7 Things I’ve Learned from Pole Dancing

Cross Leg Release2

When most people hear the words “pole” and “dancing” in the same sentence, it conjures up images of dimly lit, smoky rooms, filled with slightly drunken middle-aged men, and the intoxicating scent of desperation.  This may be true in some scenarios (I mean, graduate students have to pay for their schooling somehow), but twirling around a pole in a pair of 6 inch heels, while getting pummeled by loonies isn’t pole dancing.  Not the REAL deal anyway.

Pole dancers are athletes.  The strength, stamina, and grace it takes to be able to do what they do is amazing.  I was a ballet dancer for nearly 20 years and, while ballet is difficult, I was never as exhausted after a one hour class as I am with pole dancing.

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this sport almost a year ago, and I had no idea about this world of competitions, workshops, the importance of skin to pole ratio, and, most importantly, what I would be capable of.  So, here we go….

1.  Your first time is always awkward.  I had no idea what to expect when I showed up to my first class.  I was nervous, shy, and I was afraid of my pole.  Actually lifting my feet off the ground to swing around it?  Impossible!  The great thing was, everybody else in that class looked just like me…..ridiculously awkward.  Just know it gets better.  You will eventually want to swing on everything.

2.  If a move looks really amazing, it probably hurts like a bitch.  Right after my first class I was totally pumped to be a world famous pole dancer.  I was going to nail every single move that came my way and I searched for famous pole dancers and watched tons of videos of girls who made it look easy.  As I climbed up the levels (and my pole), and we learned moves like the basic Pole Sit, Cross Knee Release (that’s the one I’m doing in the picture), or the more advanced Gemini, I discovered that they hurt to learn.  Whether it’s slipping off the pole (thankfully that didn’t happen often but the mats are there for a reason), getting bruises, or the dreaded “pole burn”, you learn very quickly that skin does not always agree with your pole.  Which brings me to number 3…..

3.  There is nothing more important than the skin to pole ratio.  The more skin you have exposed to the pole the better you’re going to stick to it.  It’s simple math really.  Exposed skin helps you climb, stop you from falling on your head, and let’s you stick a complicated move while you’re upside down.  Most of the time.  If you start sweating you can get into a bit of trouble.

4.  You will get bruises in the most awkward places. Ever notice what part of the body most pole dancers are hanging on by?  You will get a bruise there.  Likely several.  And it will be a bit sore until your body gets used to it.  Try explaining that to your boyfriend.

5.  No matter what your body type, you will be able to climb that pole.  When I tell people that I pole dance they say they would never be able to do it.  I thought the exact same thing until I tried and discovered I could do it.  Some pick it up faster than others but eventually everybody can do it.  I’ve seen girls of all shapes and sizes climb to the top.  All it takes is a little practice and more skin on the pole.

6.  Pole dancers have the best outfits. Thigh-high stiletto boots, black latex, and sequined booty shorts…..what could be better?  I think I need to upgrade my wardrobe….

7.  Pole dancing makes you feel better no matter how shitty your day was.  Once I walk into class I’m thinking about nothing except that pole (and possibly where I’m going to get a bruise this week).  It takes focus, determination, and confidence to pole dance, and finally being able to hold a pose you’ve been working on for weeks makes you feel amazing. Seeing how far you’ve progressed from day one, and the strength you’ve gained, also feels amazing.  Plus a little bit sexy, because, well, you’re dancing on a pole and that’s kinda hot.

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