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October 20, 2014

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Four pole dancing moves that will make you look like a pro

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Mona Shield Payne

Artist Shaina Cruea performs during the amateur Championship Level 3 Senior competition at the 2013 U.S. National Pole Championships at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas Friday night, August 9, 2013.

If you're not hip to the language, conversations between pole dancers might surprise you. Like any sport or hobby, it has its own lingo.

It's not too hard to catch on, though. Many moves explain themselves and are literal representations of the concept they depict.

Want to look like a pro on the pole? Or at least understand the dancers' locker room talk?

Here are a few pole dance moves defined:

    • Artist Moana Moon performs during the amateur Championship Level 3 Senior competition at the 2013 U.S. National Pole Championships at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas Friday night, August 9, 2013.

      The caterpillar

      This move is named for the "S" shape into which it contorts a dancer's body. The dancer is inverted and holds onto the pole in three ways: with pinched knees, wrapped feet and squeezed hand.

    • Artist Kerri Friedman performs during the Professional Entertainment Level 4 Senior competition at the 2013 U.S. National Pole Championships at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas Friday night, August 9, 2013.

      The butterfly

      Like you learned in biology class, the butterfly comes after the caterpillar. For this move, invert your torso, spread your limbs and mimic the shape of a butterfly's open wings.

    • Artist Deb Mekhael performs during the amateur Championship Level 3 Senior competition at the 2013 U.S. National Pole Championships at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas Friday night, August 9, 2013.

      The gemini

      This move requires no hands. The success of the gemini depends on the strength and confidence of a dancer.

      To perform the gemini, a dancer suspends his or her body upside down, with arms spread wide and the pole tucked snugly between his or her calf and thigh.

      Because the move is so complex, dancers often practice it with their shoulders at ground level.

    • Artist Ms. Polorama performs during the amateur Championship Level 3 Senior competition at the 2013 U.S. National Pole Championships at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas Friday night, August 9, 2013.

      The Superman

      This move looks like it sounds. Like a flying superhero, a dancer positions his or her body parallel to the ground, with one arm extended.

      To keep themselves suspended, dancers must squeeze the pole between their thighs and hold on with their other hand.

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