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This is not just about POLE. This is about BUSINESS.
Pink Puma, A Professional Pole Dancer, Performs A Shoulder Mount Pole Move On The PoleCon Stage

Show Me the Money! Potential career paths in the pole dance industry

There are several reasons people start pole dancing as a hobby.

Some are looking for a more creative and fun way to get in shape. Some seek something deeper, such as a way to connect with their body, their inner confidence, creativity, or just with other people. Some just want to dance!

Whatever brings the hobbyist to the studio, for some it becomes more than just “something to do.” It can even become a career.

Those curious about career paths in the pole dance industry may believe that much like many careers in the arts, it would not be lucrative and sustainable. It wasn’t that long ago that the art of the pole was considered taboo and was reserved only for club dancers.

This has started to change as the broader public has embraced pole dancing for physical fitness and for outside of the club forms of entertainment like music videos, TV shows and movies, on tour with music artists, and even as part of the half time show for the “Big Football Game.”

With this increased appreciation and demand, comes the need for more pole dancing instructors, performers, and other pole-fessionals supporting the industry.

Here are a few paths worth considering if you want to make pole dancing your career.

Pole Dance Instructor or Studio Owner

There are many ways you could become a professional pole dance instructor.

Some choose to open their own in-person studio while others work at studio(s). Some teach virtually through live classes or have digital programs for people to purchase. Still others might do a combination of all of these things.

Payment for pole instruction varies widely depending on many factors, including, but not limited to: target demographic, location, skill/ability level including certifications (IPIA members, check out our partners for discounts on education), and how you choose to sell your services.

Check out the IPIA Financial Survey data for more detailed information and payment scales/ranges that may be relevant to you to consider before becoming a pole instructor.

More resources for aspiring pole instructors can be found here!

More resources for aspiring pole studio owners can be found here!

Pole Production or Pole Event Coordinator

Another possible career direction is creating your own pole events.

This could be as small as a showcase in a studio, to as large as organizing performances in a theater or venue, to even starting a competition or convention-style event.

The sky is the limit based on your knowledge and budget! 

For steps on starting your event, read our resource post on creating your own event here.

Some performers look to create events where they will invite other dancers to perform, others have started their own pole dance troupe and pitch their shows to event spaces and bars.

Start small and build your vision slowly but surely! In this case, compensation may vary. Check out the IPIA Financial Survey data for more detailed information and payment scales/ranges that may be relevant to you to consider before becoming a pole event organizer.

More information about organizing events can also be found in this blog from our partner, PoleCon, here.

Pole Performer or Strip Club Dancer

Making a living as a performer may seem far-fetched but it’s not impossible.

The two most common gigs in pole performing are stage performer (which may include live events or performing for TV/movies) or going back to pole dance roots and stripping in clubs or in online venues/options.

The details for compensation for these may vary depending on factors including (but not limited to) local laws and individual contracts. Make sure you have a contract and know exactly what you are signing up for before you start performing. Check out the IPIA Financial Survey data for more detailed information and payment scales/ranges that may be relevant to you to consider before becoming a performer or sex worker/stripper.

Still other options may include joining an event agency or going into business for yourself and adding gigs like parties, weddings, and other corporate or private events to your resume.

More resources for aspiring pole performers can be found here!

More resources for aspiring strippers can be found here!

Other Types Pole Businesses

As the pole dancing industry grows, there are more and more opportunities for jobs and businesses that support people making direct income from doing the act of pole dancing.

Maybe you love pole dancing but don’t want to perform, teach, or manage people that perform or teach. You still have lots of career options in the industry!

Some of these options might include, but are not limited to, providing apparel/accessories/shoes, grip aids, equipment, and support services (like body work, legal, financial, etc). that focus on those that work in the industry.

More resources for aspiring pole businesses can be found here!


As the pole dance industry is still young and evolving, anything is possible, including creating your own unique career that is one of the options listed above, your unique mix of options above, or something totally new!

If you decide to make the jump from hobbyist to making money in the pole industry, make sure to do your research to understand what to expect, using some of the links above, and always advocate for yourself. Attack your new venture as a pole entrepreneur like you would any new life journey, with patience and grace, and a dash of stubbornness.

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