Jamilla Deville
Aerial, pole, cabaret, burlesque performer
Internationally awarded pole instructor

Warm Up


Warm UpOne of my coaches once said, “The way you approach your warm up will be directly reflected in your workout”, and truer words were never spoken. My pole warm ups are notoriously comprehensive, and never rushed. I create and deliver them that way to ensure that my students have the opportunity to be fully prepared for the work they’re about to do. And although the movements may be familiar and the order often recognisable, it would be foolish to assume that you can just “go through the motions” and come away as prepared as you can be.

Warm ups incorporate cardio-respiratory elements to elevate the heart rate and body temperature, along with movements to dynamically warm the entire body. But there’s more to focus on and it’s every bit as crucial as the obvious physical part. Your mental focus, your brain’s connection to your body, known as a neuromuscular warm up, tied in with your breath, are fundamental elements of your warm up AND your workout. What you establish in the warm up will give you a foundation for the rest of the class. Think about your To Do list for the day and chat with your friends and you’ll miss out. Not only that, but you’ll likely distract your friends too and deprive them of the opportunity to be at their best.

There’s a very old saying that goes something like, “the universe is Mental”. It basically means that you create your reality and your universe from your mind and how you choose to perceive your world. Everything else flows from there. This goes for everything in our world; in terms of class, we’re talking about establishing a mental state and focus that sets you up to perform at your prime for the entirety of the lesson. Although you might not understand all of the technical theory behind each movement or exercise, feel into each one. Where do you feel it? What brings up discomfort/ pain? Where are you the most tight? What range of motion is feeling free today and what feels limited? Where do you instinctively hold your breath and what movements have the most flow for you? Notice your instructor’s alignment and how they direct you to perform each movement or position. Where is your body most resistant to go? If you are busy chatting, letting your mind wander or talking down to yourself, you’ll miss all of this and that will set the pattern for the following hour.

Pole is not the easiest of apparatus (which is why we take so much joy in mastering it). It’s a combination of dance and acrobatics that demands accuracy and effort. At the very least, a lack of attention prevents us from “getting” moves; at the other end, there is the risk of injury. True success comes down to you taking on ownership, along with your instructor, for the quality of your training. It’s your class, your body, your pole adventure. Make it the best it can be!

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