martini croppedIt’s Day 20 of the Volare Magazine July Pole Challenge and my submission of a spin combo started a discussion that got me thinking.

What are your standby combos? Have you explored another way to get into your favourite trick?

After dancing for four years, I’ve lost count of the many routines I have learned in the studio as part of groups. In an effort to cater to everyone’s skills and create a routine that people can remember and achieve, the combos are often very similar.

For instance, a beginner’s combo might be a layback – hello boys – hangback/cross knee release. Or in an intermediate class you are probably going to be asked to straddle/invert – outside leg hang – starfish – cupid.

There are definitely benefits to practicing and refining these basics, but I also think it’s important to try to learn new ways to get in and out of tricks. For the sake of your own creativity and for that of the audience!

I heard an instructor once say that this is something she strives for, noting “you haven’t really mastered a trick until you can get in and out of it from three different transitions and be able to do it on both sides!”

There are not many tricks that fit such a criteria for me! But I have been working towards expanding my repertoire of transitions.

Which brings me back to the comments on my post for today’s Pole Challenge. A fellow pole dancer commented on my transition into a martini sit (pictured above).

When I first learned this trick we came from an outside leg hang, climbing above and swinging the straight leg around to the front of the pole to catch with the inside hand, knees together.


martini combo 1


Switching this up, I presented a new combo –
hollywood – layback – stag layback – thread top leg through to hook behind the knee – straighten the outside leg – catch with the inside hand.


martini combo 2


If you’re a competent pole dancer you might also notice a possible transition to a Q/Dangerous bird.

By learning a variety of ways to transition in and out of your favourite tricks, your combos will be more interesting and your choreography will also benefit.

Now to just do it on my bad side *sigh*