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What I’ve Learned from Pole Dancing

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A few months ago, I was watching the National Pole Dancing Championships on YouTube and was inspired by the athleticism and utter sexiness of these women. I sat there for the seven and a half minute video with my mouth hanging open, riveted by the movements. How on earth do they DO that?! I thought. I decided then that I had to learn how to pole dance, somehow, some way.

Recently a new fitness studio opened near me, and they offer pole dancing classes. Sign me up, right? Little did I know what I was getting myself in to! I’ve learned a few things after only two classes.

The first thing is that pole dancing should be an Olympic sport. It rivals men’s gymnastics for the core strength you need to do some of the lifts, and my biceps and shoulders are already bigger from climbing the pole.

The second thing I learned is that I need more arnica and lots of Reiki. The arnica (a homeopathic gel) will help reduce any of the bruising that the Reiki doesn’t take care of. Today’s victims were the tops of my feet, from the pressure of clinging desperately to the pole as I tried to work my way to the top. Luckily for me, when I can feel the bruise happening, Reiki does a great job of getting rid of it within a day or two.

The third thing I learned is that when you’re sliding and spinning down the pole, you need just the right balance of holding on and letting go in order to smoothly execute the move. It’s a little like life in that respect. If you hold on too tight you never get anywhere, but if you let go of all control you crash into the ground. You have to hold on loosely to really enjoy the ride. I haven’t mastered that one yet, but I’m working on it.

The last thing I learned is that sexy is a state of mind. I’ve known this for a while now, but dancing has reinforced it for me. I realized that when I’m in class, I’m usually too worried about learning the next move to really enjoy being in my body and moving to the music. I get stuck in my head going over the mechanics of the whole thing, and when I look at myself in the mirror I realize that I’m moving stiffly and mechanically. Once I get the next move, I’m able to be more in my body.

Then when I get home and practice what I can, I’m much more relaxed. I take the time to listen to the music and really move with it. I feel sexy, and it shows. That state of mind makes me feel better about my forty-two-year-old body, regardless of what the scale says. It makes me feel better about myself in a “yeah, I’ve still got it” kind of way. More importantly, it helps me to love myself more. Women tend to pick on themselves for physical imperfections, and that gets worse as they age.

Dancing, both the classes and the home practice, is reminding me that there is a lot to love about being in a female form, pulsating with the creative energy inherent in us. 

And yes, I am trying to figure out where I could install a pole in my home.

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