The past few “Adventures in Pole Dancing” have been dark and whiny because I was struggling with depression, losing physical strength, not motivated or inspired to do anything, and frustrated because there aren’t many classes in Chicago.
I’m still struggling with the location part because I really miss NYC, and there still aren’t as many class options that I’d like to see out here but despite that I’ve been feeling better about my situation. Sometimes I have to reason with myself in order to steer toward happiness, so after thinking over a few things I decided to try not to focus on what’s lacking because my life, in the grand scheme of things, really isn’t bad. I take solace in knowing that at some point I will get back to New York for good but I need to be patient, a virtue that has always been hard for me. The other motivating factors are one, at least there are some pole dance classes available in Chicago and two, it seems like the students are warming up to me (I find it to be a lot more clicky here than I’m used to). I also have a pole at home (but classes are better) and YouTube is an excellent resource as well. In addition to pole, I’ve been doing more yoga (Bikram and now also Ashtanga thanks Annina) and HIIT. Being active really helps with my mood, and so does the fact that I no longer work in a toxic office environment (sometimes it’s better for your soul to quit, even if you don’t have a new job lined up). Hopefully I’m done with negative office culture for good, but I digress.
I’m in New York at the moment and it’s bitter sweet. I got to take two pole dance classes, one with my girl, Micaela Mamede, aka the Portuguese Princess. She’s someone I know I could be friends with (got that vibe instantly upon first meeting her last year) so I’m looking forward to building a relationship with her. The other class was spinny pole with Steven Retchless. Both classes were cathartic and I picked up new skills that I can work on at home.
Micaela’s was climb and spin-oriented, where we mixed choreography with a focus on various climbing and spinning techniques on a static pole. The class with Steven was my fist class ever dedicated entirely to spin-pole and also a milestone because I wanted to go to Body & Pole for the longest time but felt intimidated. It’s a formidable training ground and I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Classes there are level appropriate but I often feel that I’m not learning as fast as I should, or that I’m not as strong as I should be but I got over myself and signed up. Steven is an amazing dancer that I’ve been following for a while so when I walked into the classroom I silently Stanned. Another cool factor was that the class had an international twist. Steven and I were the only ones who spoke English as we had visitors from Italy and Japan (because Body & Pole gets down like that). The art of spin pole is hardcore because of the dizzy factor and gravity weighing you down as you try to change positions, execute moves properly and make it all look lovely and effortless.
Steven’s advice was that I should spot (taking it back to ballet 101) by focusing on one point, either on my body or the pole, which can help with the dizziness. My home pole can spin but I’ve been afraid to try it without going to a real class first (there weren’t any spin classes at the places I’ve found here) but now I have the fundamentals and some mild courage enough to actually practice. My goal is to practice the basics that I got from Steven and hopefully be able to keep up with other students when I finally do get back to my hometown for good.
Cheers to progress.
*It’s day 2 of the #31WriteNow challenge. Completion is King.