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When I first started thinking about pole dancing it was a moment in my life in which I was really disappointed with gyms and other physical activities that didn’t feel right for me. I was already living in Dublin for 4 years and trying to find something to do on my free time, something outside of work and the stressed environment, something that I could do for myself to feel good with my body as I had a really bad experience with injuries and back pains.
It took me a while to decide and to take the first step towards joining IPDA as I searched for a new activity which could motivate and inspire me while keeping me interested. I read on the internet and watched videos about pole dancing and it seemed really interesting and& challenging, so I decided to take a leap and try it out; it didn’t take long to realize that it was much more than a physical activity…. It became a passion.
This is important because it’s the only moment of my day in which I am doing something just for myself, it helped me find my own balance of body and mind as well as a safe place to express myself with no judgement or criticism and to be part of this awesome community with people that share the same interests and passion.
Before I joined I was afraid about my injuries and pain, as well as being afraid of disappointing myself and dropping out after a month. Pole dance seems the right thing for me, I feel stronger, sexier, and empowered, it proves me that you can do anything if you really want to. I feel so happy with my progress as I started with no strength or flexibility and was scared to try anything out of my comfort zone!
After 11 months I can see myself getting more a powerful body and soul, I am no longer afraid to try new things and failure. Pole dance taught me that you have to fail to get up and try again, you have to know your limits and don’t push too much otherwise you will get injured, to be patient and the progress will come, to not compare yourself with others as this is not a competition, as everybody is unique and can’t be compared with anyone else. Don’t try to fit with other people but just create your own space and style because this is you and only you, you don’t have to prove anything to no one else.
My future goal is to keep improving myself and get stronger and flexible as much as to find my own place and style as a pole dancer.
My favourite thing about IPDA is that it’s a great place to start learning about pole dance; all the teachers know exactly how to introduce pole dance to beginners as well as making sure that every individual member progresses and reaches their goals. It’s a great place to try advanced tricks as well as to be inspired and motivated to keep going and finding your own style.
I will never forget when I struggled with learning how to do body rolls and Arlene simply sent me a video to get some nice tips and exercises for my next lesson; this personal advice showed me how much the IPDA cares about everyone and how supportive they are.
I will never forget Leanne pushed me out of my comfort zone to try a new pole trick because she knew before me that I could do it… Sometimes you just need someone to believe in you more than you believe in yourself.
Jillian can explain the same exercise in so many different ways with games and tips that can help everybody to adopt it and move on to the next level, her techniques helped me with my progress.
I originally heard about IPDA when I searched online for a nice place to start pole dance in Dublin and every article and comment led me to IPDA where teachers know what they are doing. I checked the website and I found the answer to most of my questions I got such as: is pole dancing suitable for someone with no background of any similar activity etc., the possibility of enrolling for a month and taking a taste of pole dancing as well as to see the results after such a short period of time was what pushed me to take the step. I don’t regret it at all ?
To anyone thinking about trying pole dancing, don’t be scared to try new things, it’s safe, it’s for everybody it’s for you. There is no specific shape or age and gender or time to start pole dance, it’s not only a dance it’s an art, it’s a hobby, it’s a passion; yes you will have bruises but trust me you will have a fucking ass as well! XD


My goals when I started at IPDA were to get stronger and to feel better about my body, as I am recovering from anorexia. These things were important to me because lack of body confidence was restricting me a lot; I wanted to feel pride in what my body could do, rather than obsessing over how I looked.
I wasn’t a total stranger to pole dance when I joined, as I worked as a stripper when I was younger and had danced at another school before taking a break due to illness. What attracted me to IPDA was other dancers telling me that the classes placed a lot of emphasis on choreography and flow as well as tricks, didn’t shy away from the art forms roots in strip clubs, and were generally really sex worker positive. I’ve been dancing here almost a year now and these are still some of the aspects I best about this place. It’s also just a great positive place to be and has felt like a second home when things were rubbish at home and in other aspects of my life. The instructors challenge you and are genuinely interested in your journey, the dancers support one another and it’s the perfect environment to celebrate being unashamedly sexy. There’s still some days it’s tough being in a room of full-length mirrors, but it’s such a rush overcoming that fear to nail moves I was watching others do in awe a few months ago.
If I could say one thing to someone else thinking of starting pole dance, it’s be – sometimes the best gift you can give yourself is trying something that terrifies you. Do it 😉


I first heard about pole dancing through a blogger from Malaysia, who moved to Melbourne 11 years ago, took up pole dancing as part of her fitness routine. Although I was very sporty and active back then, I always wished I can try pole dancing one day, but hadn’t had any pole dance studio back where I was from. For 2 years prior to joining IPDA, I was going through a tough phase in my life that turned my life 180 degrees; my mental and physical health deteriorated, I was constantly feeling down, unable to focus, lacking energy and motivation. I also had minor back problem which was bugging me on day-to-day basis. I tried my best to do yoga at home, but it was not good enough to help me to bounce back to normal.
I knew I had to take corrective action to get myself back on track, before more problems started to spawn. Hence during the winter of 2017, I decided to Google pole dance centres and IPDA was the first on my search result. Without thinking, I messaged IPDA for information, challenged myself and signed up for a month trial class.
Before joining, I guess I had the typical concerns, such as being self-conscious about my physical appearance and the fear of not strong enough to execute any of the moves. I also had a lack of awareness about the elements of pole dance / fitness so I wasn’t sure about what was in store for me until I attended the taster classes.
After becoming immersed in pole dance, firstly I totally learned to love myself much more than before and I (try) to stay positive 99% of the time. I am very self-conscious, so after 7 months of poling I started filming myself to see my own progress! I have also accepted that it is my own race / journey and I’ve no one to compare to, except the 12-months-ago-Kelly; how it makes me happy to see my own transformation! My motto is “never stop learning” hence I love the idea of constant learning in IPDA. Another key point that I want to highlight is that I am learning to embrace my sexuality, again, in a healthy way, which I’ve built through the exotic dance classes here which I enjoy so much. I don’t have a dance background and I am very pleased when I put on my heels and dance to choreographies taught by IPDA trainers.
IPDA presented itself as a platform of dance studio / fitness. I love that the trainers and classes are arranged months in advance, which means members like myself are able to plan way ahead what they would like to work on ranging from tricks, spins, flexibility, conditioning or exotic dance, catering from beginner to advanced level. This is what I like about IPDA; you’re accountable for your own progress and subconsciously this instills discipline. Also, IPDA trainers are the loveliest trainers, they provide support and encouragement all the time.
I am probably one of the older (new) students in IPDA and will be using #fitover40 hashtag soon enough! LOL. Most of my pole mates are much younger than I am! This is never an issue as everybody has similar goals once we step into the studio. We not only encourage each other, we also help to spot each other in classes. I also occasionally help to photographs my classmates while they execute their tricks.
Pole dance is for everybody and it’s up to your attitude towards it. “Time and tide waits for no man” is so applicable for older person like me; time passes so quickly you might lose the chance if you wait. Also, you wouldn’t want to regret later in the future for not trying out pole dancing if it ever crosses your mind! I could not think of any worse outcome from trying pole dance other than being aware of the basic elements of pole dance!


Órla is a tattoo artist based in Dublin. When she’s not tattooing or dancing she can be found napping in the nearest small space. She’s been doing ballet on and off since age 13 and has been pole dancing here at IPDA for just over a year. With impeccably pointed toes, Órla is another one of our members who quietly and calmly demonstrates her empowered sense of self and inspires those around her. Read her story here…
pole dancing dublin“I started pole dancing to get strong; that was the main thing that sparked me looking for a new kind of exercise. The gym felt too unstructured and I had done ballet on and off for years, so I wanted to find something new and exciting. I had a bad relationship with my body for years and it was important to me to reclaim it. The strength, control and flexibility of pole dancers really struck something in me and I started to look for classes. Pretty much as soon as I found IPDA’s website, I inquired about signing up.
I found an instant comfort at IPDA. It feels like you’re coming back to a place you’re already known and accepted, but there’s always something different going on so there’s familiarity without boredom.
My view on myself has massively improved since joining. I’m forced to eat better and more often to fuel my body, I feel more connected with my body and I can trust myself more. I’ve gotten significantly stronger and it’s given me a lot more confidence. Every time I learn and nail a new move or combination, it makes my day and I feel such a sense of accomplishment.
I performed at the anniversary showcase recently which felt like a huge achievement, to be able to perform a routine I created in front of a crowd of mostly strangers. I also managed to do a pretzel spins a few weeks ago which is a move that I’ve been dying to get.
My favourite experiences at IPDA have been the other people I’ve gotten to connect with, the patience and kindness of the teachers, and the empowerment it gives you. I walk out of class every time ready to take on anything.
I encourage anyone I talk to about pole to take up classes! And to those who’ve started dancing recently, I recommend videoing at the end of each class to see your progress. You’ll be amazed how much steady improvement you make without realising.


I first started pole dancing in my second year of college, about 8 years ago. I was studying maths – one of the only girls of my course – and had been a straight-A student my whole life. At the time, I felt very insular after years of being considered a nerd and felt a struggle to get out of my head and in touch with my body.
For a while, I had admired pole and the idea of doing it for yourself from afar. But back then, the idea of taking up pole felt taboo, and I also felt because of my field of study and how people perceived me, it wasn’t something I could get into. However, after a relationship left me feeling even more insecure and awkward, I decided to do something for myself and try it out. I wanted more than ever to reconnect to my body and my more playful side. I also wanted to build confidence in myself that was independent of other people’s opinions and ideas of me.
I joined a small studio and fell in love with pole during my first lesson. I loved the challenge, reacquainting with all my limbs and also the feeling of breaking out of the pigeon-hole I’d been in. I really enjoyed embracing the other sides to me and truly tapping into my spirit with all its quirks and imperfections. I also felt an overwhelming joy when we tried inverts for the first time. I realised my arm and core strength from years of sailing as a child really played in my favour to progress quickly. It was such a funny realisation, since I’d previously been self-conscious about how muscly my arms looked. Now I loved them for their strength and wanted them even stronger. The lessons also reminded me of when I was younger playing on monkey bars and how I felt so free and happy. Taking up pole was like an awakening and a reconnection with my inner-child.
There were 2-3 years where I stopped taking lessons due to final year exams and trying to start a career in London. I also didn’t notice myself fall into a deep depression and burn-out. That was until an incident where I was assaulted on my first holiday in years. All the factors involved floored me, mentally more so than physically; I was forced to stop and accept help. After that incident I underwent therapy and received medication and I deeply appreciate both resources for getting me clinically better. Surprisingly, pole has also played a huge part in my recovery, healing and maintaining my progression. I took it back up with my best friend in London and it felt like coming home again. Since I’d not taken a lesson in so long, we both started in beginners together, and we had the best time laughing, doing choreography and learning new moves.
I am now a lot more conscious about my health and creating positive endorphins in the body, so taking back up pole meant I’d be getting the exercise I needed to stay healthy. Pole also helps me be literally stronger in all aspects of the word. And it does feel like I’m taking back control of myself and body especially when paying attention to relax my shoulders and point my toes! My experience has also taught me to be aware and careful of the people and energy I surround myself with. This is why I honestly love the Irish Pole Dance Academy. It offers a beautiful safe-haven, filled with fairy lights and a community that is truly inspiring and supportive.
When I came back to Dublin, I was particularly looking for a pole studio that embraced all aspects of pole from the fitness and fluidity to the sensual and sexy. I really wanted a place I can truly be myself, let go and have fun. In my search I came across Irish Pole Dance Academy about 2.5 years ago and have been hooked since.
Pole has helped me so much to find myself again and continues to be the key to finding balance, pun intended, in life. It also brings me so much joy to see my progress. I think my pole journey will continue even into my 70’s & 80’s. By then, I hope to have mastered the splits to showcase in my nursing home. I highly recommend it to anyone, and I think the world would be a truly beautiful place with more and more people spreading self-love, positivity and supporting each-other as we invert and transition to life again and again.


I decided to try pole dancing out back in 2015 because I was bored of pilates and going to the gym. I had tried a few classes before in a small gym back when I was 16 and had liked it but the teaching wasn’t great. I was studying my masters in translation technology at the time and needed an escape from sitting in front of my computer and a study break a few times a week. I was bored at home one day and decided to do a little Google search and voila! Found the Irish Pole Dance Academy!
Like many girls, I had attended dancing classes when I was younger – ballet, Irish dancing and hip hop. As I got older, school and college work took precedent and I wanted to change that. I enjoy exercising and wanted a new challenge. I had watched a lot of pole dancing videos and was always amazed at what these women could do. I fell down many rabbit holes watching endless trick videos and wanting to be able to do them too.
I battle a lot with how I view myself. Years of feeling insecure about how I look and how much I weigh, I was always the bigger friend in my group. Looking back on old photos, I now see I was the same size as everyone else, but people would also tell me I’d look nicer, better, prettier if I lost those few extra pounds. Maybe my brother and his friends would stop calling me ‘thunder thighs’ every time I walked by (here’s to still hoping!).
However, every time I’m at an Irish Pole Dancing Academy class, I feel comfortable and proud of my body. Each week I challenge it to do a different trick or spin – not always more physically challenging but mentally too! Every class I notice something my body couldn’t do the class before, or I’m more confident in a certain move. The workshops help a lot too! Pole dancing has not only helped me become more physically active and healthy but has helped me in the long journey of learning to love myself.
My pole goals are to basically never give up pole! It’s the first fitness that I never want the class to end. Leaving with limbs burning and aching from the class is such a thrill and you don’t want to leave until you get your new move (or nemesis!). I’ve made a good amount of progress since coming back in December and excited to see how much further I can get by the end of 2019!
I have many favourite experiences at IPDA, the main one that springs to mind is the community. The fun and positive attitude that’s always present in the studio. The instructors are amazing, always bubbly and just as ready and excited for the class as you are. The other members of IPDA are very supportive too! They’ll always give you a helping hand if you’re stuck or tell you a quick cheat into a trick you’re stuck in.
I left Ireland for 2 years and tried finding studios abroad, yet, they never had the same feeling. I moved back in late 2018 and the first thing I did once settled back into life was to ring up the IPDA and renew my membership.
For anyone who is nervous about starting their pole journey, I would tell them just to bite the bullet and sign up for your first class! You’ll meet an amazing group of women (and men) who are on the same journey as you. My friends and family are always in awe of what I can do when I show them photos and videos. It’s a brilliant and very impressive way to break out of your shell, regain or build self-confidence, all while getting fit!


My pole journey started a year ago when my long-term relationship broke down and I was looking for something fun and new to get me out of the house. I never saw the appeal of going to a gym, but I’ve always loved dancing so after Googling ‘Dance Classes Dublin’, IPDA was the first result that came up! I’d never considered doing a pole class before but reading other member spotlights (like the one I’m writing right now), piqued my interest so I signed up for the ‘Introduction to Pole Dance’ course. I was also comforted by the fact that there was no experience required as I wasn’t previously exercising.
After the first class, I realised just how much skill goes into pole and was in awe of the instructors at IPDA! Even though I couldn’t manage the spin we were taught in the first class, the Fireman Spin, I fell in love with pole! I can now even say that it’s the easiest move to do (ta-dahh progress!).
Many years ago, I worked in a promotional company where we travelled around Ireland performing and teaching Line-Dancing. I look back on those days as some of the best times of my life and am happy to say I get that same joy from pole dancing now. Even when I’m having a bad day and I’m tired – I make the effort to go to class because I know I can’t help but feel better after! I have a pole at home too and my sons love it and want to learn also!
The teachers at the studio are all so supportive but so are the other members! My favourite thing about my experience at IPDA is the camaraderie between all the members, there is no showing off or competitiveness and when somebody finally gets a move they were struggling with, the whole class cheers for them and genuinely means it!
I stuck with pole because it was fun but after months of doing it the physical results are clear, I feel stronger and more energised and my body looks more toned. I’ve also become more confident in my body, but this confidence has also spread to all aspects of my life! Now I’m pole obsessed and just want to continue to improve. My goal is to one day perform in the showcases at IPDA alongside the other amazing polers!
The only regret I have is that I didn’t discover pole sooner (I could’ve had a career in it by now!) so my advice for anyone on the fence of joining is: don’t hesitate and just give it a go!“