Are you a sweaty pole dancer? Do you have grip problems? Do you despair at the thought of a one handed spin? Do you love pole but feel like the palms of your own hands are trying to hijack your attempts?
Don't panic! I was once a sweaty palmed pole dancer myself... Don't believe me?
Let's go back in time... When I first started pole, almost ten years ago, there was no such thing as Dry Hands (or at least, I hadn't heard of it). The only grip aids we had were alcohol to clean the poles, and hair spray to give us some stick. I remember in summer in Sydney in pole class, when the temperatures were climbing inside the non-air conditioned studio, I used to have to dry my hands and clean my pole EVERY SINGLE TIME I ATTEMPTED A POLE TRICK. Even then I'd often end up in a sweaty heap on the floor.
It was super frustrating. I was convinced that I would never be much of a pole dancer, simply because I couldn't stay on the pole. But I loved it so much I kept at it, and over time, a funny thing happened...
I didn't realise it at the time, but a lot of the sweating came from my body's nervous reaction to anticipating sweating. As I got better and stronger, my grip strength improved, and I was able to squeeze harder in spite of the sweating. Knowing that I had stronger hands made me worry less about sweating, which in turn made me sweat less.
Now, the only times my hands sweat are when I'm trying a new move, or when I'm nervous about a competition or a performance.
So if you're a sweaty pole dancer, here are my tips:
1. Work on your grip strength. Buy a little hand grip strengthener to squeeze and use it.
2. When you notice your grip slipping, if its safe to do so, try to keep squeezing and let yourself slide to the ground so that you stay in the grip squeezing mode for longer. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS FOR INVERTED MOVES - only simple beginner spins e.g. a front hook or a spinning climb.
3. Find a grip aid you like. I prefer Dry Hands and Girlie Grip, but Beal, Tight Grip and Mighty Grip are also good. Rosin can be helpful.
4. Try Driclor. This doesn't work for everyone, but for some people it's extremely effective. It's like a very strong antiperspirant that you apply to your hands overnight. It stings a little, but it can be extremely effective.
5. Botox injections in your hands. I have not tried this and can't comment on it, but I have heard that this is a method to control sweaty palms. Do your research first.
6. Wear gloves with grip on them.
Biggest Tip of All!!
But my biggest tip of all is to just keep pole dancing! You will get stronger and more confident and you grip will improve in time. Don't give up. If you're having a day when you can't stay on the pole, practice your floor work and your spins around the pole on the ground. There's so much more to being a beautiful pole dancer than wild tricks at extreme heights!
Try a Pole Choreo class at Pole Dance Academy - we are famous for our beautiful Pole Choreo classes. You'll feel like an absolute goddess without having to invert or worry about your sweaty hands. And before you know it, your grip strength will improve! Trust me - it did for me :-)
Be patient as your grip strength improves. You'll know you're getting stronger when you notice people wincing slightly when you shake hands with them ;-)