Nourish your Creativity & let your freestyle flow

Pole Profiles

Nourish your Creativity & Let your Freestyle Flow
By Dani Atkins

Do you find your students becoming stuck? Feeling unchallenged creatively? Do your students find
freestyling a challenge? It can be tough to keep things fresh for both instructors and students.
As an instructor you might find your cup of creativity feeling a little light due to constantly trying to keep things new in interesting for your students. Constantly creating lesson plans and full choreographies can be taxing especially if you are trying to keep up with the latest social media trends to flood your students’ minds.

As a student, one can start to find class becoming stale and start to lose interest but what students need to understand, repetition builds skill. The best way to master a move is thru repetition; practice makes progress and progress isn’t linear. When asking fellow dancers why they think free styling is important here’s what they had to say.

“The ultimate goal of a dancer is to take all of it and be able to speak through movement. Expressing
ourselves, feelings and thoughts through movement rather than words is kind of like fully body sign
language. Once you learn the language of movement you can speak if more fluently”

– Sandra @twist_of_fatefitness

“Free styling allows you to come up with something creative without the pressure of nailing a set combo or choreography”

– Ashley @polejciak

“If we aren’t willing to experiment with how our bodies like to move, we will never develop our own
aesthetic and flow. Free styling can be messy but empowering for finding your unique style. While keeping structure in mind, it is important to nourish the creative spark inside each dancer. Free styling can help a dancer tap into their sensual and uncontrolled side, just waiting to be unlocked. Unstructured movement can help a dancer learn to allow their bodies to follow their natural pathways. Free flow dancing can lead to discovering moves or sequences that you might not have discovered or thought of before when following a structured plan. The pressure of hitting a certain count or mark can be a lot and free styling removes those pressures which could be causing fear in the mind for your students. I don’t want to just dance like my coaches, I want to dance how my body feels best. Freestyle allows you to live in your own moment rather than be a copy of another.”

– Krissy @strykeabows

Free styling can be interactive with partners, an entire group or be a solo activity.

Here are Six methods to help stimulate freestyle movement within your classes

Magic Mirror

Partner Activity; This can be done free standing or using poles.
Partner up your students and select a song. Partners must maintain eye contact with each other as they dance. Partners will take turns leading while the other follows and the pathways will continue to form, alternating who leads and follows.


Group activity; This can be done as a floor class or as a pole class. The instructor will start the class off with a move or sequence. Then each member will contribute a select move one by one.
If need be the instructor will break down the suggested move but also provide a regression for those
students who might need one. Once a combo has been created have the class experiment with their tempo by speeding up their movement as well as slowing down and not rushing things by milk each movement.

Don’t Let Go

Prolonged Contact; Solo Activity.
Have your students focus on keeping a specific body part connected with the pole or floor at all times. For example, where will your movement take you if you must keep your leg connected the entire time or were unable to remove one hand the whole time you dance. Students will find themselves in new pathways, some may even find themself stuck and having that challenge of discovering how they might escape. Example; You must keep one foot connected to the floor at all times. Create new windows to thread your body thru and find new ways to transition from move to move.

Ice-olated Incident

Focused Movement; Solo Activity; Can be done free standing or using poles. Focusing on a
certain movement can help a student understand the mechanics that make a movement work.
It can help a dancer feel more connected with the moves. Instruct your students to focus their
movements on a specific body part. Let all action stem from that body part, let it led the way.
For example, the focused move is Rolls- body rolls, head rolls, shoulder rolls etc. Let the rolling action lead your body and follow it thru. How will your movement develop when you don’t cut your pathway short?


Solo activity: Can be done as a floor or pole exercise. Everyone is blind folded taking away their
sense of sight while increasing their sense of touch. Students must literally FEEL their movements happening. This will take a little bit more trust on their part as they can’t see themselves in the mirror and must rely on instinct. Instead of seeing, what you should do, students are able to feel how their bodies are connecting. There  is no pressure you having anyone watching you or you watching others.

Emotional Rollercoaster

Solo or group, Floor or Pole; Instruct your students to portray an emotion or action thru their
dancing. Can you be fluid like the water flowing between the rocks? Embody the cold harsh winds of the mountains. Dance to the feeling of sadness or admiration. What happens when you dance the same movements but with two different emotions, how some movements will soften while others will become harsh. When you put emotion behind your movements you give life to your dancing. This allows your students to personalize their movements and truly make things their own.
You can aid your students by song choice, music can play an important part in free styling.

“I like the mind/body connection and the ability to express and interpret the music.”

– Elaine, @eli_try

During the final dance students should be adding their own spice or magic. You have given them the
movements, now it is the time to make them their own. Encourage your students to personalize their movements by add their unique style. I always tell my students as long as you are using proper grip, technique and or stance that everything else is subjective. Dance is ultimately about experimenting with different styles and finding how your body likes to naturally express flow.

License to Thrill Fundraiser Show

Pole Profiles

This past November, X-POLE sponsored “License to Thrill”, a James Bond-themed fundraiser pole and aerial show for the Renton, Washington-based Ascendance Pole & Aerial Arts. The show paid homage to the legendary women of James Bond, with more than a dozen performers captivating a packed theater on pole, fly pole, Lyra, and silks.

This show marked the five-year anniversary of Ascendance. One of the only 501c3 nonprofit pole studios in the United States, this pole and aerial arts studio is a unique place where everyone is encouraged to express themselves through movement in a safe, inclusive space, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. Through benefit shows like License to Thrill, Ascendance raises funds to provide scholarships and other programs that help make these forms of artistic expression more accessible.

In the spirit of this mission, one audience member with a lucky raffle ticket even went home with an X-POLE SPORT pole, donated by X-POLE, to begin their own pole journey.

“This show was a labor of love and a tribute to the iconic women of Bond, but most importantly, it’s a testament to our commitment to the arts and the joy of movement,” said Tara Steed, cofounder of Ascendance. 

Learn more about Ascendance at

Photo credit: Vanessa Gray

WA State Strippers Are Organizing for Better Workplaces

Pole Profiles

Strippers are Workers (SAW) is a dancer-led organization that fights to raise Washington strip club industry standards and create a dancer focused community. WA dancers are facing a predatory business model that strips workers of rights and fair pay, and dancers deserve to work equitably, safely, and sustainably.

After successfully passing basic industry safety and security measures in a 2019 bill HB 1756, SAW is now introducing their Strippers’ Bill of Rights bill in the 2024 legislative session. Through building consensus with hundreds of dancers across the state, they developed a policy that will make massive changes to their industry and establish basic workers’ rights and protections. 

The 2024 bill includes minimum club security staffing, decriminalizing a dancers’ standard night of work, mandatory club employee training, anti-discrimination protections, and a cap on what fees clubs can charge dancers while also eliminating the practice of indebting dancers to clubs. The bill will also end the alcohol prohibition in WA strip clubs, which means that dancers won’t be clubs’ only source of profit, and the increased funds will go towards better protections for dancers. 

The strip club industry is already an industry that lacks workers’ rights, and WA is a notoriously difficult and slow place to dance. SAW’s bill will create a sustainable business model for clubs, generate a healthier customer base, and revolutionize dancer rights!

To support its organizing efforts, SAW throws Pole Showcase Fundraisers to raise community awareness, get dancers paid, and fund its organizational needs. With the support of X-Pole and their donation of a X-Stage Lite, these fundraisers were made possible- leading to raising thousands of dollars for the org., thousands more in tips for dancers, and the spread of community support for dancers’ rights.

SAW needs continued support to pass its Strippers’ Bill of Rights in January 2024. Click here to purchase tickets for the next Seattle fundraiser on November 29th. Visit to learn more about their organizing and how to support WA dancers!