Everyone has a dominant pole side, a “handedness” of sorts. The focus of this week’s Technique Tip is training on BOTH your dominant and non-dominant sides. The running joke in The Choreography House is “When Kelly’s in class, we have to train both sides” but it’s actually really important for a number of reasons!
Numerous pole-related injuries can avoided if you train both sides of your body equally. When you work with a trainer, he/she does not only focus on one side of the body. Similarly, when you go to a dance class, the across-the-floor exercises are not performed in only one direction. So, why would you only focus on one side of the body on the pole?
Ultimately, focusing on one side of the body is a very dangerous habit and, over time, can lead to a variety of muscular stresses and strains due to overuse. Simply use both sides of your body to develop good training habits and to prevent avoidable injuries!
There will come a point in your pole career when you will learn a combination that starts on your good side “X” and goes into your bad side “Y”. If you’ve never tried your bad side “Y” then it will be difficult to execute this awesome, new combination! You can always modify the combo to stay on your “good” side in both moves but the downside is that you potentially compromise the physical and visual efficiency of the movement.
So, rather than taking the easy way out, simply train both sides! You’ll maximize your range movement and open up endless options for pole combinations and choreography!
A NEW DISCOVERY
We are often programmed to assume that if your are right-handed then you will be right-hand dominant on the pole. I too was guilty of this assumption until I started training on spinning pole. I discovered that on static pole I am right dominant but on spinning pole I prefer my left side! I would never have learned this had I not trained on both sides, so I encourage you to try it out. You may discover that your body has an unexpected preference!
Learn a new pole trick in class. Practice it on your dominant side and then immediately practice it on your non-dominant side while you are still developing the muscle memory.
Since the pole trick is new to your body, it will not know the difference! Repeat over the course of your pole career and VOILÁ! You’re a pole master on both sides and can look forward to long, prosperous career with limited injuries and endless possibilities!