I have been pole dancing for a little over 3 years now and it has completely changed my life in so many ways. Whenever I tell someone about my pole dance life, the first question I'm usually asked is, "so you're like a stripper?" No. I do not have their confidence or their skills. I look forward to the day I can move like the women I have come to know about (and know personally) through this experience. This brings me to another part of this world: the women. I have met the most incredible women from all walks of life. These nurses, teachers, VPs, bartenders, flight attendants, and executives have been a source of constant inspiration, support, laughter, and best of all, friendship. In a world where women are pitted against each other, all I have ever felt walking into a class or studio is love and total acceptance.
I wanted to put together this piece to show a side of pole dance/fitness that many don't know exists or some my have questions about. All I asked of these ladies was to write what the world of pole dance has meant to them. As you'll see in this post, and the next (tomorrow), their words are beautiful, fiery, honest, and incredibly inspiring. This sport (yes, sport) doesn't care how fit you are, how old you are, or how you look naked, you are totally capable of doing it! I hope the following inspires you to look up a studio near you, or even reach out to one (or all) of the women below that you connect with to start this incredible journey yourself. I know, getting started is daunting. Even after 3 years, I like to stay closer to the ground than being feet off the floor on the pole. And I'm starting to realize that that's totally ok! When I dance, I dance for me. As it should be.
Some of these ladies started this journey with me, some have taken a class at my side, and some have been my teachers. To those that have lead the classes I've taken, whether it be one or one hundred, I can never thank you enough for the space you've held, the confidence you've inspired, the love you consistently provide, the laughs we've shared, the tears spilled on your shoulders, or for the woman you have helped me become. In any case, 'thank you'.
By the end of the year 2011, I felt as though many life challenges hit me all at once. These challenges ranged from heartbreak, health issues, family crises, financial setbacks, steady weight gain, and bouts of depression. Through this, my self-esteem began to plummet. So by the beginning of 2012, I realized I needed to pull myself together and work toward positively changing my life.
Around February 2012, I decided I wanted to start losing weight and do something for myself in order to regain my self-esteem. After completing an intro class at a nearby pole studio, I knew then that this was definitely something I had to be a part of! I absolutely loved what pole dancing stood for and how it empowers women to embrace their own beauty and beauty of others. It was everything but the negative stigma associated with those 2 words…pole dancing!
It has now been 5 years since I’ve started my journey with pole dancing, and through it I have never been more confident in myself, more vibrant, buoyant, full of energy, and embraced every flaw that I thought I had. After starting pole dancing, I succeeded at losing 26 pounds and found what I believed was my soulmate after 5 long years of being single and desiring a significant other.
My entire life has changed in so many ways! People all over the country in the pole dancing community have become a vital part of who I have become as a person. Most of them have become my family, and others still remain my really close friends. These amazing people, might I add, range from the ages of 18 to 82…yes, I said 82! It is unimaginable how we, as a community, are so supportive of each other and embrace the beauty of the feminine body. We choose to build each other up, support, love, and admire the feminine as a whole. This is definitely something I would hope that every woman would open up to and experience in their lives…sooner rather than later!
Pole dancing has shifted my life in profound ways. I have learned to truly love myself, my life, my family
and other women. I have forgiven myself for not being “perfect” which is huge, HUGE! I am enough. She is enough.
The workout has given me muscle tone I have never been able to accomplish in any other workout I have done. It has shown me that I am capable of many amazing movements regardless of what physical stage I’m in that I never thought possible (even after two children). It’s fun and I feel like a million bucks when I’m done. I walk with my head high and a smile on my face when I’m finished teaching or taking a class.
The community that is built around pole has brought so many women together. I have made many friends in women since I started pole dance and I’m always open to new women. It’s really amazing to be able to be a part of a community that is always welcoming, loving and supportive to all (even if we don’t know each other), especially when we are dancing in our truth with every curve, bump, stretch mark, and sexuality being exposed.
I would say there are many benefits to pole dancing whether you want to take class to learn how to seduce, tease, empower, or just have a fun way to work out and celebrate your body.
Becky currently teaches at K Dance & Fitness in Katy, TX
A long time ago someone told women that they could not be sexy without the external validation of a member of the opposite sex. A long time ago someone told women that they could not be beautiful without fitting into a perfect mold of what women should look like. A long time ago someone told women that they were not in control of their own bodies and that they should spend millions of dollars and millions of hours changing who they were.
Lies. Those were all lies. But we believed them. We had no reason not to.
In short pole dancing has helped many of us understand these untruths and in turn help others.
This is a constant struggle, the deprogramming of our minds and hearts. Which is where the community comes in handy. Our pole dancing community built on support and strength. The wounds run deep and we are constantly bombarded with reasons to doubt ourselves. Through pole dancing we learn to truly see the beauty in every woman, and that includes ourselves. Not seeing beauty in spite of who we are, but because of who we are. The different types of pole dancing allow for unique expressions of each and every individual body in a place where it can be celebrated and supported.
Age, weight, race, shape, style don’t matter here. They don’t matter in the movement. Every journey is unique and every path taken is being forged by a new brave soul that is reclaiming their sexuality and their strength in their own way. For some that is with shoes and loud clack, wearing clothes that exposes tender flesh. For others it is with bare feet, hoodie draped overhead, loose skirt flowing behind her. There is no right or wrong. There is just art. Art created from our bodies. Silent poetry cutting through the sound of the beating music behind us. With each dance we present our hearts on a silver platter to the world, and through dance is that we learn that all of our hearts are equally as beautiful.
I've learned that pole dancing can be sexy, flirtatious, and invigorating, but it can also be warm and sensual. You see, sexiness and sensuality are 2 different things and I learned to embrace both. Embrace it in my emotions, movement and body. Once I realized to not be scared of my touch, my ability to let go and allow my body to move as it NEEDED and not wanted...I felt free and finally myself.
I came back to pole dancing in 2015 after a 5 year break and fell in love with the community. I'm so beyond blessed to have found my Pole Sisters because I honestly don't know where I'd be without them. I thought the pole fitness world was very vain and all about difficult pole tricks, but I found a community of women as diverse as the UN, and a hell of a lot sexier. We encourage one another, we praise each other's efforts, and above all else, are taught to love ourselves just the way we are now. There's nothing wrong with our bodies. If we lose weight while we're working out, great! But we are taught to embrace our feminine curves and love what God gave us. Maybe I live in a bubble or maybe my pole community may seem naive to others, but I like to think I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm lucky because I found my SiSters, who love me just the way I am. I found my tribe.
I encourage all women to try pole dancing. Not to make someone else happy, but rather try out pole dancing to be mesmerized with your own self beauty the way the rest of the world is mesmerized by your beauty. See how wonderful your body and flowing movement is. Allow your Inner Goddess to revel in her beauty and power. Allow Her to OWN her emotions, whatever they are, and dance through them. Be the beautiful Goddess that you are.
For me Pole Dance means that I get to take ownership of my body and the decisions I make about it. It helps me to be aware of and stay connected to my femininity, strength, sexuality, and feminine power. It’s an outlet for me, when I’m having a bad day it’s the one sure thing I know that will make my day better! Pole Dance gives me a safe space and community to be myself and empower the feminine. I’ve been in the Pole Dance community for quite a few years and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I absolutely love how much the community has grown and that its only going to get bigger!