CrossFit or High Intensity Interval Training has been on everyone’s radar for quite a while now and this month we let you in on why CrossFit and pole dance can work together as we continue to explore different body weight training disciplines that can complement pole fitness.

This month, we’re chatting to Durbanite Sara Holden about her experience of the two…


1. How did you get into CrossFit and what keeps you motivated?

I’ve been doing CrossFit for nearly two and a half years now. I actually started with it to get me stronger for pole dancing competition I had entered. With the addition of CrossFit to my fitness regime I was able to work on a few weaknesses and help strengthen both sides of my body for pole dance.


2. Have you ever tried anything else?

I have done a bit of gymnastics training to get used to the idea of flipping, and I absolutely loved it!


3. So, how did you get into pole dance, how long have you been doing it for?

I started pole dancing about five years ago. I needed something that would keep my attention and be fun-loving and a good laugh. Once I started, it became an addiction (as any pole dancer will tell you). I was progressively getting stronger and could see the results in my body. Soon enough I was wearing the tiny little shorts and getting my body up onto that pole, and in front of an audience too. Without a doubt in my mind, pole dancing gave me the confidence I have today! It shaped me into the person I am and gave me a sense of " woman are unstoppable". I hold that very dear to me.

After a few years I started teaching pole dancing and that right there was the most empowering experience ever. Seeing shy and intimidated women transform (and yes, I mean transform) into some of the most confident woman I know today is something I will take with me every day of my life.

"I believe in people, but more than that, I believe in WOMEN!"

So, taking all of that confidence and a knowing strength in myself, I went into CrossFit - where that in itself has taught me so much about women too. I try to encourage and motivate the CrossFit ladies like I did with my pole dancing students. I believe that #strongisthenewsexy and I love to see women bloom - no matter what discipline they choose.

Unfortunately, I moved a bit too far from my beloved studio and so it became impossible for me to continue to teach; however, there is ALWAYS the love of the sport that keeps pulling me back to it!


4. Did you find that these activities complemented one another and made it easier for you to progress through pole moves?

Hell yes!!! (ha ha ha)

The stability training and strength building in CrossFit kept me injury free while training for pole comps.


5. Which discipline have you found more challenging?

That's a tough one. I believe that every discipline of sport and dance have their own set of challenges.

Pole comp training leaves you breathless and wanting oxygen supplied to you just as finishing a workout at CrossFit. They both also leave you needing ice baths to recover... and not to mention the callouses. Pole definitely takes the cake with pole kisses (bruises)... but we are so proud of them.


6. Do you have any safety messages with regard movements and gear?

Oh, let me tell you about safety gear! By far pole dance has the most casualties... I mean we are flying ninjas after all :)

I’ve used some pretty unconventional safety measures when practising moves… socks, back wraps (as head and ear protective gear), even my friends; but I would have to say that the "go-to" safety measure is our trusty X-POLE crash mat.


Read more on our body weight training series -> here, as we cover acrobatics, calisthenics, yoga, running, parkour and boxing.

Date added: 08/09/2017