Prior to my first pole dancing class I was a mix of nerves and excitement – what on earth had I signed up to? Little did I realize the profound and life changing effects it was going to have on me, and the many women (and men) that I have met through this activity.
Here are a few things I learned about how pole dancing is beneficial to the mind, body and soul.
1. The Obvious Health and Fitness Benefits
Over time, pole dancing routines (and the discipline required to learn them) can help you build upper body and core strength, improve the look of your arms and tummy, gain flexibility, burn calories, boost metabolism, and of course, lose weight. Greater core strength will also improve your posture: walking tall is key to owning the pole. Memorizing choreography is a very specific brain exercise – you need to train your brain too!
2. It Builds Confidence and Increases Self-Esteem
Pole dancing is not easy. There are very specific muscles that you need to train to be able to hold and control each move and lift. So when I finally nailed the hardest move I was taught, I felt like I’d just won a gold medal and the lottery at the same time. It was one of the best feelings I have ever had. Honestly. It felt amazing because it required stamina, strength, and flexibility. That new found self-affirmation inspires you to try the next pole challenge.
3. It Can Empower You in Other Areas of Your Life
This new found confidence will empower you in other areas of your life. You are not just strong on the outside, but you feel more enabled to face life’s challenges, in relationships, the workplace or other physical challenges. I used to feel traumatized by confrontations in my workplace. Now I walk through the office door feeling confident and in control, and I relate more effectively to my clients so that those dramas now just don’t occur. Pole dancing will definitely also get you in touch with your more sensual side, which also makes for a healthy and fulfilling relationship with your partner. Feeling fit and able bodied also makes unexpected moments more fun – lifting furniture, an impromptu run or showing off your hot body on the dance floor.
4. It Creates Bonding
Taking part in a pole class is a very different experience from going to the gym. The intimate setting of a pole lesson brings women closer together. The mood is supportive and non-competitive. New friendships develop that extend beyond the confines of the studio. There’s no place for prima donnas. We are all facing our own battles with a vertical pole and gravity! Can’t conquer a move? Girl, we will try until you nail it and I am here to lend a hand. Often there is spontaneous applause from the class when a long term goal is finally achieved.
5. It’s Fun!
Spinning around a pole is fun! I always love hearing the excited squeal of beginners the first time they experience this feeling. Whether you choose to dance in heels or barefoot, you can let your hair down and be yourself in an environment that is safe and definitely not sleazy. There are lots of laughs when we first try body rolls and some of the more sensual looking dance moves. To be honest, when we first start them they do not look very sexy. That’s ok. It’s really just a matter of practising and training your body to make those moves flow. Then, when you see your reflection in the mirror you can honestly say that you like what you see. Love it!
What have you learnt from pole?