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Pole Dancing – An Incredible Journey

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pole Dancing – An Incredible Journey

I am often frustrated when speaking to people outside the pole community about pole dancing. It is often very hard to put into words the incredible journey that this sport takes us on. Unless you try it, pole dancing can be hard to explain, and the psychological benefits harder to express. For the non-believers out there, they see our passion is no more than women making themselves cheap and slutty – how wrong can they be!! As any pole dancer knows, the journey that pole dancing takes us on is all about empowerment for women – not just strong bodies but even stronger minds.

At the Miss Fit Dance Studio Christmas parties last week, we asked our videographers to conduct informal interviews with a random selection of students and teachers. Their comments were spontaneous and completely unscripted. The message that they articulated so consistently was the incredible boost in confidence and self esteem that pole dancing has provided for them. Yes they mentioned that they like getting fitter and stronger, and having fun in classes, making new friends and getting in touch with your feminine side – but it was the psychological benefits that were paramount.

Why is this so? I think that pole dancing is unique because there are aspects to it that are definitely scarey. We’ve all had that uncomfortable moment when we think we’re going to fall off the pole – definitely not fun. However, the reality is that we rarely fall off the poles, and to the contrary, during each term you see yourself getting better, stronger and more controlled with your pole moves. So while we all have an awareness that gravity could beat us, and have us crashing to the floor, we also develop a growing confidence in our ability to stay on the pole, control it and master our moves. As we all know, when you see a pole dancer performing a move that she is completely comfortable with it looks effortless and easy. Even though she is working very hard, she actually looks relaxed on the pole and not fearful of what she is doing.

Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted as saying that you should do one thing every day that scares you. Maybe, subconsciously, that is what we are doing when we attend our pole dancing classes each week. At certain moments we are pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone, and successfully performing a lift or a move, so little by little, we are building a strong base of confidence and self-belief. It’s like building a big wall made out of bricks, and each brick has written on it – I can do this! I strongly believe that this in-built self-confidence has a ripple effect to all other aspects of our lives.

Maybe that is why pole dancing is so empowering?

Also, pole dancing is very open minded – we all come to it from different backgrounds – various styles of dance, gymnastics, fitness or most commonly none of the above. Women get to find their niche and express themselves in what ever way suits them. It might be strength moves, great flexibility, sexy moves, mesmering dance moves, heels or bare feet – it doesn’t matter. We all put our own stamp on this very accommodating sport. It is not strict, tortured and highly scripted like ballet or gymnastics. We all appreciate the artistry of the beautiful lines that a dancer creates on a pole. I love discovering with my students their particular strengths – their signature move that they perform with grace and confidence.

What has the pole dancing journey done for you?