There are so many ways to pole dance: sexy or sporty, tricky or flowy, theatrical or simple. Pole dancers, as well, come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and attitudes. We tend to characterize polers by their level (he’s a beginner, she’s a pro) and whether or not they twerk. But you can also think of pole styles “elementally.” Fire, earth, air, and water are ancient characterizations of both objects and personalities. They also apply to how you pole. Which pole element are you?
The Fire Poler
Image Fire by Christopher, CC BY-SA 2.0
The fire poler is a real crowd-pleaser. Strong and dynamic, she always puts on a real show. Firey dancers love to choreograph theatrical, dramatic routines, but they are also big fans of tricks—especially breath-catching moves like drops and flips. Fire polers can be competitive, but you might not see them at your local competition. They have delicate egos and if they don’t think they can win, they might not even enter. They also tend to be lax in the poise and polish department, neglecting to straighten their knees and point their toes in favor of moving on and learning new stuff. But if see them in front of a crowd, you won’t care about their toes. You’ll be caught up in the excitement like everyone else and begging for more!
The Earth Poler
Image Silent Forest by Jyrki Salmi, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
If floorwork is your best friend, you might be an earth poler! Earth polers are drawn to the sensual side of pole—not for attention or shock value, but for the wonderful way it makes them feel. Earth polers may have a hard time getting motivated to pole, but once they get going they are right at home. Earth polers tend to remain loyal to their home studios, and aren’t necessarily comfortable venturing into unknown territory. If you’re lucky enough to see them perform in a showcase, it’s only because they have such a great network of pole friends who encouraged them to do it and are supporting them with the loudest cheers in the room!
The Air Poler
Image April Sky by gwynydd michael, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The air poler is the true “aerialist.” She loves to climb and hang and her feet never touch the ground! Where does she get the stamina? Also known as the “wind poler,” this acrobat is especially fond of spin pole because it makes her feel like she’s flying. The air poler is that one girl in your beginner class who can’t wait to invert. Even if she is afraid of heights, she is determined to reach the top of the pole! The air poler’s performances can sometimes be criticized for being too mechanical, valuing technique over emotional expression. However, we secretly all look up to the air poler for her effortlessness, her grace, and her awesome bag of tricks! They are also very analytical, and hence they make great teachers because they can really break the moves down for you. Sign up for a private with this one!
The Water Poler
Image Magical Beach Sunrise Sparkling Ocean Wave by Kim Seng, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Do you have a pole friend who is always saying “I just HAD to dance to this SONG!!” The water poler has such an emotional connection to music that she has to express herself. She can lose herself in a dance session. Pole is cathartic for her, and can help her shed her worries. Water polers are also the most graceful, fluid dancers. Even if they have no prior dance training, they look like professionals with their beautiful movement and artistic expression. The water poler might not know the fanciest pole tricks, but she can win over a judge or an audience with her commitment to the music and to the story she is telling. Even though pole is therapeutic for the turbulent water poler, she is most likely to take time off from it because she just can’t deal. Anything from a death in the family to drama in the pole community can make her shut the door to her pole room for a few months. But don’t worry. She’ll be back, dancing her way into your heart before you know it. What’s your pole element? Can you think of any pole idols that fit into the above categories?
Pippi Parnasse is a poler, #PDBloggers member and writer in the Boston area. She has over 10 years of experience both in pole and in writing professionally.