Modern pole vs Chinese pole

  • By Carla & Lisa Broughton
  • 11 Sep, 2017

Continuing on from last week's blog, this week will be a bit of a history lesson! 

Specifically, exploring the difference between Chinese pole and modern day pole dancing. There are huge similarities between these two art forms, and the former of the two actually dates back around two thousand years! As modern day pole dancing has evolved and developed, it's borrowed a lot of technique and moves from it's older ancestor due to the fact that the apparatus is very similar. Although at face value they may appear to be almost the same thing, they are actually very different!

Nowadays you are likely to see the Chinese pole being performed at shows like Cirque Du Soleil, where groups of performers will climb, drop and even somersault around on an apparatus made up of several vertical poles, but there is also a long and interesting history behind it.

As you may have noticed, the two practices have a lot in common, but also a lot of notable differences, such as the fact that Chinese pole has been primarily practiced by men historically. In fact, many male athletes such as wrestlers and martial artists used pole as a way of training! We all know that pole is a great way of developing strength, flexibility and stamina and so it makes perfect sense. It's fascinating to discover that whilst pole today is often associated primarily with women and exotic dance, it's ancient roots are based with men and things like wrestling!

There are also finer differences in what is possible on each kind of pole. For example, the Chinese pole is often multiple times higher than a standard pole – often between 10 and 30 feet high! This is to allow for a wider range of moves such as drops and acrobatics which just aren't possible on shorter poles with less space. These kinds of poles are also coated in rubber to provide grip, and in order to prevent friction burns it is important to cover the skin and wear more clothes, the complete opposite of what you would wear pole dancing! Chinese pole routines are also often performed in groups, as the practice has also been adopted as a circus art in the modern day and is regularly included in circus performances.

So here was a quick history lesson about an ancient practice that has massively influenced what we do on the pole today! Both beautiful and fascinating in their own right, we are excited to see what other circus arts may go in to influence pole in the future. We are already seeing developments happening which merge together aspects of aerial dance, such as poles with silks attached to the top, or the “lollipop lyra” which is a pole with an aerial hoop attached to the top creating an interesting blend of the two. We can't wait to see what these developments will make possible!

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 05 Dec, 2017
We had a beginners taster run last Thursday with our new instructor Ida which went fantastic.

Our other new instructor Lottie also successfully completed her first Stage 1/Beginners 6x week pole course last
Monday too, so anybody who needs to re-do Stage 2 or who has been waiting for one to start, we have spaces available so you can join them, book on our website. The sessions commence on December 11th at 7pm in our studio on
Broadway.

Our Stage 2 pole 6x week course also finished on Thursday 7:45pm so if anyone wants to join the Stage 3's, you can from this week. We wish all of our students the best of luck on their next Stage!

Mixed ability ran last Wednesday as usual with Katie where she went over some fundamentals because even at higher stages, it's still beneficial to always be strengthening your basic moves.  She also went over a lovely bit of flow as this week was the last week of Flowvember - an online challenge spanning November that culminates in a full flow routine which pole dancers all over the world take part in! It's been so much fun getting to do bits of it over the last month.  We have a few also booked on to mixed ability this Wednesday so if you'd like to join them please book online.  

To all of our students, our last teaching day before Christmas is December 22nd, and classes / courses will
resume from the 8th of January. If you are booked onto a course there will be no lessons during this
time but classes will pick up where they left off in January 2018.

Another friendly reminder that we're offering Pole Twisters gift vouchers as a perfect Christmas present for yourself or the pole dancer in your life. To purchase a gift voucher just email or call us and let us know the amount you desire.  You can pay for the gift card amount over the telephone with a debit/credit card or we can send you a money request via email.  We can then send your gift voucher in the post or by email, your choice.  The gift voucher can be used towards courses, classes and other products here at Pole Twisters.

We also have a range of X-Poles in stock that are available to buy so that you or your loved one can practice at home! We have various sizes as well as both static and spinning models so don't miss out and have a look on our website and grab yours today!  We have some secondhand but like new or you can purchase a new one from us.

In other news, we've had plenty of private sessions running with one to ones from our amazing instructors. There are still spaces free throughout the week for these so be sure to get in touch with us direct through email or view our  calendar online to check availability.

We are also running pole jams on some Saturday mornings now as well as the usual Monday-Thursday sessions so be sure to secure your place by pre-paying online!  These practice sessions are always running and we do not need minimum numbers so if you see one listed on our website, then its definitely running and you can pre-pay for your space to attend.

That's all from us for this week, so we hope to see you all at the studio!
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 28 Nov, 2017
On Friday we held a private pole session with our instructor Katie for a student who had a missed a session and wanted to get some extra help catching up.   We have recently added in some new evening time slots for private pole sessions which are instantly bookable through our website as of right now!  Why not split the cost and share a private session with a friend? Our private sessions are perfect for not just catching up on missed course lessons, but also just for some extra one to one time with a teacher to work on whatever areas you feel you need extra help with. They are also ideal for students who may be uncomfortable in groups or would prefer the privacy of a one to one lesson.

We also welcomed a new teacher Ida this week, who we are delighted to welcome into the Pole Twisters family!  We are so excited for her to start her training which will consist of shadowing some of our current instructors and then teaching under our supervision. We've had a few new teachers join lately and they are all doing absolutely fantastic thus far as talented instructors.

This week also saw a new beginners taster being held and we are pleased to welcome some new students onboard.

As the Christmas season is finally upon us, now is a great time to let you all know that we have gift vouchers available! These would make perfect present for the pole dancer in your life or for friends and family to purchase for you. You can pre-pay any amount to later be credited against the cost of classes, courses or products from Pole Twisters. These are available as email vouchers or for £1 to cover postage we can send you a physical copy to give as a present. For full info or to purchase a gift voucher please check out the Pole Twisters website homepage.

We also have a range of XPoles for sale, used but in as new condition, both static and spinning which you can order to get in time for the holidays. We have 40mm & 45mm in stock, £120 static model and £150 for the static & spinning model.  Or if you'd prefer a brand new one, these are £149.99 static model or £199.99 static & spinning model.

In other news, we were also proud to hear about how well some of our students and teachers did in the Welsh Aerial and Pole Championships earlier this month! The annual event was held earlier this month and we are so proud to see our Pole Twisters family succeeding in competitions!

Have a fabulous week, and we'll see you at the studio! x
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 22 Nov, 2017

This last two weeks at Pole Twisters have been jam packed with plenty of pole jams and mixed ability sessions running throughout the week from Monday to Thursdays. It's been absolutely fab to see so such a fantastic turnout over this month, despite the winter cold setting in making us all want nothing more than to stay in bed and keep cosy (thankfully our studios are nice and warm, and exercise is a perfect way to get endorphin's going to keep the winter blues away – just saying!)

Some new developments this week - we're now offering pole jams on Saturday mornings! We know that not everyone is able to fit evening classes around work and family life and it can be hard to find the time to squeeze in that extra training, so you can now book onto a Saturday morning session through the Pole Twisters website! How exciting!  They won't run every week but keep an eye out for dates on the drop-down menu on our website.

We had a new beginner's course start on Tuesdays and a few private lesson bookings last Saturday. There is still availability for some more 1-2-1 slots should anyone like to book on for some individual tutoring to help work on whatever you feel you need to improve in your pole practice. We have spaces lots of time slots available, just visit our private lessons page on our website and use the drop-down to select your day and time.

This Thursday at 7:45pm we have a beginners pole fitness taster session for those who are interested in taking up pole fitness priced at £10, which will act as an introduction to pole with some simple beginner moves.  Spaces available, book online.

For those who may be interested, Upside Down Circus in Cardiff are running a 3 week introduction course in Chinese Pole at their new training space at the Tremorfa Industrial Estate. We wrote a blog post dedicated to the art of Chinese Pole a few months ago, and a lot of modern pole moves are borrowed or adapted from this discipline. It's also quite rare to find classes in this particular circus skill and so it may definitely be worth checking out to experience the differences between the two similar but very different styles of pole.

It's looking like it's going to be another busy week for us! Don't forget that all sessions are subject to the amount of pre-bookings we get so in order for your favourite classes to run on the days and times you want be sure to make you booking asap through the Pole Twisters website!

See you all in the studio!

x

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 09 Nov, 2017

Hi all! As the temperature begins to drop and we head into winter, it can be easy for us to feel less motivated to leave the cosiness of home to go out and train, but we at Pole Twisters have plenty going on in the coming months to keep you inspired and lots of opportunities to come train with us!

This week at Pole Twisters we've had yet another new beginner's pole course commencing on Mondays, as well as Tuesdays and another on Wednesdays! The response to our student offer was amazing and so we've had lots of new faces joining us over the last month to begin their Stage 1! 

Last week we had a stage 2 pole course commence on Thursdays. There are still some spaces available on Stage 2 and so if anyone would like to join on from week 2 that is doable!

Our newest instructors are continuing to do an amazing job in their training. Both of them have been teaching classes under our supervision and are shaping up to be amazing, helpful and talented teachers! We couldn't be prouder!

The directors attended a few exciting workshops running over last month at Dance Fitness hosted by KT Wilds Vertical Dance, including a sexy floorwork session which was really well attended and everyone had a fab time! 

We even got a bit festive for Halloween and had a dress up day where our students came in costume for training! We love to make things fun and interesting so having a fancy dress day is a great way to have a laugh while we train.

We've also had plenty of pole jams which run Monday to Thursday subject to availability and some Saturday mornings, where anyone can book in to practise and play for just £4! A perfect opportunity to learn some new tricks and combinations from other students and get in some extra quality pole time between normal classes.

Mixed ability Wednesday classes are currently running at 8:30pm each week, but other days are subject to bookings so in order to ensure the session runs at your desired time and day please be sure to pre-book on our website!

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 16 Oct, 2017
We are happy to announce that we are able to once again offer flexibility, street dance and twerk classes! Due to moving to a smaller studio we had to temporarily put non-pole classes on hold while we sorted out the logistics of how we would be able to accommodate the sessions without having to take down and reset all ten of our poles before and after each lesson. After some consideration we are now running these sessions as private group classes, which are now bookable on our website and are a great way to have fun and get a workout. For a one to one class the price is £30 per hour, or £15 each if shared with a friend.  If 6 or more persons wish to book a group private lesson, we are happy to offer this at £10 pp so for anyone hoping to take this class regularly it may be worth getting a group booking instead. Extra discounted deal offered if more than 10x of you. For full class information on what to expect, and how to book please visit our official Pole Twisters website. Other sessions now available are lap dance, balance & contortion and even burlesque for beginners each one offered on the same basis as those
above. You can also book private pole classes with us either at our studio or your home (we can even supply and set up a pole in your home for a
small extra fee if you don't have one) which are a perfect way to get some one to one time with an instructor to go over any specific moves or
techniques you'd like to work on!

This week we had a new group start up on our stage 9 advanced course and we ran another of our usual mixed ability classes for students of all stages.

We were also able to host a pole hen party last Saturday with 7x lovely ladies, plus 2x spectators, which was an absolute blast! Hen parties are one of our favourite kinds of private bookings because they're always such a laugh, and it's so rewarding getting to help the bride create some lifelong
memories of their special time. Our side company Twisted Hen and Stag parties are also available to hire for a huge range of parties and events!

We're super excited for a busy week of re-launching all these new sessions and can't wait to update you all next week! xxx
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 09 Oct, 2017

We'd like to thank everyone who took advantage of our half price student offer this month and signed on to our 6 week beginners courses! We love seeing new faces and it's been lovely to see so many freshers taking up pole as a new hobby. There are still spaces available on some of our beginner's courses which run evenings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and are bookable online!

If you missed out on our amazing offer this time around, be sure follow Pole Twisters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with any future deals we may have on offer!

This week saw one of our main instructors, Holly taking a well deserved break from teaching in order to go travelling! We'd all like to wish her safe travels and can't wait to hear about her adventures when she gets back. In the meantime, the Thursday beginners course was taken over by our new trainee instructor Hannah, who we introduced you to in last week's blog. With myself over looking the class, Hannah absolutely aced it and has proven herself to be a helpful, efficient and talented instructor.

We also had a lot of fun at our stage 9 class this week, teaching some new advanced moves to some of our more experienced students as well as our mixed ability class for all levels! We love watching our students grow and learn as they progress through each of our stages and it makes us so proud to witness our students from different levels all in one class learning from and helping one another and developing together.

We have another class full of beginners starting next week as well as more training for our new instructors and we can't wait to update you on how those turn out! 

Have an amazing week and we'll see you all at the studio! xx

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 25 Sep, 2017

This week we ran the first session of a new beginners 6 week course along with a taster session for yet another group of newbies.  It was taught by our wonderful instructor Holly, and it was also the first shadow training session for our new instructor Hannah, how exciting!  We're thrilled to have her as a part of the Pole Twisters family and can't wait to see how she progresses with her teacher training, we're certain that she's going to make an amazing instructor.

We also ran our mixed ability class which was taught by us for change! It's quite rare that we get to actually teach any more due to the pair of us being so busy on the admin side of running Pole Twisters but we always love having the opportunity to go back to where it all started, with us simply teaching pole classes.

Speaking of opportunities, following on from last week's blog, we are now running a HALF PRICE offer on our six-week beginner's pole dancing courses to all students with a valid NUS card, or proof of their enrollment! Our courses are available Mon-Friday evenings and you'll pay £30 for six one-hour classes (that's just £5 a lesson!) at our studio on Broadway in Cardiff. Grab yourself an amazing offer and a fun freshers activity asap!  To redeem this offer visit http://www.poletwisters.co.uk/special-offers . Why not spread the word and persuade some friends to come with you? We can't think of a better way to bond with your new course mates than learning a new skill and sweating it out together!

For those who aren't students, we're still looking for some fresh new faces on our beginners courses and welcome you to come take part too! Pole is a fantastic way to get fit, learn a new skill, and make some new friends so what better time to take the plunge and go for it than now?

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 18 Sep, 2017

Firstly we'd like to give a big warm welcome to our two new pole teachers Hannah and Lottie! We're so excited to be welcoming them into the Pole Twisters family after new teaching positions opening up with us recently, and can't wait for you guys to meet them! With all the recent changes we've been going through, we'd also love to thank all of our students for being to patient with us during this transitional time.

This week the two of us got to take part in a pole and floor-work workshop, followed by a pole tricks workshop taught by a talented instructor Miss Abby Claydon! We had an absolute blast as well as an amazing workout in which our strength, stamina and flexibility were put to the test in the most fun way possible!  KT Wild runs regular workshops so keep an eye on our Facebook group and page for regular workshop class updates.   

Also both Carla & Lisa occasionally like to pop into Pole Twisters classes to see how you students are getting along and always enjoy having a try of the moves and getting to experience what our students get up to! It makes us so proud to see the standard and quality of our teacher's work being so high and up to par with our expectations.

We're also on the look out for some fresh new faces to take part in our Stage 1 beginner courses and we're appealing to you guys to help by recommending us to your friends! With September bringing about the start of a new academic year and an influx of students moving to Cardiff, we think it would be amazing if you guys could suggest us to your student friends as a perfect way to meet new people and as a fun freshers activity!  Plus, did you know you receive 10% discount if you recommend a friend?  Even more reason to tell your friends about us and get them to book onto one of our fabulous courses. What better way to settle in to a new city than by making some like-minded friends while you work out and picking up a new skill and hobby whilst you're at it?

Our stage 1 beginners courses run throughout the week depending on demand and availability but there is the option to pick a time and day that suits you best on our website drop-down. Classes need a minimum of 4x students in order to go ahead, which means the more of your friends that you can rope in to come, the more likely it is for the sessions to run on your desired day! You can book your sessions quick and easy on the Pole Twisters website, and you even get a certificate and optional photo shoot on completion of the course!

We hope to see you guys there!

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 11 Sep, 2017

Specifically, exploring the difference between Chinese pole and modern day pole dancing. There are huge similarities between these two art forms, and the former of the two actually dates back around two thousand years! As modern day pole dancing has evolved and developed, it's borrowed a lot of technique and moves from it's older ancestor due to the fact that the apparatus is very similar. Although at face value they may appear to be almost the same thing, they are actually very different!

Nowadays you are likely to see the Chinese pole being performed at shows like Cirque Du Soleil, where groups of performers will climb, drop and even somersault around on an apparatus made up of several vertical poles, but there is also a long and interesting history behind it.

As you may have noticed, the two practices have a lot in common, but also a lot of notable differences, such as the fact that Chinese pole has been primarily practiced by men historically. In fact, many male athletes such as wrestlers and martial artists used pole as a way of training! We all know that pole is a great way of developing strength, flexibility and stamina and so it makes perfect sense. It's fascinating to discover that whilst pole today is often associated primarily with women and exotic dance, it's ancient roots are based with men and things like wrestling!

There are also finer differences in what is possible on each kind of pole. For example, the Chinese pole is often multiple times higher than a standard pole – often between 10 and 30 feet high! This is to allow for a wider range of moves such as drops and acrobatics which just aren't possible on shorter poles with less space. These kinds of poles are also coated in rubber to provide grip, and in order to prevent friction burns it is important to cover the skin and wear more clothes, the complete opposite of what you would wear pole dancing! Chinese pole routines are also often performed in groups, as the practice has also been adopted as a circus art in the modern day and is regularly included in circus performances.

So here was a quick history lesson about an ancient practice that has massively influenced what we do on the pole today! Both beautiful and fascinating in their own right, we are excited to see what other circus arts may go in to influence pole in the future. We are already seeing developments happening which merge together aspects of aerial dance, such as poles with silks attached to the top, or the “lollipop lyra” which is a pole with an aerial hoop attached to the top creating an interesting blend of the two. We can't wait to see what these developments will make possible!

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 05 Sep, 2017

Formally only ever seen in strip clubs, pole has transformed in recent years into a fitness phenomenon with it's own competitions and championships worldwide!

It's been interesting for us watching the way pole has developed in terms of its massive range of complex moves and the bar is constantly being set higher as dancers discover new and interesting ways of turning a simple metal pole into a piece of gymnastic apparatus. In the last ten years alone we have watched as pole slowly broke away from it's reputation as something only done by strippers and came into it's own as a sport. Pole practitioners went from being typically slim petite women to muscular athletes as more physically demanding moves were developed and more strength was required to keep up.

So much so has the discipline developed, that during the run up to the 2012 London Olympics there was even a petition for Pole Fitness to become part of the competition as a test event! Sadly, although the petition received thousands of signatures, the fact that it is still a relatively new sport and there is a lack of distinct and universal grading criteria for pole performances meant that we may have to wait a few more years until the dream of seeing pole at the Olympics is realised.

Despite that, the petition itself managed to bring a lot of attention to pole in a way that the public wasn't used to seeing, as a sport that requires strength, creativity, discipline, flexibility and co-ordination – just like every other Olympic category does. In fact, pole shares a lot in common with the gymnastic horizontal bar, so why should a vertical one so stigmatised?

Pole is also similar in a lot of circus skill disciplines, such as the Chinese Pole and Indian Pole which a lot of modern pole dance moves are borrowed from. It is strange in a sense that two very similar sports are viewed so differently by society! You'll be able to read more about the history and similarities between these art forms in next weeks blog, as it is such an interesting topic that it deserves a post of it's own.

Whilst we are in no way ashamed or embarrassed by our history and association with exotic dance, it is fantastic that pole is finally beginning to be recognised by society as a valid and challenging sport. We are incredibly proud to be part of such an exciting new movement and are proud of how the pole community has grown with the emergence of so many schools and competitions all over the world and have every confidence that one day we may very well achieve our place in the Olympics.

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