I got fascinated with pole dancing two years ago at a girls night out, at Crunch Gym. It was super hard, so hard that I could barely do the most basic move, which is twirl around the pole called a “fireman spin.” But I was determined to do it because the other girls in the class who knew what they were doing made it look so easy. I’m one of those people who the more I can’t do something, the more I want to (this applies more so to physical activity than anything else) so I decided that one day I’d become one of those women who made it look easy. But it takes commitment. Pole dancing is great for toning and building strength and contrary to what most people think about it being for strippers, it’s an actual sport. It’s simply acrobatics on a pole. The reason why people do it half naked is because the skin is a good gripping tool. It hurts a lot at first but eventually you get used to it. There’s a whole world out there of women who compete around the world for various pole dancing championship titles, and there’s even a USPDF (yep, you guessed it, United States Pole Dance Federation). It’s real out here but I digress.
After said girls night out, I didn’t have funding for consistent pole dance classes but fastforward to Feb ’11, when i joined Crunch Gym; that’s I got serious. And then Crunch wasn’t enough because their classes are designed for people who already have pole experience (despite what they tell you) and you have to share the pole so that cuts down on your practice time. So I found a new place that catered to beginners and where I don’t have to share my pole. It’s called Shokra Studio and I loved it there. I learned enough basic spins and climbing to advance to level two. Level two is difficult and I think I might be here for a while. I’m a fast learner but pole dancing is probably one of the hardest things someone’s body can do, even with practice. The moves aren’t natural. How often are we forced to lift our own body weight but also look pretty and point our feet at the same time? Exactly.
But anyway, I look forward to the rush I get when I learn something new and get it right. I’ve made a lot of progress since I first started and I can’t believe how far I’ve come. But I still have a long way to go. The thing about pole dancing is that even if you’re at an advanced level there’s always more to learn. You’re always working toward mastering another move. The first level two move I have down is the cross knee release (Google it), which seemed impossible at one point. I thought I would fall off the pole and land on my head the first time I tried it but once I learned to trust myself I finally did it and boosted my confidence a few notches too. I still have work to do on the cross knee release because it doesn’t feel like second nature yet but I’ll keep working at it and report back.