It’s December and I’m getting there with my Christmas shopping but every year I have at least one student’s partner or family member contact me regarding suggestions for gifts for a pole or aerial student.
On the spot I’m rubbish at thinking and usually just suggest vouchers for private lessons, so this year I’ve asked my pole and aerial students to give me some suggestions for Christmas presents they’d like to receive and below is a list of the most popular answers!
1. Sports Massage Vouchers
This one has been suggested by both pole and aerial students (our MMA students would probably appreciate this gift to). The benefits of a sports massage include increased flexibility, relief of aches and pains, stress reduction, boost to the circulatory system, and reduced likelihood of injury so perfect for any aerialist or pole dancer!
2. Portable Aerial Rig
This one is fairly expensive and probably not suitable for most of my students! But a portable rig seems to be most popular equipment choice for our advanced students and performers, and is essential if they don’t already have one and want to train at home or be available for more performance opportunities. The type of rig suitable is dependent on what discipline they do but the one we use the most is our X-Pole A Frame and we can order one for you if you want. If you want advice on the type of rig to purchase for one of our students then please let me know.
3. Training Wear
This is another one that is suitable for pole and aerial students and can suit pretty much any budget. For aerial the main requirement is leggings, ideally made from natural fibres so they don’t melt with slack drops. But also sports tops that cover the underarms and back or plain leotards. For pole it’s crop tops and short shorts. Hoodies, joggers, leg warmers and fluffy socks are perfect for warm ups to and would be appreciated by both pole and aerial students. A lot of our students buy training tops and jumpers from Aerial Apparel (see Instagram picture above), but normal sports clothing works fine. Wink Fitnesswear is another favourite of a lot of my students and Physiq Apparel linked below.
4. Grip Aid
The type of grip aid our students use varies loads with pole, the most popular being Dry Hands and Dew Point. Dry Hands is a bit like gold dust at the minute so if they use it then they would be over the moon to receive some as a gift. With our aerialists, it’s mainly rosin that is used for grip. Rosin bags to put the rosin in can be bought or made and rosin can be purchased from a lot of online dance stores. But if you need any advice then let me know.
5. Wireless Headphones
This one is actually a gift for me to!!! Having a class full of people all practicing for a show of competition can drive me insane. But students really have asked for these. Good wireless headphones mean they’re able to listen to and work with their music as and when they want to, without having to wait for the main studio stereo to be free. And while on the subject of music, music vouchers wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Both pole and aerial can be performed barefoot but some students prefer to use specialised footwear. For aerial it’s gaiters or trapeze boots. For pole it’s Pleasers.
7. New Equipment
Like with the aerial rig, this gift isn’t suitable for all students unless they want to bring their own apparatus to classes. Buying aerial apparatus to use at home is highly unadvisable, unless the student already has a portable rig and is at an extremely advanced level. But purchasing a pole for home use is fairly acceptable for pole students to practice on (along with a crash mat). The type of apparatus our students want depends largely on what discipline they do but the below link are where we get our equipment from but we are happy to order on your behalf if you would like us to.
We are a vain lot, we like to have professional images of both our pole and aerial accomplishments. We do have a professional photographer that works at the studio and vouchers for a photoshoot seems to be a popular choice with our students, link below.
9. Costumes and Accessories
Costumes can be quite expensive and a lot of our students really struggle to afford to buy something special to perform in or they don’t have the time or skills needed to customise a basic leotard or pole set and turn it into something special, so performance costumes would be highly appreciated by many of them. Both my daughter’s use Pink Giraffe Pole Wear for their costumes but Pink Giraffe also provide kits to jazz up basic items yourself which might be a more affordable option for some people and a safer alternative if you don’t know the exact sizes or styles wanted. But costume accessories are also a very practical gift, things like stirrup dance tights, fake eyelashes, make up, hair accessories, face and body glitter and face gems.
10. Quality Phone Tripod
Again we are vain! We like to film ourselves and it’s much easier to do that with a tripod so we don’t have to balance our phones precariously against the wall or foam blocks.
11. A Self Care Kit
Like a first aid box but pole or aerial care specific. Including things like arnica, aloe gel, grip aid, plasters, tubigrips, leg warmers, hair bands and grip aids.
12. Off The Equipment Conditioning Programmes.
Both polers and aerialists need to work on strength and flexibility off the apparatus as well as on it. Some students like to just do other fitness classes but others prefer to use programmes that are very specific to improving their pole and aerial goals. I’ve purchased The Pole PT book and I find it extremely helpful for devising my own strength and conditioning programmes at home but the author also offers pre-set online programmes that are instructed using a phone app and the reviews of them are extremely positive. I also use Easyflexibility for my stretch programmes but others are available.
13. Back Warmer
It is better for your muscles to stretch them when they are a couple of degrees above a normal body temperature. A back warmer can help keep the the small, delicate muscles of the lower back warm during pole and aerial workouts to help prevent tightness, bruising, cramping and possible injury when engaging in deep backbends.
14. Equipment Bags
This is only really suitable for students with their own equipment but carrying around aerial apparatus is a nightmare. Having a bag to keep it clean and a little more protected makes it a little easier. Ducks55aerial is where we purchase all our equipment bags.
15. Private Lessons
So this is my usually go to suggestion when I’ve been asked in the past what to get a pole or aerial student and although I’m a little bit bored of suggesting it gift vouchers for private lessons are very popular with our students. Not just for private lessons with us, but private lessons with the big names they follow on Instagram to (maybe coupled with travel arrangements to make their dream lesson a reality).
So those seem to be the most popular suggestions from my students. I don’t think any pole dancer or aerialist would be disappointed to receive anything off the list but if they are please don’t blame me, these are only suggestions based on discussions I’ve had with my students. Other things have been suggested including retreats and instructor training courses but I decided to just list the things mentioned by more than a few people and I hope they can help!!