If you’re taking classes on pole dancing, it may have crossed your mind to buy one for personal use. It’s not a bad idea to install one at home and practice what you’ve learned in class.
Lucky for you, I’m here to help you choose the right dance pole that will suit your style.
There are many brands, accessories, and installation requirements you have to know about. Aside from that, there are also jargons you have to familiarize yourself with. This can be confusing for first-time buyers which is why I’m here to make things easier for you to find that perfect dance pole.
Here’s an overview of what we’ll be discussing in this article:
- Trustworthy pole brands
- Dance pole features including finishes and the spinning and stationary functions
- Dance pole sizes
- Types of dance poles
- Dance pole brands you should avoid
- How to check the quality of your dance pole
- The coolest dance poles you can buy
- Pole accessories and other sports
Now that you understand the contents of this discussion, it’s time we proceed with the first topic.
Dance Pole Brands
Whenever we’re buying a new pole, we always look for the most popular and reliable brands available. The same concept goes for buying a dance pole. You’ll be performing moves that defy gravity which is why you should have complete trust on the brand you’re buying and the way they make dance poles. No one wants to entrust their life to some unknown brand that uses unfamiliar materials and manufacturing techniques.
There are many brands that produce dance poles but the following five are the most reliable I can recommend:
Personally, I have Lupit Pole that I use regularly to practice my skills at home.
The most important thing to remember in buying a dance pole is to never trade your safety just to get a cheaper price. A dance pole is a long-term investment that you shouldn’t skimp on. Your safety depends on its quality so it’s better to go with a branded one over something unheard of.
If you think a dance pole is being sold at a cheaper price than usual, chances are it’s also made of cheap materials that won’t hold for long. You may end up buying a replacement after just a few weeks of use which is an utter waste of money.
But of course, there are some of you who will still be tempted to try the cheaper dance poles despite my warning. To be safe, we’ll be also covering the things you need to check before installing a dance pole. We’ll also be discussing the specs each brand offers as we go further in this article, along with the advantages and disadvantages of the materials used in each pole.
Dance Pole Features
Now that you’re familiar with the brands to choose from, you’re now faced with the challenge of determining which material is best suited for you. A dance pole’s composition usually defines what it’s made for. They also feature different textures that affect their grip. It’ll be easier to choose the right pole to buy if you know what you want to use it for.
For starters, a 50mm static chrome pole from any trustworthy brand is the usual recommendation. The X-Pole Sport is a static dance pole that’s ideal for beginners who want to get used to doing the basic tricks on the pole.
However, as you get better and better, you may need an advanced pole that’s more comfortable to use and suitable for your skill level. You may want to get a 45mm dance pole that features both spinning and static modes next. Competitions usually require the use of 45mm chrome-plated poles with spinning and stationary functions, so it may be better if you just buy this kind of dance pole at the onset. Lucky for you, the X-Pole X-Pert dance pole has all these wonderful features in one dance pole.
To help you get to know your dance poles better, let’s get down to the details of the different pole finishes and the 2 modes (spinning/static) we’ve been talking about.
Poles with stainless steel coating are very slippery but they’re the best option for those who have sensitive skin. People allergic to nickel-coated materials should avoid chrome-plated dance poles and should instead opt for a stainless steel one.
Aside from being hypoallergenic, stainless steel poles are also weather resistant, making them the ideal material for outdoor setups.
Chrome is the most popular coating among pole dancers in the industry. It’s also the finish often used in competitions. It doesn’t add much grip but it’s usually the one recommended for beginners.
Dance poles finished with polished brass often have a nice grip. People who suffer from sweaty hands often prefer brass-coated dance poles because it gives them that extra grip they need to stay suspended in the air.
They’re not really made of gold or pure titanium. They’re just electronically coated poles that provide more grip over dance poles polished with brass. The coating gives a gold hue and makes the pole last longer for home use. However, this may not withstand the heavy use required in studios and gyms.
Powder-coated dance poles have excellent grip and are they’re the next choice for those who have sensitive skin. I’ve tried one of these from X-Stage and I can say they really provide superior grip whether on static or spinning mode.
Silicone-coated dance poles feature an almost sticky grip that you’ll have to use them while fully-clothed to smoothly glide on them. Performing sliding movements on this dance pole without any protection can cause friction burns.
The silicone coating cannot be removed so it’d be best if you avoid spinning on it on static mode to avoid bruises and cuts. But when the pole is used in spinning mode, you’ll have enough grip to allow you to perform incredible moves in the air.
Whether you’re not planning to compete in professional leagues, prefer dancing without too much skin exposure, or you’re just having problems with your grip, silicone-coated poles are the best choice for you.
All the pole finishes I detailed are from dance poles made by X-Pole. They’re the most popular brand that offers various pole finishes. Other brands only have stainless steel ones. Lil’ Mynx seems to be the closest competitor offering a wide selection of dance poles like the X-Pole with their colored, powder-coated steel poles.
Spinning and Static Modes
There are only two modes for dance poles you should remember: spinning and static. The static remains in position even while you spin. The spinning one allows the whole rod to spin with you as you rotate around the dance pole.
The X-Pole brand calls their line of static dance poles Sport’ while their X-Pert line features both static and spinning modes. You can switch between these two modes by adjusting a special screw on the dance pole with a hex key.
The Lil’ Mynx brand, on the other hand, calls their regular, static pole Dance Pole’. The Rotator Dance Pole‘ is their pole that can be switched to either spinning or static with a simple button push.
RPole only has a freestanding, static dance pole connected to a portable stage. There’s no mention of them having a spinning model in their products list.
Platinum Stages offer both spinning and static poles available in stainless steel and brass finishes. They also have a special model called Platinum Grow Pole v2.0 which is made up of an acrylic shell and reinforced metal rod.
Lupit Pole sells a dance pole that features both spinning and static modes. Its main advantage over other dance poles is its innovative locking system that allows fast switching between static and spinning modes without using hex keys or any other tools. All you need to do is twist the locking ring that’s located at the lower bearing of the dance pole.
Now that you know what types of dance pole each brand offers, let’s decide which one to get for your personal use.
For pole dancing greenhorns, it’s best to practice on a pole in static mode first. Spinning dance poles require you to master moving in static mode first since you’ll need extra effort to keep yourself up on the pole while it’s rotating. When you’re confident with your strength and skills, it’s only then you can try to work on a spinning pole.
As we’ve discussed, there are dance poles that feature both spinning and static modes. You’d better grab this one to avoid buying another pole after you graduate from practicing on a static pole.
Choosing the Appropriate Pole Size
If you browse through different dance poles, you’ll see they’re available in different thicknesses measured in millimeters. Don’t get confused. Here’s an overview of each size, including their pros and cons.
This is the smallest size I’ve seen. Platinum Stages and RPole are the only brands that sell it.
If you have really small hands, this is the comfortable size for you. However, using your armpits or thighs in performing spins may be quite challenging because of the pole’s small surface area.
This is the smallest size the X-Pole brand offers. It’s also good for people with small hands but doing holds may prove to be difficult since the pole only offers a small area for gripping.
Lupit Pole and RPole are the brands who offer this pole size. This is the right size for people who find the 45mm too big for them but want to get a better grip than a 40mm can’t provide. If you plan to buy this size, take note that RPole only offers it in a freestanding stage version. If you want a removable one, you should go with Lupit Pole.
This is probably the most popular size among pole dancers because it provides the right size and grip. You can do holds better with this size compared to thinner ones.
It’s also considered the standard size for dance poles and is the size often used in competitions. If you want to train to compete, you better practice on this size to familiarize yourself with it.
This is actually a 40mm pole that became thicker because of its silicone coating. You won’t find this size in stainless steel or chrome-plated variants.
This is said to be the original size of dance poles when they first appeared in the market. This size provides ample room for armpit and thigh holds, so better get this one if you want to practice more of the said moves. However, because of its size, people have trouble doing moves that require a firm hand grip. This is why many prefer to use the 45mm over this size as the former provides more versatility compared to the latter.
Similar to the 48mm pole, this is the size of X-Pole’s dance pole that’s coated with silicone. It’s basically a 45mm dance pole covered with silicone, increasing the pole’s diameter to 53mm.
I can’t think of anyone wanting this pole size. The 50mm alone is already hard to grip, which means a 53mm one will be even harder to hold. And with its sticky silicone coating, it’s definitely not good for spinning. However, this is only my perception so if you have any experience using this pole size, please tell us about it in the comments section.
Types of Dance Poles
Have you seen how dance poles are assembled and installed?
When you’re planning to buy one for home use, it may have crossed your mind if setting it up will damage your ceiling and flooring. This can be troublesome for those living in an apartment because the damage it may cause can be a real headache when your landlord sees it.
Setting up a dance pole at home may or may not damage your ceiling, depending on the type of pole you’re buying. I’ve included ways to avoid ceiling damages along with other details that will help you decide which pole type is appropriate for your house.
Permanent poles are those poles you need to mount into your ceiling (and/or floor) with screws. The screws should hit a beam or stud in the ceiling to ensure the pole’s stability when in use.
There are some who don’t want this kind of pole because it damages the ceiling once it’s removed. However, repainting the damaged portions is easier than anticipated. It may even be easier compared to repairing damages caused by a removable dance pole.
Manufacturers like Lil’ Mynx and X-Pole sell mounts that allow you to install permanent poles on vaulted or angled ceilings. This is good news for those who are having trouble finding a dance pole that will fit their slanted ceilings.
This is the usual choice of pole dancers because of its portability and versatility. This is what I have at home.
This type of removable dance pole doesn’t require screws to install it in your room. It uses the pressure it exerts on your ceiling and floor to maintain its stability. This makes the pole easy to remove when you need the space and reassemble when you need to practice.
However, this type of dance pole can still cause damage to your ceiling. It may cause cracking or leave circular marks when you remove it.
I’ve come up with ways to avoid damaging your ceiling but we’ll discuss it later on in this article. The important thing to remember now is that no matter how many precautions you take, there’s still a possibility that installing a dance pole can leave your ceiling with dents, marks, or cracks.
Manufacturers like X-Pole have developed innovations that can reduce the damage poles bring to ceiling finishes. They’ve introduced the bottom-loading and X-Joint technologies which help to combat this problem, which we’ll be discussing next.
Bottom-loading dance pole
This is the result of X-Pole’s continuous effort to improve their products and make them safer to use. This innovation allows you to easily install the pole without needing a ladder to secure its top portion in place. You can adjust the pole’s height and the pressure it exerts onto the ceiling by extending the pole from its bottom half.
This is an exclusive technology from X-Pole. The joints connecting the halves of a two-piece pole is considered to be its weakest point. This portion contains the threads that lock the two pole piece in place. They’re made of thinner metal sheets compared to the rest of the dance pole, making it prone to snapping and bending.
With X-Joint, the threads are much longer and they’re reinforced with metal tubes to help hold the pole pieces together. This increases pole stability and reduces the risk of breakage. It also helps reduce the chances of getting stuck joints or making the pole unusable due to wearing of threads.
Older X-Pole models don’t have this technology yet so make sure to check it when purchasing a second-hand X pole. If a seller says their pole is a new model but it doesn’t have X-Joint they are probably not being completely honest with you.
Stage Poles or Free Standing Poles
Usually stage poles need a ceiling height measuring at least 10 feet to fit in. There are extensions and other accessories, though, which can help you fit this type of dance pole if your ceiling is higher or lower than 10 feet.
The main advantage of a stage pole is that you don’t have to worry about it causing damage to your ceiling. This is because the support that stabilizes the pole is found on its heavy base which also acts as the stage. The included stage also makes this dance pole portable and ready to use for performances. You can bring it anywhere you want and use it either indoors or outdoors.
RPole, X-Pole, and Platinum Stages have freestanding stage poles in their inventory. One of the most popular freestanding stage poles available in the market is from X-Pole and it’s called X-Stage Lite. The lightest one is from RPole, although it’s quite expensive and it doesn’t have a stage platform with it. You have to purchase a separate crash mat that you need to place on its base.
I got the chance to use one of these stage poles in an event and I have to say that I’m really amazed how stable they are. They’re also available in different finishes like silicone, chrome, stainless steel, and brass. X-Pole also provides an option to get a powder-coated one through their Australian channel.
If you have a big budget and a spacious room enough to fit the small stage that comes with this type of dance pole, a stage pole is a good option to consider.
Dance Poles to Avoid
There are very few poles on the market that should not be used for pole dancing because They’re mostly made of low-quality metal and cheap plastic parts that can’t withstand human weight, much less the tension when doing extreme pole dancing movements on it like spins and elements.
The Carmen Electra Professional’, the toy dance poles from Ann Summers, and the Peekaboo’ Pole Dancing Kits are some of the brands we’re talking about and have done reviews on.
These kinds of poles are commonly recognised as prop/show poles and shouldn’t be used pole dancing practice and it should be noted that climbing on it will most likely cause serious injury if it fails to hold the weight.
Quality Cheap Poles to consider
If you are just getting into pole dancing and you are looking for a home solution but you don’t want to spend a large chunk of money on the more reputable pole dance brand highlighted in this article then we have a few options we have tried.
We understand that there are people out there that simply cannot afford an expensive pole for their first purchase, we have reviewed a range of poles that are solid solutions for in-home use.
They vary from $100 – $200 and they are made by the similar materials as the X-Pole, Lil Mynx just to name a few.
Checking the Quality of Dance Poles
Although there are many brands selling authentic dance poles, there are also many manufacturers that sell toy poles and fake ones that are nowhere near the quality of those from X-Pole, Lupit Pole, or Platinum Stages.
It’s tempting to save money and buy a cheap, unbranded alternative. However, remember that a dance pole is a long-term investment and its quality is important. Using a dance pole that’s made of cheap plastic and low-grade metal may result in you getting injured.
In this section, we’ll be discussing the things to look out for when buying a dance pole. Whether you’re buying an authentic product from a legitimate manufacturer or you’re unknowingly facing a fake item, it’d be to your advantage if you know how to determine which is genuine and which is a waste of money.
Here are some of the things you should check when buying a dance pole.
Check the rubber that’s placed under the upper dome and base plate of your dance pole. It should be firm and not too soft or too hard. Hard rubber will make the pole prone to sliding while a soft one will provide a nice grip to your floor and ceiling.
To check its firmness, place either the dome or the base on a flat surface and give it a nice push. You should feel it sticking to the surface when you give it a nudge or you try to slide it. If the pole slides, the rubber may be too hard to provide a good grip.
Avoid poles that have domes shaped like a teardrop. They’re said to cave in and break at the center because they can’t handle the pressure the pole exerts on them. You’ll know you’re looking at a fake X-Pole if you see this dome shape.
It’s not only the shape causing its weakness. It’s the cheap plastic material used to create the dome. This makes it easier to check because you can just stick a magnet to it to determine if it’s made of metal or not.
Quality of metal
Avoid dance poles made of thin metal sheets. This may be hard to spot for first-time buyers but if you look at the center of the pole, you can gauge how thick the pole is.
Poles made of thin metal sheets are more prone to dents and bends. Bent poles reduce the pressure exerted on either end of the pole, making it unstable and this will eventually lead to breakage or slippage.
Poles made of cheap metal usually have sharp edges protruding from its edges and joints. Make sure the pole is smooth to avoid getting serious cuts.
The joints, where two-piece poles are adjoined, are the weakest link of dance poles. This is why it’s important you get poles that have reinforced joints. Dance poles from X-Pole are reinforced with their X-Joint technology for better stability and strength.
Old X-Pole models don’t have this feature yet. However, new ones already have this feature so it’s easier to spot fake or imitation poles. If a pole has threads but it’s advertised as new X-Pole model, you’re probably looking at a fake X-Pole product.
Don’t get complacent with older X-Pole models because they also have fake counterparts. Old models should have long, solid threads that firmly secure a two-piece pole in place. Poles with short joint threads should be avoided.
Less popular brands that sell dance poles for half the average price of the poles from X-Pole, Lupit Pole, and other known brands use plastic parts to allow them to bring their prices down. Dance poles from Carmen Electra and similar brands use a lot of plastic in their products. Some even have plastic threads and you know that’s a big no-no for dance poles.
There are some known brands, though, that use a kind of hard plastic in manufacturing their dance poles. These materials went through thorough testing to ensure they’re safe to use and provide the needed strength to hold heavy loads.
Be wary, though, because there are also sneaky manufacturers that use shiny plastic that looks like metal to the untrained eye.
These are the thin, hollow tubes that cover the area where the pole extenders are placed. They’re usually found at the top of dance poles. They’re built for aesthetic purposes to make the dance pole look smooth and uniform.
Adjuster covers should have screws to secure them in place. Other covers only use pop-out buttons to hold them in place which makes them flimsy when weight is put on them. Also, if they’re secured using only pop-out buttons, they may accidentally get released when you grab them and this will send you sliding down the dance pole.
Covers should be made of the same metal used to make the dance pole. Plastic ones may not be strong enough to handle the pressure you put on them.
Like any other equipment, dance poles are subject to wear and tear. Metal parts chipping, pole bending, and coating getting tarnished are some of the problems you’ll face with your pole after some time. Even the most expensive and sturdy poles will deteriorate after years of use. With cheap poles, expect them to break down in a few weeks or months.
However, this doesn’t mean you should spend your money on a cheaper brand because they’ll both deteriorate in the long run, branded or unbranded. I’m reiterating the importance of the dance pole’s quality and how it affects your safety.
Make sure you buy dance poles only from authorized sellers. If you’re not sure if you’re buying from a trustworthy brand you see online, feel free to ask me or any of the members in the pole dancing community for verification.
Accessories and Other Equipment
Aside from the crazy dance pole products we’ve discussed, there are other accessories you can try to spice up your love for pole dancing and other aerial arts.
A pole silk allows you to incorporate movements from both pole and aerial dancing by attaching it to a dance pole. You can also use it as a support when practicing advanced pole dancing moves to ensure you don’t fall straight to the ground in case you miss your grip.
X-Pole’s Silk accessory is a pole silk made for dance poles. It is compatible with the X-Stage and X-Pert dance poles measuring either 40mm or 45mm in diameter.
Like dance poles, aerial hoops have different sizes and hand widths to consider. There are also options like single or double rigging, with the former allowing you to spin the hoop in place. All the details you need for buying an aerial hoop can be found in X-Pole’s official website.
It’s as fun as pole dancing so I strongly suggest that you try it out.
It’s like a combination of pole silk, aerial hoop, and yoga, but this one allows you to climb to even greater heights than you can on a pole and do things you can’t on an aerial hoop.
I haven’t tried this one though, but if you want to look for portable rigs and quality silks, Aerial Essentials is the brand to look for.
Final Points to Remember
We’ve discussed a lot of topics in this article and I know it can be overwhelming to absorb all the information right away. So to summarise what we’ve tackled, here are the most important points you should remember in buying a dance pole:
- Never purchase a cheap, unbranded pole from an unreliable source. Use the quality checking tips we’ve provided to determine if you’re looking at a toy or fake pole.
- Buy only from a reliable and trusted seller. If possible, buy from the manufacturer’s official site.
- Select the pole that fits your hand and suits your grip. Consider also the pole finish, especially if you have a sensitive skin.
- Buy a dance pole that features both spinning and static modes.
- If you think you’ve bought your pole from an unknown seller, check it out first using the tests we’ve provided to know if it’s safe to use.