Summer is here, and Sweaty Betties everywhere are lamenting the advent of slippery season. If the temperature going up makes you start sliding down the pole, try these summer grip tips sourced from folks in the BK community!

Change It Up

Your go to grip aids might not work as well when the seasons change. It’s totally normal to have a different mix– a grip aid cocktail if you will– for use in the summer versus the winter. Try swapping out wax based grips for alcohol based grips like Get a Grip or Dry Hands to keep slick sweat at bay. Folks I pole with have been swearing by Monkey Hands, which is chalk free and super sticky. Rather than sticking to one brand or type, experiment with different grip aids to see what works for your body chemistry when the temperature goes up.

If you have a favorite pole at your studio– and I know you do– try changing that up too. The type of finish on the pole you're using can affect grip. Brass poles tend to be grippier than chrome or steel for some dancers, but the grippiness of the material also depends on climate. If your studio has a few different pole types installed, be brave and don’t just go for your favorite pole. Test out a different finish to see if one feels better for you in summer. 

Even if your studio has all the same kinds of poles installed, try a different pole altogether. You might find that a different pole is located closer to an air conditioner vent or catches a cross breeze better than another. At the studio I go to, most of our poles have been replaced, but I tend to gravitate toward the older ones because I swear they are grippier for me. Each pole wears differently, and you might find those differences mitigate your summer pole grip woes.

Stay Dry

Most of us keep a hand towel and a spray bottle full of isopropyl alcohol nearby to clean the pole before and after class. Just a friendly reminder that you can clean the pole as often as you want during class in order to keep it dry! Use it to towel off your hands and body as needed, or keep a second clean towel on hand just for personal use. 

I’m a big fan of our studio’s fan. Even if your studio has air conditioning, I’d argue you need a fan. A fan not only provides cooling and air circulation, but it has a drying effect when your skin is slick with sweat. Pro Tip: Name your fan. It’s the unsung hero of the studio. Our studio’s fan is named for television actor and former pro football player Fred Dryer. 

Get Funky

Some pole dancers find that their natural body grip improves slightly with increased sweat. This is totally me. Are you ready for the gross reveal? My best pole days are in the summer when I’m basically funky from not showering often. Gross, right? If I didn’t have to shower and look presentable for my day job, I’d stay funky for pole because I sweat glue when I get warm and then let my perspiration dry. But alas, I have to practice regular good hygiene for the sake of my colleagues, even though showering daily washes all my awesome grippy pole funk down the drain.

So how do you engineer that funk when you still have to shower for your day job? First, get a really good sweat going during your warm up. When you start sweating during the warm up and you think, “Uh oh, I’m already sweaty…” don’t panic! To turn your sweat into funk, use your towel to absorb any excess sweat, and then stand in front of the fan to dry it off for about a minute. It’s the next best thing to not showering. Repeat as often as necessary during class to keep layering sticky sweat on sticky sweat. Sounds gross, but when you are sticking your #pdtitanic, you won’t want to shower and lose your funk either! 

Drink Up

I think we’re all aware that drinking water is important for overall health, but don’t forget that staying hydrated can also help regulate sweat production. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after pole class. In fact, when you are standing in front of the fan drying your sweat, use that time as a hydration break!

Hydration is just one of the many things it's important to be aware of during pole training, along with your energy and stress levels, mood, menstrual cycle (if you have one) and more. The newest version of The Ultimate Pole Goal Notebook helps you do a quick check in with where you are in our body and mind. It’s called Today’s Dashboard. Check it out! It will help you to do quick self assessments so you can notice patterns and train the body and mind you are in today.