I’ve gone up a level at pole and feel like a potato again

Stop the press the day has arrived at long last! After five years in various intermediate pole classes of differing levels, your girl right here has finally made the permanent and rather gargantuan leap up into advanced class. After dipping my toes into the advanced pond a few times over the years- I have now taken the plunge and become a regular advanced student.

And you know what? I feel like an absolute fucking potato.

During the various lockdowns, I was fortunate enough to be able to pole at home, so stuck to attending regular pole classes twice a week, which were at a higher intermediate/advanced level. Once in person classes opened up again, I toyed with the idea of plucking up the courage to move up. As per usual the old bastard self-doubt was raising their ugly head big time. Was I good enough to move up or was I getting ideas above my station? Did I need to simmer the fuck down and do a few more weeks in Intermediate? After much discussion with my pole homies Jess and Dana, I put on my big girl pants and asked to move up. Mainly because Dana reminded me that classes were going to be at a lower level initially post lockdown, to ease everyone back up to their A game.

X-POLEDisclosure: The link above is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I may be stating the obvious here but shit the bed, advanced class is bloody hard! Right now it’s spinny pole month at the studios I train at, so I’m double on the struggle bus big time. Not only are we doing mental strength drills like arms only climbs (honestly who does my teacher Eloise think I am) and deadlift aerial shoulder mounts, but also fucking mad, painful bendy moves too. Two weeks ago we did (well, my classmates did, I however valiantly attempted) a splitty, armpit grippy Ballerina move, which with my shit shoulders and dreadful active flexibility was no easy feat –  in fact I think I only just managed a very basic version before quickly transitioning into the safety of an invert. In short I do not feel very eased in at all, in fact I feel positively shoved in without so much as a drop of lube.

In case you haven’t already guessed, I’ve had a fair few complexes since starting advanced classes. I have gone from being able to bust out pretty much the entire class combo pretty confidently in intermediate, to only being able to manage a very watered down version and/or half the combo in advanced. To make matters more stressful, pretty much all my class buddies were existing advanced students who have just hopped straight back in or have even continued training during lockdown. Baring this in mind, I am definitely feeling like the small fish in the class who ought to be sat at the bottom of the pole in a dunce cap.

But what would attending an intermediate class every week and being able to do all the combos inside out and backwards achieve? As the old saying goes, the comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. Fuck, when I went up into my first Intermediate class many moons ago, the best I could manage was a gemini and a cross knee release, christ it took four long months of valiant attempts for me to get a basic scorpio under my belt! I’m not one to quit, so I am going to declare to you all now that will be soldiering on in advanced to the best of my ability. Where possible I will be sticking to my twice a week training program, as that’s all I can schedule in at the moment (more on that madness at a later date) and actually get my arse back into stretching again, as my lack of flexibility is holding me back. I know I have said this umpteen times before, and those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while are probably rolling your eyes so hard you can see your brains right about now, but honestly I have started stretching my splits again and boy are they tight.

Anyways, that is my wee training plan (if you can call it that) in the hope that one day I can climb up to the lofty status of “average advanced pole dance student.” Have you ever struggled going up a level at pole? If so let me know in the comments below!

Disclosure: The link above is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.


  1. I needed to read your article today! I recently came back after a 6 month healing break from pole. Some moves came right back to me but many others leave me feeling weak as a kitten all over again. While I was grateful that I took off the time I did so that I didn’t incur further, longer lasting damage- I never imagined how it would set my pole strength and stamina back! Your post helped remind me that the obstacle is the way… I toyed with going to a lower level class- probably only to ease my wounded pole pride. After reading this, I’m staying right where I’m at to meet thd challenge. Albeit, with some serious pole-related strength training added in at home! Thank you 🦄


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