Uh, yes, I did just say "pole dance," "no" I did not learn it where you are thinking, and I am not working on a new "career." These are some of the usual questions and comments I get when I talk about what I do to get into shape. If people are not brave enough to ask me these questions, they are questions they are asking themselves and share with me later. I can't say that I blame anyone for scoffing at the idea of Pole Dance being an actual form of fitness, because I thought the exact same thing! "You WOULD do pole dance...haha" Insert something here about "strippers," and "if you don't want people to say that then you need to find a new hobby." Yes...that was me who actually said that to a friend who began pole dance as her new "exercise." I had a rather humbling experience once I saw her in person and was mesmorized by her sculpted arms. I asked her what she had been doing and she said "I told you POLE DANCING!" We happened to be on a subway (in Paris, yes, very magical) and I asked the friend what she could do with "that pole" people use using--more functionally--just to keep standing. She commented on how it was a little thinner than she was used too...and whoop! There she was just frozen like a cheerleader in air! I told myself in that moment, "I WANT THAT!" and I was never the same.
Over the course of nearly 5 years, I have defended pole dance to many people who never would even change their mind about how little they thought of my activity. "Oh, I bet your husband must love that??" Oh, how that comment used to burn me up until I started letting the muscles say "do you really think I got [these] from doing [what you are thinking]??" I actually stopped talking to people because I already knew what they were going to say. But what if my friend never told me about what a great time she had doing pole-dance fitness? What is I never told anyone about my "hobby" and only let my muscles say it all? What if I kept everything my "dirty little secret"...?
One aspect of pole dance that outsiders can't grasp is what it does on the inside to someone. A person who was never athletic finally finds something they love and feels like they are now able to be good at something physical. Another person who has never felt attractive is able to find a new groove and glows from the inside out from their newfound confidence. A dancer or gymnast is all grown-up and adulthood has robbed them of an outlet, which once defined WHO they were, has once again found something to breathe life back into that part that was lost. Someone who feels disconnected from everyone else finally has a reason to connect with others with a common interest that they never had before. So, YES. I did just say "Pole Dance." I am also here to say pole dance has not only changed my life but I have seen countless people with my own eyes who were transformed by it, too.
So, go ahead, wave your "freak flag" and keep talking about what gives you life! Never forget that we were all put up on pole dance by someone else. We would not have pole dance-fitness today if it were not for all those "strippers" before us, so let there be no holier than thou distinctions. And just, stop. Stop dividing who we are as a culture (of women) because we all need to be built up by something when no one else can see we are torn down. Don't let a guy rob you of your pole-joy in a single comment, by saying how he's got "dolla billzzz" for you. There is an entire ignorant population of people who hate "hitting the gym." Tell your co-worker about pole dance, the shopping clerk, your server, your hair dresser, and anyone else who will listen because they, too, need a reason to free yourself from a life of "normal" exercise.
I have met MORE amazing people from pole dancing than I have from doing anything else in my life. If it were not for pole dance, I would not have a space to have ever learned aerials such as hammock or lyra. I also would not have a reason to feel better about swimsuit season, each year. ;)
Here is an OLD video (which needs updating) about my pole story. Go tell yours!!