I haven’t been asked (or compensated in any way) to recommend any of the following:
Studios (Southern California)
Addiction Salon and Fitness Studio – Orange*
I’ve taken several classes at this studio and highly recommend it. All the instructors have been welcoming and supportive, and I feel like I’m learning a lot. It’s a beautiful space, and they keep the classes small enough that every student gets her own pole.
Romance and Dance – Rancho Cucamonga, Carson, and Los Angeles*
I’ve had the pleasure of taking classes at this studio and highly recommend it. So far I’ve only had the opportunity to take classes with Melissa, Dee, and Jhas, but they were all wonderful teachers. It’s a really fun and supportive environment, and I’m planning to go back.
Fembody Fitness – Huntington Beach & Long Beach*
In addition to pole dance, Fembody Fitness offers barre, burlesque, aerial silks, and yoga/flexibility classes. I’ve had the pleasure of taking classes with a few of the instructors, and they were all great. The studio was also really lovely.
I especially enjoyed the barre and aerial silks classes, and I’m planning to continue practicing both. Hope to take classes here in the future.
Embody Pole Fitness – Anaheim Hills*
I haven’t had the opportunity to take classes here yet, but I would love to check it out. In addition to pole dance, this studio offers a wide variety of dance and fitness classes, including burlesque and aerial arts.
Allure Dance & Fitness Studio – Los Angeles
This studio is owned by Nicole “The Pole” Williams who can be seen performing in both Rihanna’s Pour It Up and Bruno Mars’ Gorilla music videos. And she offers instructional DVDs on her site as well.
S Factor – Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, Encino, etc.
S Factor was founded in 2000 by Sheila Kelley, an actress, author, filmmaker, etc., and was one of — if not the — first studios to bring pole dance instruction to the average woman.
I recently watched Sheila Kelley’s TED talk and I was really pleased to learn there was a studio that really understood and celebrated how powerful pole dance and sensual dance in general impacts every other aspect of a woman’s life.
She’s also written a book about S Factor and released several instructional DVDs on pole dance and erotic dance.
*These studios frequently offer great deals on Groupon and/or LivingSocial
Felix Cane is an amazing pole dancer. In fact, it was a YouTube video of one of her performances that first interested me in pole dancing. I’ve used the first DVD in her series, and I’m very happy with it, but I do think many of the moves are intended for those who already have a great deal of strength and flexibility. That said, I like a good challenge, and I have every intention of picking up the rest of the DVDs eventually.
She also offers online lessons via Pole and Aerial along with several other world class dancers.
Jamilla Deville is another really beautiful pole dancer. I have the first DVD in her series as well, and I think she covers the basics more thoroughly than Felix Cane. She also prompts you to try every move on both sides which is very important.
I’ll admit at first I felt like it moved a little bit slowly in comparison to Felix Cane’s DVD, but as I continued to use it I realized her method of teaching really does help you develop your technique and strength. I’m definitely planning to pick up the rest of her DVDs.
Personally, I think Felix and Jamilla’s DVDs work together beautifully, but as much as I love Felix Cane, if you’re brand new to pole dance, I think the first DVD in this set is a little bit more beginner friendly.
Alethea Austin is another really amazing dancer. She offers four DVDs (Stretching for Pole, Pure Splits, Sexy Fundamentals, and Floorwork) which I haven’t purchased yet, but I’m excited to try as soon as possible.
Nicole “The Pole” Williams offers several lessons available on DVD or online, including pole tricks for beginners and intermediate students and sexy dance moves and floorwork. I hope to get my hands on her lessons soon.
This site offers online instruction with the option to try a free three-day trial or subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis. I’ve only had the opportunity to try the free trial so far, but her lessons seem very comprehensive. I’m definitely considering subscribing in the future.
This site offers online instruction by several world class dancers including Felix Cane, Marlo Fisken, Jenyne Butterfly, Oona Kivela, Erika Labansat, Mai Sato, and Brandon Pereyda. They offer monthly and yearly subscriptions.
I’ve ordered most of my supplies from PoleAmor, and I’ve always been pleased with their customer service. They offer free same-day shipping on all of their products.