Jay Lafferty on Poledancing

As part of our performers' City Guide, the stand-up gives us a beginner's guide to poledancing in Edinburgh

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Jay Lafferty
Photo by Rod Penn
Published 30 Jul 2023

At the end of 2022 I decided that juggling a career in the arts while raising an energetic three year old was not quite stressful enough. I needed a new challenge. One that made me feel good and more importantly – would look impressive on Instagram.

I had watched a handful of pole-dancing reels and for some inexplicable reason I thought that at the age of 40, having done very little in the way of physical exercise for the previous 4 decades, that pole was the sport for me.

Rule 1

It’s all about your core, I swapped sweet treats for green juice. Don’t try to make them at home – no matter how many TikTok tutorials I watched it looked and tasted like swamp marsh blended with frogs. Instead, head to the Grassmarket and chose from one of Hula’s many tasty options.

Rule 2

Pole is much easier if you have been working on your flexibility. When I started, I had the elasticity of an arthritic Pinnocchio. You need to put the work in. Dangling three year olds off your legs while trying to get across the monkey bars at the soft play may sound like a plan but it results in squashed children and angry parents. Instead, my advice – download a good yoga app, and get yourself along to the beautiful surroundings of The Meadows for some downward dog time surrounded by nature and people too self-obsessed or stoned to care what you’re up to.

Rule 3

Get yourself a support network and someone who knows what they’re doing. I found a fabulous team of cheerleaders at Clanfit in Leith. Headed up by the inimitable Dan my twice weekly sessions have paid dividends in getting my Bahookie ready for this years’ Fringe.