can’t do today you’ll be nailing in a few short weeks.”
“My goal when I originally signed up was to learn how to dance! It was important to me because this has always been one of my dreams. My physical strength held me back from from achieving this goal. I had heard about Irish Pole Dance Academy through a Facebook ad. All of the instructors are very helpful ; they always encourage us which keeps me motivated. Of course now, my body is more flexible than it’s ever been. I feel like I am now a pole dancer and I will be able to add a tag that I am a pole dancer too. Practice makes us perfect . So more practice, more progress .
What I have liked best about working with Irish Pole Dance Academy is that there is no judgment of anyone. They understand each individual’s strength and capability. I didn’t lose hope or didn’t give up on my goals. I had confidence that I would get there someday. If I could overcome my obstacles then anyone can overcome them as well with time. Just believe in yourself!”
“I always like to try new things and my goal was to discover what pole dancing was like! I didn’t have a specific goal but I always found it fascinating and had it on my ‘to try’ list. Trying new things has always been important to me. It keeps life interesting and you always learn something new about yourself. I had it in my mind for around 1-2 years before I actually sat down and searched for the classes. I am always quite busy with my studies and work so I had to wait until I could find the time to commit to learning and also the time to find a place like the Irish pole dance academy.
When I sat down to find classes I did a bit of googling and found the Irish Pole Dance Academy, the reviews and feedback looked great so I decided to sign up. I finally had enough motivation and free time to get started. At the time I enrolled I had already been taking part in salsa and yoga classes. I always like to keep fit. One of my first goals was to improve my flexibility and strength: I wanted to learn to do the splits and spin around the pole. I am happy to say I have achieved both! I am usually driven to achieve a goal, problems are things you must solve on your way to achieving your goal.
At the time of enrolment I felt a bit unsure of my ability because I had been going to only one class per week, but after a few more classes I started feeling more confident and started to believe I could achieve it. I am much more body confident now than I was before joining. I actually feel like I have progressed nicely and hope to be able to perform even more difficult figures and tricks in the future.”
“My goal was to get fit and drive my mind away from busy life. I had tough time in life and pole dance helped me to build up my new life. The thing that held me back from starting pole was that people think it is a stripper dance, my parents didn’t understand and are not supportive of me. I found IPDA online. The stories from the members and the structures prompted me to join. My goal when I originally signed up was to be confident and become more like a mature woman. All the classes are really helpful and it helped to build up my confidence . I am still on the way to my goal, I already see changes in myself. The strength I have and the skills I have learned in classes makes me feel more confident. I have confidence in my future as I think pole dancing really changed my life attitude. Nothing is impossible.
What I have liked best about working with IPDA is all the positive advice I get from trainers and friends. They told me I can do it and I believed in it and I achieved it at the end. I overcame the challenge of not having a strong enough upper body. I go to gym once or twice a week to build up strength now. Trust yourself, believe in yourself. Don’t get bothered by others opinion as they are not you. They don’t know how much effort you put into it. So listen to your heart and follow it. I can never do split in the past. And I can do it now after all the classes I went to. I have become very confident.”
“My goal was to do something different. I was hitting the gym three times a week and quite liked it but thought I needed something else to spice things up. I wanted to start something that would be completely mine and where I could relieve the stress of the week. I have a lot of energy and I just wanted something to focus on and that would be different and new to me. I’m afraid of change but I know that change is a necessity to be. I get bored easily and need to make a big jump every so often. I left for one year to Canada with no plan but the first three night booked on some guy’s couch or move to Ireland for a job with no network whatsoever. I just googled pole dances classes and found the IPDA. The next Monday, I was starting the introduction classes.
I was looking for something to add to my gym routine and was searching for aqua bike lessons. I couldn’t find anything remotely interesting so I decided to start pole classes. I never had any proper physical activity until January 2015 where I decided that I needed to make a move and start exercising. I joined a gym with a personal trainer and soon enough I was hooked. I noticed that exercising was a great way to relieve the stress and the pressure of my job and a good transition to leave the work at work. My goal was to pass the introduction without breaking my nose and become very graceful.
In the early days of my beginner classes, I remember a phrase that Jillian told me that is sticking with me. “Pole is the perfect combination between holding on and letting go’. Its resonating with me as I’m suffering from anxiety and often feels like fear is preventing me from giving life my best shot. I’m more confident in myself and my abilities and also completely proud of my pole addiction. A lot of my friends have noticed the change in me and how determined I became.It truly is a family… I met great friends but what I cherish the most is how supportive everyone is and how genuinely happy I am when someone is achieving something she has been working on.
Trust is always an issue and I always struggled with what people may think or the fact that I didn’t belong. I am very shy at first and I always need to evaluate my surroundings before opening up and finding my place.? Patience, patience patience…. It took me approximatively 100000 tries to achieve my first invert…. I remember truly believing I would be the only one in the history of pole to never pass this stage. I don’t know how many times Jillian spotted me and told me to put my hands lower but I just couldn’t…. Until one day where I could! We were working on a different trick were inverting was just the first step and I just did it, without focusing on it I actually noticed I was inverting when I was upside down trying to bring my legs together.
Just give it your best shot. No one is built the same and we all have different backgrounds. Be gentle with yourself and break your goals into smaller more achievable ones.”
“My goal when I signed up was to tone the wibbly wobbly parts of my body that I was sick of having to hide. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin and I wanted to able to honestly say that I tried my hardest to make myself the best me I could be.
I’ve always found it hard to commit to exercise; my attendance is great for a few weeks but then gradually peters out. A second issue for me was finding something I enjoy doing rather than something that felt like a continuation of my work day. I googled pole dance classes just out of curiosity and the IPDA academy popped straight up. I liked the sound of pole dancing; it seemed like the right combination of difficulty and enjoyment that I couldn’t find with other forms of exercise. I was also unhappy with how I looked and thought it was time I quit moaning and start moving. I had just finished up rowing as I was going on study leave and was no longer able to commit to the level of training required. Up to that point I had been rowing for about seven months. I wanted to be able to do one push-up. If I could do that then I would know I was making progress. I was more motivated to achieve a goal, which was to be happy with myself. It was a pretty big issue and it was starting to erode my confidence and affect my general happiness, This in turn was affecting my performance in other areas of my life – work, relationships etc. I knew at that point that I had to change my behavior for the better.
I can now do one push up (hurray!) but more importantly I am starting to feel confident in my appearance and I am learning to avoid comparing myself to others. I still have a long way to go but I am improving every week. I am looking forward to seeing where I will be in a year from now. I am hoping that I will see continuous improvement. Pole classes are something I look forward to rather than something to get out of the way. I tend to pick up bad habits to compensate for difficulties I’m experiencing. I’ve also had to work through some mental blocks regarding my capabilities as I tend to doubt myself. I’ve had to concentrate on particular areas (e.g. climbing) to make sure I’m applying the techniques I’ve learned correctly. With regards to the self-doubt, support and encouragement from both instructors and fellow class participants has helped immensely.
My advice to anyone looking to start: Break the goal or problem down into more achievable chunks and then work towards them. I find the following quote useful when I feel I am struggling: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
“My goal was to find new and fun pole dance classes. There was one thing that was holding me back a little bit which was that in Ireland there is a lot of pole fitness classes but not many actual pole dance classes.
Then my friend introduced me to Irish Pole Dance Academy. All of the teachers were very inspiring and good role models to me and it really made me to want to learn how to dance like them. I am still working on my goal to become more flexible but I see some small good changes on my body already. I feel strong and confident in myself.”
“My goal was to get active again, healthier, stronger, and sexier! I had been out of the workout game for a while and I needed to make a change. I needed more activity and I wanted to lose weight. This was important to me because I was starting to feel negative about my body as well as sluggish and emotionally depressed due to my inactive lifestyle and the stress of going to grad school.
I had been thinking I needed a change for a while – since before I came to Ireland. I had tried to go to the gym back home and ended up paying tons of money to go only a handful of times. The gym is so boring for me and it didn’t work out very well with my daily life of working and school; it just wasn’t worth it to me at that time.
What held me back was probably the hustle and bustle of my life as well as not being about to find a work out that I truly enjoyed.
I was just googling dance studios for adults as I love to dance and the Irish Pole Dance Academy popped up!
I had just got to Ireland and I was beyond stressed out with the change of scenery and the workload of the master’s degree – couldn’t sleep, hardly left my bed aside from going to classes, was just engorging myself with comfort food and watching t.v. I was basically in a deep depression and I knew I needed to feel better about myself and get out there and be healthier. I also knew that if I joined a dance group I would have to make friends and be social, which I did!
I was not exercising at the time when I enrolled at IPDA, aside from biking to and from school and the grocery store and that kind of thing. I have an active history though, from gymnastics, soccer and volleyball as a child to hip-hop, tap, jazz, belly dance, and skateboarding later on in my teen and adult years.
My first goal was just to get moving and find something that I could be excited to go to. And after that it was to get strong! *flexes muscles*
I was unhappy with myself and my body and I knew exercise was going to help my mental state as well as my physical wellbeing. Solving this problem was my goal.
At the time I signed up, I was pretty exhausted to be honest. I was tired of being tired and lazy and fat and weak and unhappy with my emotional state and the physical state of my body looks-wise.
Now that I achieved the my goal, my view of myself has changed incredibly! I haven’t lost much weight to speak of, but that isn’t even my goal at this point. I feel a million times better than I did before January when I started at the Academy, I can actually sleep (perhaps more than I should) and feel strong and like I have some stamina back.
I have a really long way to go as far as physical health is concerned but I definitely can stand to look in the mirror now.
I’m stoked as all hell about my future! I unfortunately have to leave Ireland in August or September when I finish my dissertation to go back to the states, but you better believe that I will be hunting down the nearest pole studio and joining up for classes as well as getting myself a pole for my house. I feel like I have my confidence back as well as my enjoyment of physical activity!
My favourite thing about IPDA is how everyone is incredibly supportive and excited about us being excited to be there. It’s like a sexy sisterhood!
I definitely didn’t used to prioritize exercise at the top of my list before when I was trying to go to the gym or get to the skatepark, but now I have to remind myself of my other responsibilities that aren’t pole! I overcame this when I found something that I enjoy! And I stopped being a lazy bitch. 😛
It basically comes down to knowing what will work for you and just going for it – no matter how bad you are at it, how much it costs, who judges you for it – life’s too short to not be happy with your life and body!”
“I wanted to try something different and more fun than just regular weight training at the gym. I trained for my first triathlon last summer and was fitter and healthier than ever before but when I went back to college in September I didn’t have the time to continue training as I had been and lost my strength and fitness. I wanted to do something that would be enjoyable and keep me motivated through the winter and had wanted to try pole for ages.
About 7 or 8 years ago I was looking for a song on youtube and came across a video of Felix Cane pole dancing to the song. I wanted to try pole ever since but never had the confidence to do it. I wanted to get strong and also enjoy myself rather than having to force myself to go to the gym. With pole I am always looking forward to going to the classes and the different classes and instructors means it doesn’t get boring. I really enjoy the atmosphere in the studio. All the instructors are really lovely and approachable and ready to help with any pole problem or questions I have and are all amazing at what they do and also at motivating everyone. The other girls in the classes are always so supportive and helpful as well and it is a really nice environment to come in to.”
“I found it much more difficult to maintain my fitness after I entered my early 30s. I started to gain weight more easily, and it was much more difficult to lose weight once I gained it. I had been a member of a gym off and on since my early 20s, but the same things that used to be effective for me at the gym no longer produced the same results. In hindsight, I realized that a big problem for me was my diet. But unfortunately, realizing it is not the same thing as accepting it.
I worked in a very stressful job in healthcare, often doing nights and 24 hour on-call shifts at the hospital. When I wasn’t stressed at work, I was at home stressed about what had happened at work or stressed about trying to get as much done as I could outside of work before I had to be back at work! I didn’t feel like I had much time to cook, and basically didn’t feel like I had enough time for myself, period. This sort of lifestyle lent itself to a lot of emotional eating, and a diet full of loads of takeaways and junk food. And the worse my diet became, the worse I felt about myself. And when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted at the gym, I felt more and more defeated.
I had never fully given up on exercise (thank God!), but I got to a point where I began to get used to myself being overweight. I stopped buying myself new clothes, hated going shopping with friends (and tried to avoid it if I could), socialized even less, and eventually stopped dating altogether. I kept a smile on my face throughout this difficult period in my life, but inside, I was very very depressed. One of the things that helped me through that time in my life was music. I loved listening to Rihanna, and one day I was messing around on YouTube and saw the video for ‘Pour It Up’, one of my favorite songs. Well, anyone who has seen this video can attest to the risqué awesomeness of it, and the badass pole dancers showing off their sexy tricks. I had the ring tune on my phone for ages! After some more messing about on YouTube, I stumbled onto the behind-the-scenes backstory on the video, and how Rihanna learned pole dancing for the shoot. I literally made a decision to try pole dancing right there and then. I had a few setbacks along the way, including a car accident in late 2014 which hurt my back, but I’m still poling and won’t be stopping any time soon.
I’ve lost (and am still losing) weight, gotten stronger, and more flexible. I have a much better relationship with my body, and I am more aware of what I put into it. That’s not to say that I have completely stopped having the foods that I enjoy, but I don’t use junk food as a drug anymore. I take much better care of my body; I respect it, because it’s a gift. As far as my work, I now put my health (not my job) first. I am also focused on creating a business which will give me the freedom to make my health a priority. My health is more important than money.
The icing on the cake is that I am also more confident in my personal life and have started dating again, which is AWESOME!
The great thing about IPDA is that whenever I enter those big black doors, I can leave all my worries at the door and just focus on being good to myself. Even though I have a pole installed at home, it has been invaluable to have someone there to spot me when I try a new trick, to give me tips when I am stuck, for encouragement, and for more ideas to help me grow and improve.
Attending that studio is one of the most sacred things I do for myself every week. The instructors are very knowledgeable, experienced, open-minded, and they really care about helping me grow, not only as a dancer/athlete/artist, but as a woman. The other students are so diverse, respectful, hard-working, and fun to be around, and they continue to motivate me to try my best. It is the most accepting space that I know of in Dublin. It’s like my sanctuary.
IPDA is for everyone, and every BODY. There is literally something for everyone. No matter what your insecurities are or your reasons for thinking that you can’t do pole, don’t listen to your fears. I initially thought that I was too overweight to try pole dancing, but funnily enough, I gained the motivation to eat better and get fitter so that I would be better at pole – and it worked! So, if this is something that intrigues you, go for it. You definitely will not regret it.”
“I used to be Irelands’ biggest couch potato. From a very young age, I suffered from Asthma, eczema, and had some confidence issues that all made me believe that I couldn’t exercise without having an asthma attack, my skin was much better being as covered up as possible and that I was never going to be able to achieve my goals and dreams in life. As I got older I realised I also had piled on the weight. My goal was to challenge myself, to find another form of exercise that didn’t include being red faced and sweating in the gym and that could help me increase my confidence and self belief as well as my ever growing food baby.
More than anything, I wanted to just let go and put myself out there. I didn’t care if I fell flat on my bum (which in the end, I have done, several times) I just wanted to be able to say I tried. I had the fitness ability and flexibility of an elephant trying to do a headstand on a seesaw. I couldn’t even open a dorito salsa dip jar, no matter how badly I wanted those doritos. I had absolutely no muscle strength whatsoever. I had heard that IPDA had wonderful teachers who knew exactly how to help and support every single type of level of fitness. So I was really curious to see if they could help me. I was 17 when I first saw a video of pole dancing. I was in absolute awe of the tricks, the spins and the graceful floorwork. I couldn’t imagine the kind of strength that it must take to be able to pole dance and how many years these dancers must have been training for.
For me, two things held me back from trying pole dancing for so long. My health was one. I couldn’t even do a half hour class in the gym without gasping for air and the sweat rolling off me. My self confidence had a huge impact on my motivation in my life. The end of a school/college or work day meant finally getting home for a nap and my daily dose of Downton Abbey and Greys Anatomy. Irish Pole Dance Academys’ classes range between 6pm and 9pm. Including the half hour bus ride home? I thought they were having a laugh. Sure that’s dinner and rest time. I was just way too lazy to even give it an ounce of consideration. The second thing that held me back was wondering what my family and friends would think about me taking up pole dancing. Luckily though, they couldn’t have been any more supportive of me.
In September of last year, I saw a Facebook page for the Irish Pole Dance Academy. Scrolling through the photos, everyone seemed so happy and successful in learning the skills they had been thought by Arlene, Leanne and Jillian, the instructors. I signed up for their newsletter and from there I finally signed up for the 3 week introduction course. I was still unhappy with my weight and the thoughts of wearing shorts infront of ANYONE gave me panic attacks. The more photos I saw on the facebook page, the more I could see how the pole academy embraced people of all different nations, body shapes and sizes, levels of fitness and
I was still unhappy with my weight and the thoughts of wearing shorts infront of ANYONE gave me panic attacks. The more photos I saw on the facebook page, the more I could see how the pole academy embraced people of all different nations, body shapes and sizes, levels of fitness and flexibility. Personally, remembering back to my frame of mind when I joined IPDA, I can’t really say I was either driven to solve a problem or to achieve a goal. I just wanted to give it a go. I didn’t want to talk myself out of having finally signed up for an introduction class. So I just decided to go and see what it was like.
Honestly, joining IPDA was the greatest thing I have ever done for myself. After my first class taught by Leanne, I could barely walk, I was covered in bruises, my muscles felt like they were ready to collapse but I was already a pole addict. 😉 I couldn’t believe how supportive and motivational both teachers and other members were. From day one, all 12 of the beginners in the same class as me became a part of the IPDA family. All other members regularly gave us tips that they felt was helpful to them when they were first learning to pole dance, they would see when one of us was struggling and instantly ran to our rescue and some even shared their pole grip with us! Each and every day I got that little bit stronger, I could manage one new spin, I even found myself appreciating the pole bruises as a sign of how hard I had worked in class until I eventually stopped bruising altogether. I started eating better and my body shape started to change and bit by bit I got a little slimmer and a little more toned. I even bought myself a beautiful new size 8 dress to wear to the IPDA’s 2nd Birthday Party a few weeks ago!! I no longer see 6pm as home, nap and downton abbey time. 6pm is run to pole and learn some new damn sexy moves and spend a few hours with some great people. Most days of the week, I won’t even get home until 9:30pm at night because I literally have to drag myself out of the studio! So many friends and family have commented on how much I’ve grown into myself since joining the academy. In such a short time, Arlene, Jillian and Leanne have made me realise that I can do it.
I’m excited to expand my skills within pole dancing. I can’t wait to see what moves I will learn in the next year! My biggest goal now is to be able to climb the pole gracefully and be able to get to the very top. I’m looking forward to achieving this. I have loved the support from the instructors. They are so patient with all the learners and give us such a huge boost of confidence. They encourage us to achieve our goals. IPDA is such a great place to train and I have learned so much from everyone.
When I joined IPDA, I really was starting from scratch in relation to fitness and flexibility. I have been going to a conditioning and flexibilty class each week and not only do I find that they really help me get fit and flexible, I am also really enjoying them. I really think that anyone who is looking into trying pole dancing should take the first step and sign up for the introduction class. We all fell on our bums, had a few bumps and bruises and we all felt ungraceful and unable to look sexy doing certain dance moves. All I can tell you, is that it will be 100% worth it.”
“I started to train in pole dance over one and a half years ago. After my first class, I knew I finally found my passion. (I waited for that for more than 30 years!) Pole dance for me is a great challenge, because I don’t have any sports or gymnastic background and I’ve never been very flexible or a sporty person. Fortunately, I’m very stubborn and motivated :). I don’t mind to repeat one trick a hundred or a million times and I am not afraid of bruises. I love it when my moves look better and become easier to do.
I’m an inherently lazy person. I don’t have a pole at home, so I try to do as many classes as I can. I love the atmosphere in the studio. My pole sisters are very helpful and always ready to support me. All our instructors are amazing! They give me advice, motivation and push us to be better and better. They always smile and keep a good mood in the class.
Since I started pole I’m a lot more flexible and stronger. I don’t have to ask my husband to open a jar anymore :). I’m also closer to my split than I’ve ever been before. I try to live healthier, choose healthy foods, drink more water and avoid sweet nibbles (that’s the worst). I’m more aware of my body and see progress and personal transformation.
Everyone who is looking for a different form of exercise and fun must try pole dance. It doesn’t matter how you look, how sporty or what age you are – definitely you have to try. It’s never too late to start!”
“I’ve wanted to do pole since I was a teenager but never had the guts or the money. I came into some cash, and needed a fresh start after a relationship ended, so I decided to put myself first and invest in myself. My first class was terrifying but I’ve never looked back. I’d tried lots of things before, and I run and do yoga but I find them very solitary and it’s easy to make excuses. I needed to go somewhere where my absence would be noticed and where I felt accountable.
Since I started pole I’m a lot more flexible. I’m physically a lot stronger and have some very sexy muscles. I’m also closer to my splits than I’ve ever been in my life and can rock six inch heels. I’ll show my stomach in public, which is a big thing for me. My mental health has improved greatly and I feel more confident in all aspects of my life; if I can handle an invert I can definitely write an essay for college.
I love the encouragement that I get; being able to talk to someone who understands the frustration of trying to get something and it just not working for you is reassuring. I love the family at IPDA, and that’s what we are, a family. I love my pole sisters, ye pick me up when I’m down and kick my butt when I need it. I enjoy the different teaching style each of the instructors have and appreciate so much how dedicated they all are to come in every day and help us learn.
If I was talking to someone who was nervous about starting pole, I would tell them to just go for it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’m happier, healthier, and I feel sexier than I’ve ever felt. Yes, it can be tough, and some days won’t be as good as others, but when you finally go for it, you’ll feel amazing.”
“So, I was working from home one July afternoon and feeling utterly frustrated. I had been doing yoga religiously but it just wasn’t doing it for me any more. I also was recently told that due to irreparable damage on both my knees I wasn’t allowed to run anymore. My favourite exercise… GONE! And as a result I was beginning to feel all soft around the edges. I started investigating gyms in the area and Google steered me to Irish Pole Dance Academy, practically on my doorstep too! Best. Decision. Ever!
After the intro classes I was hooked. Like… Utterly hooked. Pole is the perfect sport for me. It uses the flexibility and strength of yoga, while also giving me the toughness and challenge of aerobic exercise without impact on my sad knees. When you achieve you don’t achieve on just one level; you achieve physically, emotionally, psychologically… And the boost to self esteem is like nothing I have felt through any other workout. But it’s not just a work out, is it?!
For one or two nights a week I get to go to an amazing studio and work out with the most motivating, inspiring, KICK ASS ladies about. Check your runners and judgement at the door, there is only positivity in IPDA. The only competition is with yourself. To push yourself that bit harder, go that extra mile, earn that extra bruise and float out the door just a little bit more awesome than when you came in.
I can’t really put into words how much I get out of pole. But I do feel great that I have a new obsession.
Thanks to Arlene and everyone in IPDA!”
“I tried the gym, but I just couldn’t handle going from machine to machine, listening to rubbish club music, while staring at a wall. I needed to get myself fit while having fun. I had thought about pole dancing for a long time, years actually, but it always seemed like such an insane idea, like me… On a pole… Dancing??
I’ve achieved so much in such a short space of time, I can now climb the pole,not very gracefully, but I can get up there. Climbing the pole was a goal I set myself in the first few weeks of starting pole; it seemed impossible, because I wasn’t very strong, but when I finally did it, it made me the happiest person alive. And I went home smiling like an eejit the whole drive home. I can also now invert, which is insane to me that I can not just hold my own weight, but I can now hold my weight while upside-down… Something I could never have imagined myself doing in a million years!
The best thing about the program is the pole teachers, they are so supportive and friendly. They don’t rush you and let you take everything at your own pace. They always remind me that everyone is at different levels and some people catch on to things faster then others. Which really helped me, because if the girl beside me nails a spin in one try, and I am on my 5th or 6th try and it’s still not working, it’s hard not to beat myself up a little. But having such support from the teachers just makes me be that little bit nicer to myself. It’s so easy to give up but these teachers wont let you. And also on top of having awesome teachers, you are surrounded by kick ass pole people/lifetime pole friends who are there to cheer you on when you finally nail that spin or to cheer you up when you fell on your ass doing god knows what. The atmosphere in the studio is just so electric with all these helpful and crazy people. It sounds cheesy but after 5 months I have never left the studio without a smile on my face. Everyone just lifts each other up,and I love that.
Everyone says this but just ‘Feckin’ do it’! Honestly I wasted so much time deciding if I could manage it.Was I sexy enough? Am I a good enough dancer? Then after I joined… I have never felt so good, because being able to express myself and not care who’s looking, and to be sexy and not feeling bad about it, is the most liberating thing ever. I started to not care if I was good enough but throw those thoughts aside and to actually take care of myself, and to spend some real time on me, and telling myself : ‘Yes, I can be sexy’.
So if you have ever thought to yourself ‘Hmm I’d like to try that’, then just do it! You will always wonder, and be that boring old woman that sits at the back off the 17a bus and tells young people stories about how she NEARLY went to a pole dancing class, and she almost had the best craic of her life. End of the day you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And just giving yourself a chance and jumping off the fence is the best thing you could do.”
“Start with your not-so-awesome side”…”Fight the good fight”….”Three, two, one, engage, breath”….”I don’t care if you hate me, you really love me”….These are just some of the inspirationally motivating quotes thrown out by the fab instructors at IDPA just before you feel like dying, but then miraculously feel amazing and then willingly challenge and push yourself to go further! This place is amazing for it’s positive vibes, support, all round craic and making new friends (it’s like one big happy family). From the minute you step into the studio, the vibe is warm and welcoming and supportive.
“I had tried pole dancing before a few years ago and really enjoyed it but I had just started college so I didn’t have the time or the money to continue doing it. At the start of this year I was just unhappy with my job and my gym routine, I just felt like nothing was for me and I had nothing to look forward to each week. So I researched a few places and found the IPDA. I thought I would just show up each week, learn some tricks and go home. Instead I found this amazing place with some of the most enthusiastic and encouraging people I’ve ever met.
I’m much stronger (especially my upper body) and more flexible but most of all I just feel more confident and comfortable in myself.
Again I can’t speak highly enough Arlene, Kat, Leanne and Jillian. If something isn’t working they’re always there to tell you “it’s fine or maybe try this variation for now and come back to it and it will come eventually”. They also offer some tough love too….“fight the good fight!” and “point your f**king toes! :D”.
I love that there’s none of the “get in, do it, get out” mentality of your normal boring gym, there’s always a new goal to aim for and there’s nothing better than the feeling of getting that spin or trick that’s been evading you.
I love the variety of classes too. Spinny pole, exotic dance (all the lovely shoes!!) and more recently aerial hoop have all become favourites of mine.
My only regret is that I didn’t join sooner so I would say just try it. You will regret it if you don’t.”
“I’m feeling AMAZING inside and out! Never thought I would be better at dancing in heels than walking down the street in a pair of shoes! Also I’ve gained muscle as well as confidence. When I say muscle I don’t mean I look like”The Rock” but I have become more toned and a lot more flexible! I mean I can’t praise the IPDA girls enough, they will help and push you to be the best you can be.
Can I say I love everything about IPDA? From the classes, to the people and to the countless ‘warrior marks’ (bruises). I can’t pick just one favourite thing, I just love it all too much! The classes are brilliant especially now that we have more adorable fairy lights! Also the trainers are always there to help and building up to becoming even more amazing than you already are. One class is never the same, there is always an added dance, stretch or exercise and I love how fun it is.
Anyone who is even thinking about joining, just do it, I promise you wont regret it! I mean how could you not love dancing with a pole?! It allows you to have fun and take break for yourself. It will be the best gift that you can give yourself. Even you are alone, you will make friends the minute you walk in the door.”
“I had looked into the idea of starting a pole dancing program a couple of months before I actually started the class, as I thought it would be great fun to do. The reason I didn’t start right then and there was because in my head I kept thinking that I wasn’t fit,s lim or strong enough to do it, as everyone you see doing pole dancing looks amazing. But after the New Year I thought I’d just go for it, so I rang up IPDA and Lauren was so lovely on the phone and said there was a class starting that week and that there was a place left if I wanted it. So I booked in and from that first class I have just loved it! Arlene and Kelly have been amazing!!!
When I first started pole dancing, Arlene did the warm up with us which was quite hard in itself, but Arlene managed to make it fun and once we’d warmed up she started showing us the moves we’d be learning. I watched thinking no way in hell was I ever going to be able to do them, but she took us through them step by step and it took me a while to get the first few, but with practice I got them! Since then they’ve all been coming easier and now I can do moves I would never have imagined I could do before I started, and it just makes you feel wonderful each time you do them!!!
I love the whole programme but if I had to pick, I think the best things would be that both Arlene and Kelly have been supportive and open to questions throughout the whole thing and they make the whole experience so much fun. The classes are so welcoming. At the minute I’m finished one I just can’t wait for the next one to start!
Definitely do it! It is so amazing and if you don’t get the moves first time, don’t worry or get disheartened as you will get them in time. Arlene and Kelly will be there to help you and no one in the class will get the moves first time all the time. And no one laughs at you if you mess up, as they are all there to learn and will have different levels of fitness.”
I really needed to do exercise, but I don’t like to exercise at gym alone; I find it quite boring! I had some experience with pole dancing in Korea and I wanted to keep learning this, so I searched for classes here in Dublin.
When I first joined the Irish Pole Dance Academy, I had lost almost all of my strength! I found it difficult at first, but I gained more and more strength with every class. I can now do lots of different motions and tricks on the pole!
My favourite class is the Spinny Pole class. It’s so fun and exciting! I never had the opportunity to try Spinny Pole in Korea, so I love this class at Irish Pole Dance Academy!
Pole dance is fun, not boring, and you feel a sense of achievement. So don’t hesitate, just do it!
I have always liked dancing and fitness, and I have tried different classes looking for one that would bring together flexibility, strength and really good fun. I was always intrigued by Pole Dancing, and I started out of curiosity, ticking a new experience on my list. Little did I know I would like it so much…
I didn’t expect it to be such a complete discipline. Since I started I can feel much more strength in my muscles, and I am slowly getting back flexibility from my old dancing days. I love the way it works every part of the body without exhausting you, while actually being entertaining. I can also feel I am developing a skill rather than just mindlessly toning my body. Besides, there is a sensual side to it that you can only find in a few kind of dances, and it really boosts your confidence.
The atmosphere is amazing, honest and friendly. Every trainer brings in her own touch and they are all really good and caring (and patient!). Everyone feels comfortable and looked after evolving at their own pace. The music is great, which I find very important and the classes are fun, and cover a wide range of moves.
Pole dancing is a hidden gem, its not your average workout! It’s an athletic sport if you take it seriously, and a fun physical activity if you take it lightly. If you are tired from cold boring Gym classes and are endlessly looking for a fun way to work-out while learning something, then try something different. Life is short =)
“Pole dancing helped me to transform from Couch Potato to Pole Dancer…
I won’t lie – I used to be such a lazy person, very unmotivated and not at all fit. I toyed with the idea of Pole Dancing for a while and had tried a few classes but it was only just over 2 years ago when I joined the Irish Pole Dance Academy that I saw myself transforming from a lazy so and so, to someone that could not wait for a weekly dose of pole with the wonderful instructor: Arlene Caffrey.
Arlene’s passion shows in her teaching and rubs off on her students and has motivated me to challenge myself in becoming stronger and more flexible than I have ever been before.
I would never have dreamed before Pole that I would have had the confidence to perform but with the help and encouragement of Arlene I took on my first ever competition (in anything!) and it was exhilarating and I was so proud of how far I had come and the strength I had gained from training for this competition.
I won’t say pole is easy – it takes a lot to perfect moves / get some tricks, but it is possible. There is no can’t. Pole is the most rewarding thing if you continue with it and finally nail that trick that has been a nemesis for months. I love that after so long I still have so many new moves to look forward to trying besides perfecting the ones I know. There is no fear of classes becoming stagnant / boring but rather a determination to improve every single week.
It is hard to write a testimonial and keep it short as Pole has become such a huge part of my life and something that I would recommend and encourage anyone to try. So in summary why do I love it and in particular this place:
1. My confidence has skyrocketed
2. I am stronger / leaner / flexier than ever before in my life (which is amazing at the grand age of 30!!)
3. I am motivated
4. I am determined to get better
5. Arlene is the best instructor I could hope for and keeps me going with her can do attitude!”
“I have really been enjoying the classes and can see a lot more progress lately.
I love the gym and love running. I have a good fitness level but was getting a bit bored with the same old routine. My flexibility over the years had really gotten quite bad probably due to the 4 days a week running I did without a proper stretch out afterwards.I couldn’t touch my toes and the term ‘splits’ was alien to me. I figured I needed to do something now to change all that. I had tried yoga and pilates before but neither really appealed to me and my flexibility never improved. A friend recommended Arlene’s class to me and after some thought I grabbed a friend and we enrolled.
The physical improvements have been I can now successfully touch my toes! But really I can do so much more as well. I have managed the straddle stretch on the pole, I can almost do the bridge unassisted. I am getting closer to the splits but still have some way to go there. I can invert on the pole unassisted and do a handstand from there and I can do many spins and floor work.
The class isn’t really just about the physical side of pole though. It is not just about the fact you tone up so much doing these classes or that your flexibility improves and your fitness increases. Its about the lovely people you meet and the view you have of yourself after doing these. I definitely have more confidence and feel better about how I look even though most of the changes aren’t something you can see. I also must mention that the sleep I have on a Tuesday after two hours in class is the best I get all week!
Arlene’s attitude is fantastic. The little comments she makes really stick with you. For example there is no such thing as pain its just ‘an interesting feeling’ and we have no bad side just ‘a less awesome side’. My most favorite is she always tells us to concentrate on ourselves and not the people around us as we are all working on different areas. I was worried about joining as I was a complete beginner, but that doesn’t matter. I might be struggling to touch my toes, but someone else is struggling with something else (splits, inverts, a certain spin). We are all here to improve, not to keep score. The people in the class are so encouraging and celebrate in what ever victories are achieved in the class each week.
What reason have you not to join? Its great fun, great music, and all the results are positive. You dont have to be a flexi size 6 enjoy this class, its for everyone of all ages, shapes and size. No matter what you think you can’t do there will still be something you can do and you will be surprised how much you improve over a few weeks. Do it just so you can tell your friends you are a pole dancer ;)”
“I started the program because I wanted to try something different in terms of exercise. Having watched pole dancers on talent shows I was amazed by their strength, even though their physique would often be quite small.
Since starting pole fitness I have noticed a big difference in the strength and toning of my arms. While I do a lot of dancing and would have quite strong legs I always lacked upper body strength and feel pole fitness has really improved this along with my flexibility.
The best thing about the classes is the fun that everyone has together. Some of the faces pulled when doing moves and trying to ‘look sexy’ are hilarious! Kelly is a brilliant instructor too and breaks down the moves in a way which makes them easier to pick up.
I would advise anyone looking for a fun form of exercise to try pole fitness. The interactive nature of the classes means, that while you could go with your friends, it’s also really easy to go alone as you will all be helping each other out with moves the whole time!”
At the very beginning I was surprised (almost shocked) that IPDA primarily teaches pole dancing on static poles. I was used to the spinning mode so much that the static pole appeared to be the whole new world for me. From November 2014 to February 2015 I managed to learn not only the spins but also nailed my climbing, crucifix or outside leg hang! I also met other pole addicts and have made new friends!
The best part of IPDA are the trainers! Each student is approached personally by the instructor throughout the class. Every student can actually feel that they are in safe hands of a professional. Whenever I don’t understand/know what to do/have any other problem, I can freely ask for help as many times as needed. I always leave the class fully satisfied because even if not every move was smooth I know the technique and understand what exactly gone wrong (every mistake is a lesson). I like the fact that everybody is encouraged to try a certain trick/technique at least once. Even if it’s far from being perfect we always know which part of it needs polishing.
The reason why I consider pole dancing as one of the best sports in the world is because it gives you countless benefits such as strength, flexibility, better coordination, self esteem, FRIENDS and many many more! You actually do the serious workout without realising it (I usually realise it the morning after 😉 ). In IPDA the atmosphere during the class is always friendly and cheerful. You can make friends with other polers and instructors as well! Another important thing is that everybody is encouraged to develop their own UNIQUE style reflecting their personality. So don’t be shy and join us to make friends, get fit, be creative and have fun in IPDA!”
“I had already tried pole dance in workshops in Berlin and Barcelona and had so much fun that I decided I wanted to start pole dancing regularly. At that time I was about to move to Ireland, so before coming to Dublin I started looking for a pole dance school here and that’s how I came across IPDA!
I had some dance background but no gymnastics or sports background AT ALL. I’m the kind of person that has never really been into any sport, so I’m not very strong, but now I’ve been pole dancing for about a year and a half and I can feel how I have become stronger and more flexible. And I’m able to do things I would never have dreamt of!
Since I’m pole dancing I feel more conscious about my body, like I have more control over it and also I have learnt to love my body just the way it is.
The best thing about IPDA is definitely Arlene. I have met good dancers that are not so good as teachers, but Arlene explains tricks in a way that makes sense (yes!) and she’s always patient and encouraging. I think that has created the good atmosphere in IPDA. There is a good relationship between the girls, everyone helps and supports each other.
Just give it a try! I can guarantee it will be a good experience for sure. It’s a great exercise, good fun and you will meet very nice people. If you don’t like the first class maybe pole dance is not for you after all, but there’s about 99% chances you will enjoy it.”
“Before I started the program, I was growing really tired of the gym. My cousin started pole dancing classes and recommended I try it out. I started watching videos and I was amazed by (and jealous of) the strength and control that the pole dancers had. I was hooked after the first class!
I have had problems with my hips for the past few years but since starting pole dancing, my flexibility has improved greatly and I’ve felt a huge improvement. I feel my core, posture and balance has improved too and i’m able to do moves I couldn’t dream of 4 months ago. I always feel so great after classes and find myself looking forward to classes every week!
I think the IPDA program is a great mix of dance and conditioning. I love that it’s light hearted and the classes are so fun and challenging and not just hair flicking and pretty poses (although that can be enjoyable too). I’ve been taught by three different teachers with IPDA and I’m always so impressed by how talented they are themselves and how dedicated and patient they are with everyone. The emphasis is always put on good technique and of course pointing those toes!
If you’re on the fence… Just try it! Everyone is a beginner at some stage and you’d be surprised how quickly you start nailing moves. Your friends will all be envious of your arms after a few weeks too!”
`’My adventure with pole dance I started over half a year ago. I’m in my 30’s, work full time and I’m a busy Mom and I tried to do something only for myself. My friend told me about IPDA and encouraged me to join with her, but at the end she changed her mind.
I was a little afraid, but I decided to try anyway, just for fun. After my first class I knew it, that exactly this, what I want to doing! And now a pole dance is my passion! I always look forward to next class.
Each trick is a big challenge for me, because I don’t have any sports or gymnastics background. I’ve never been very flexible or a sporty person, but after few months my back, shoulders and arms are really stronger. My body is more flexible and I can do things, what I couldn’t do before.
I know I have to work much more and the way to become a highly skilled pole dancer is long and hard, but I’m determined to get better and better.
Arlene gave me motivation. She’s the best instructor I could have. She’s a very good teacher and lovely person also. She always gives me advice to do tricks better and pushes to try the harder version. She always smiles and keeps a good mood in the class. I really enjoy all classes, especially the new spinny pole class. I love the amazing feeling when “I’m flying”.
It doesn’t matter how you look and how sporty you are, you have to try. You never know, maybe you’ll love it and pole dance will become your passion, like mine.
For all IPDA team – Thank you so much :)”
“I had always regarded pole dancers with a mixture of awe and envy. To me they embodied so many qualities I wanted to have: strength, grace, beauty in movement, athleticism and finally I concluded that I wanted to be part of it more than I was scared of trying. I had been in more ‘traditional’ dance classes before and had been discouraged by feeling ungainly and uncoordinated alongside everyone else and it was always with mild trepidation that I went along to class, but I never felt like that at the IPDA, I loved it from the get-go and the feeling of achievement just builds every week.
I feel stronger and more elegant, always in the back of my mind that toes must be pointed! When I look in the mirror the morning after a class I can see immediate definition and greater muscular tone. I’m more fearless than before and it’s pretty amazing to watch videos of incredible pole-dancers now and recognise moves and positions within their routine that I now know how to do, albeit on a lower level. Every time I grab hold of the pole to go into a spin I feel a sense of exhilaration – flying!
My classes are something I look forward to every week, I love walking in the door and seeing the familiar faces, we always have such a laugh together. The teachers are wonderful; enthusiastic, kind and encouraging and every week we’re learning something new, continually building upon our skills.
The one thing that was holding me back from joining a pole class was fear that I was unfit and inflexible and that I would be surrounded by gorgeous sexy people who were instantly brilliant but kind of superior and mean. My fears however were unfounded – in my opinion everyone is gorgeous and sexy (and we’re on our way to brilliance), but they are also completely lovely and fun and there is a great sense of camaraderie. It’s an amazing workout for your whole body and it doesn’t matter if you are unfit and inflexible, everything comes with time. I couldn’t recommend joining highly enough, I went abroad for 4 months this year and my classes at the IPDA were among the things I missed the most! ”
“About two years ago I was feeling very spiritless and turned off with my fitness choices. I craved something new and fun to put the spark back into my energy. As I researched I came upon the Irish pole Dance Academy website. When I learned that they did classes in Galway, I thought mmmmmh I got to try this “ sexy + exercise = lots of pole fun”. I was ecstatic (and still am).
Since starting pole, my confidence has boosted. I’m doing things with my body that I thought I could never do. I have learned to challenge my fears and that baby steps and practice is the key to success. The best feeling of all is the moment you finally get that trick or combo down after working so hard to master it, you feel like a million dollars and sexy of course.
IRISH POLE DANCE ACADEMY ROCKS…
I love that every class has always something new to offer, between choreography and pole tricks. Arlene and Cat always make the most daunting tricks to me achievable. Their attention to detail and technique is quality.
The pole girls or as we say our “spotting buddies “ are fabulous. I look forward to seeing them every week, they like my support net lol!! Always encouraging and pushing each other through strengths and weaknesses.
Being in class is like work and pleasure….. together.
You won’t be disappointed!!!”
“I started with pole dance because I was curious. I saw some video online and I just wanted to move like them. After my first class I just fell in love into pole dance!
After a half year of doing pole dance I notice that my body is stronger and more flexible than before. I was always too lazy doing exercise at home but now I feel that I want to push my goal further and I am trying to find an hour every day to do some stretching or build my strength.
What I like most about Arlene’s classes is that she teaches us new spins, tricks and routine with patience and with lot of fun. I also love Sexy Flexibility class, Ballet Conditioning (which is not that easy as I thought ;)) and the best class of the week is Exotic Dance 🙂 After I join this class I never felt sexier. Not to mention the super hot workshops with Amber. All this classes gave me lots of self confidence and fun and chance to know new people.
I never had dance background so I would recommend pole dancing for everyone who would like to get into better physical condition, lose weight and also shape your body. Arlene is the best teacher what you can wish for. She is kind, funny, patient, with super good taste of music and because her classes are not overcrowded she can pay attention to every person separately.”
“Since I have lived in Galway I missed a lot skating as I was a roll and ice skater in Spain. One day I decided that I have to do some exercise but I always hated the gyms… So one night out in a pub where there was a pole I meet a girl who was dancing and I asked her for few tricks, immediately I fall in love with the pole and I looked for classes in Galway so there it goes!
I am quite impressed myself because when I started I didn’t know anything about pole dance, I remember my first day: I was a bit nervous but very excited. Nowadays I am in an intermediate level and I feel more secure and confident on the pole. I am able to do up side downs without problem, my favorite ones are Gemini and the Butterfly.
I really love the good atmosphere you feel when you walk into the classes. Cat and Arlene are always smiling and cheering you up. You always feel like trying every trick you learned even if it is so difficult for you at first. I love the way they explain you tricks to be more flexible too.
To anyone that is undecided about joining classes, I would say that if they have been thinking about trying to do some pole dance that they have to do it. Because it’s a really nice way to do some exercise and it makes you feel so sexy and secure of yourself. I would like to say as well that they don’t have to be afraid about what the people may think of doing pole dance as this is other way of dance, just that. And it doesn’t mean that you have to be a stripper.”
“I got interested in taking up pole dance classes after I saw Arlene perform at a show and thought it was absolutely amazing and effortless. It looked like it would be fun to learn. Also I had been doing aerial performance classes for a few months and was keen to develop more upper body strength, without having to actually go to a boring gym. I thought it would be a good complementary exercise but I ended up loving it in its own right.
I really think that it had a big impact on my body, strength, flexibility, coordination, confidence and other sports. I have toned up a lot in the 3 months and am walking a lot taller. I had struggled to do inversion in my aerial dance classes and soon after starting pole I was able to invert no bother. Compared to the first day it really is amazing the list of trick and spins that I can now do, and it’s only been 3 months. The sense of accomplishment when you are able to do the tricks is brilliant and very addictive!
What I like best about the Irish Pole Dance Academy is the enthusiastic teachers – everyone is always so supportive and friendly and full of energy (I’m not sure how!!!). The class is always fun and you learn and gain so much without even realizing. The teachers know how to do all the moves and are even better at explaining how to do them. The variety of classes and workshops are also brilliant. The Sexy Flexibility class, the Exotic Dance class and the Spinny Pole workshop are excellent additions to the normal classes and I loved them all. The photo shoot with Jass was also one of the best things I’ve ever had the chance to do. I was worried that after only 3 months I wouldn’t have enough tricks, but there was lots I was able to do and the pictures were amazing (if I can say that about pictures of myself!). Everyone gets to know each other really well and there is a sense of community and fun rather than just a class that people go to once or twice a week.
To anyone thinking about joining the Irish Pole Dance Academy, just go for it. I don’t come from a dance or gym background, and it’s not needed, everything is covered in the class. You will get hooked and won’t ever want to leave!”
“I have felt attracted by the exotic side of pole dance but never thought to be part of this amazing art. My accomplishment has been fantastic in a short time of beginning pole dancing classes. I lost two kilos already; my body and soul are changed completely! I’m taking pole dance class every Tuesday with Cat and private lessons with Arlene on Saturday. Both ladies are excellent trainers, very patient and they make me feel very confident. Every class is so much fun. Since I discovered this incredible art of pole dance, I regret to not have discovered it before. But never is to late to begin something new and give to your self a good opportunity to be strong, sexy and confident. Thanks so much to Irish Pole Dance Academy for this opportunity!”
“I had seen a pole performance the July previous to joining. I was mesmerised by the sheer strength used and the beautiful performance this strength allowed. When I learned that classes were in Galway I jumped at the chance to give it a go.
Since starting pole dancing in September 2013 and then combining that with Sexy Flexy classes later on I have achieved strength in my arms, core, and legs. I have a new found balance; I find since beginning pole dancing I have become less clumsy and awkward when I walk or run. I am the lightest and most confident I have been in a long time and it is very much thanks to pole dancing.
It’s very enjoyable, but at the same time it is constantly throwing new challenges at you that you just feel the need to achieve!
To anyone who’s undecided about joining, give it a chance; it’s a whole new experience. You might not be afraid that you don’t have the muscle for it right now but don’t worry it all comes along in time!”
“A friend suggested we start pole classes. It was something I had thought would be fun to try for a while. I also wanted a toning and strengthening alternative to plain old weights (snooze). I never thought I would have loved it as much as I do! I’m not great and it’s not easy and it won’t be a career change for me but it keeps me toned, pushes me mentally and physically and is so soooo much fun. Like any exercise or activity, you get out what you put in. The more you do it, the more you stretch in between classes the better you are for it the next week (which is something I need to constantly remind myself).
The results have been both physical and psychological. Physically I can see myself getting more toned…sometimes I give myself a fright when I see my arms in certain angles 😀 Having had a belly (sad face) for most of my adult life, my sisters keep wondering where it has gone (it’s not altogether gone I might add). Granted other forms of exercise play a part but I take elements of what I’ve learned in both the pole and sexy flexi classes into other activities…even while waiting for the microwave or for a printer to finish I find myself body rolling or kicking. I find that any other exercise I do, I do for the greater pole good too!
Psychologically it has given me so much more body confidence. I may not be no Heidi Klum but now I don’t really care. It has also made me more determined a person. Can’t get a pole trick…I won’t give up. Again these spill into my everyday life. Can’t open a bottle I won’t give up til it’s open. Feeling frump…going to take my pants off and go upside down. It has also made me more open to trying new things. You have to try most things at least once. Like I said I’m still not great and I have a long way to go but the more I put in the more I get out of it. It’s been the longest exercise programme I’ve ever kept up with consistently. Must be good if I keep coming back!
I like the comfortable, supportive classes..always ready with a ‘bualadh bos’. My instructor, Arlene, is super supportive and awesome and strong (so don’t worry about falling). She gives good tips for improvement and in my experience if you actually listen to what she’s telling you and how to do things it really helps. Unfortunately it can take a few weeks for it to sink in. I have not had too much experience with the other instructors but any that I’ve had has only been good. Even if they are just walking by they will lend you a hand if you’re struggling. I’ve met some really good people during my time here! The music is awesome too!
If you’re nervous, rope a friend in! You’ll have so much fun together and get much closer than you ever thought you could. If you’re worried about the short shorts…don’t! You learn after even 2 classes why you need them and after a few more weeks you’ll find them getting ever shorter and even more clothes coming off as the tricks get harder and you get more determined. I’m not skinny or tall or very flexible so don’t let that be an excuse. In fact, you’ll find you can change all 3 of those things (maybe number 2 only a tiny bit but still) if you keep up the good work. Age shouldn’t be a factor either. I myself am in the over 30s category and have a friend in her 40s who started last year too. Try it for even 2 or 3 classes and see what you think…you’ll most probably be pleasantly surprised!”
“This was a move I NEVER thought possible for simple ol’ me to do!!! And I’m kicking out some combos too thanks to Arlene!!! Super happy with myself!… I did have seriously weak butt muscles and ridiculously tight hip flexors but since I put my mind to it and started stretching consistently they have improved! I also do Arlene’s leg kicks and circles which I find brilliant!”
“I went to Arlene to help me choreograph a routine for a pole dance competition, she exceeded my expectations and gave me invaluable advice. I booked three sessions with her and I found each very helpful, she was also there for me online with any questions I had inbetween sessions and was always quick to respond. She always made me feel at ease and gave me a new confidence. Her attention to detail is second to none! Will definitely be back to her in the future!”
“I was able to achieve the front splits in 6 months at age 30, for which I can’t thank Arlene enough for her incredible and safe tips & techniques, inspiration & motivation!! I used to think chocolate was my only addiction, but thanks to Arlene & her awetastic classes, I am a pole junkie too now!“
“Irish Pole Dance Academy brings an enthusiastic and comfortable setting for learning the art of pole dancing. For some, the thought of getting up on a pole or down to your undies may seem crazy but Arlene creates an atmosphere is so relaxed that your never body conscious, shy or uneasy if anything it makes you feel sexy, self confident and vibrant.
As an ex-dancer and self confessed fitness junkie I joined Irish Pole Dance Academy a year ago in 2011 mainly because I wanted to combine my love for dance and strength exercises. One of my main goals was to get to a competitive standard so I decided I wanted to train with the best. With Arlene’s experience and accomplishments I knew she was a safe bet. Like any woman I was apprehensive about whether I would be able for it or if I could hide my tummy but everyone is at the same level and after a while you get so into it you stop thinking about how you look. Pole welcomes all shapes and sizes.
I competed in Pole Dance Ireland’s Princess Competition in December 2012 and came second in the Amateur section. All the girls from the class came on the night to support me; it was like a class social event. I have to say if it wasn’t for Arlene’s encouragement, support and expertise I never would have imagined I could reach my goals let alone surpass them. I look forward to class every week not just because I love pole but the girls have become great friends too, it’s like we’re a little pole family.”