Overcoming Your Pole Dancing Training Plateau
Most of us are highly motivated to attend classes and advance when we start a new activity. However, as we progress, we can begin to plateau, and the results we see may not match the effort we’re putting forth.
As we train harder, we might beat ourselves up over waning results and start to burn out. We might also become more prone to injuries, lose motivation, and give up on ourselves.
If you’re experiencing a pole dancing plateau, here are some tips to break through your training slump and stoke your motivation spark:
Make a Realistic Plan
Do you make to-do lists and add items so that you can check them off? Goal achievement is addictive, which is why we do things like that. If you are struggling to get motivated, set some goals for yourself. However, some plans can be too big and ambitious, so you will never start working on them.
Set goals that are specific and simple. They should be measurable and achievable or realistic for your skill level. Give yourself a time limit to achieve the goals as well. For example, you could challenge yourself to master a routine so you can enter a competition in three months.
Document Your Progress
First, establish your reason for dancing. Is it to fit into your clothes again? Build muscle? Or advance your dance skills? If it’s the latter, take videos of your practice sessions to see your progress. Get a video when you finally master the move and again when you can perform it gracefully or effortlessly.
If you’re dancing for fitness and to build muscle, take photos of your “before” look and then take weekly or monthly progress shots. It takes six to 12 weeks to start seeing results from a new exercise routine. You might begin to feel your clothes fitting differently before then. It’s hard to see how much you have progressed until you reflect on previous photos or videos.
Give Yourself Some Extrinsic Motivation
If you are in a slump, sign up for a special event like a workshop or dance tutorial to change your moves. Varying your routine will breathe new life into your standard practice and help you improve faster.
Another trick is to reward yourself. If your goal is to perform, buy high-waisted garter pole shorts for your show. If you’re trying to master a new style that’s sexier, get some pleaser pole shoes when graduating from your beginner classes. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If you’ve set a goal to attend two classes a week, treat yourself to a new pair of sticky pole leggings you’ve had sitting in your cart.
Make Pole Friends
Even if you’re not the most outgoing, try to socialize with people in your class. You likely started around the same time, already have a common interest, and can keep each other motivated. You are less likely to skip a class if you know someone expects you to be there. If that’s not for you, join a pole dancing social media group. Surrounding yourself with people who understand and support your passion makes a huge difference.
If you like to perform, consider making your own account to showcase your skills and track your progress simultaneously. Whatever method you choose, your friends will share your excitement and encourage you to progress.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Break
Even if you love pole dancing, you can push yourself too hard and burn out. If your body is feeling worn down and you are unmotivated, it’s ok to take some time to recuperate. You will come back more refreshed and motivated than if you just power through those feelings. Remember that dance is supposed to be fun and a nice break for you. You will quickly burn out if it feels like work.
Go Back to the Basics
If you’ve struggled to learn more complex sequences or advanced moves, you can be pretty hard on yourself and get discouraged. Go back to your strengths. Practice a routine that makes you feel confident and is effortless for you. It will remind you how dancing can feel when you master the moves and how proud you feel when you do it for the first time. You’ll reattack your challenging moves with more determination and confidence.
Take Care of Yourself
Treating yourself to some self-care is essential to maintain your motivation. Ensure you are eating well, hydrating, and getting enough sleep. Beyond that, you should have time to relax, socialize, and work on other hobbies besides dance. Try to cross-train by taking another dance style or yoga class to stretch and work on your flexibility. Journaling or meditation can help clear your head if you are struggling mentally.
Find a balance between challenging yourself and not being too hard on yourself. No matter what, don’t give up. We all go through unmotivated or uninspired periods. Give yourself grace without letting laziness take over your life. Relax and have fun as you rediscover why you were drawn to pole dancing in the first place.