Friday, March 25, 2011
My love affair with pole dancing started 4 years and 3 months ago. I installed a pole, had lost my job, had some lingerie and a dream...going upside down on a pole. I wanted it so bad as if being upside down would give me clarity to the issues I would soon face about my future and my career. I got lost in the need and desire to dance around this object everyday and became obsessed with a site called youtube; which prior to this affair I had never heard of. One sunny January day after my boyfriend had left for work I logged into the youtube and began searching videos and watching and thinking and watching and thinking then walked to pole, back to the computer, to the pole, to the computer in a dance. Finally I decided that was it - time to suck it up and just do it. I nailed my invert! First try! It scared the shit out of me because I hadn't really thought about what the sensation would be like. At that time, I didn't even know you had to have skin exposed to grip the pole, I just kinda thought it was magic or skill or something I didn't possess. There I was hanging upside down a peek a boo pole I couldn't even climb. I am so lucky. I'm lucky I survived my own stupidity and am here to even write this blog.
From that first invert I was hooked into a dangerous addiction that would take me years to get over. Once I realized I could flip upside down - that wasn't enough. My dream morphed into something else and I am not sure what it was now, but the feeling of power I had made me drunk and hungry for more. After proving myself to be nothing short of amazing, I say this tongue in cheek because this IS how I felt, I found some more moves that became my new dream...scorpio was my new drug and I had to have it and I think I actually nailed it somewhere in that fateful day I nailed the invert. You see, I didn't know these moves were supposed to be hard and although they were difficult and tiring, I thought there was something wrong with me because all I could see was dancers on youtube doing far more "upside down" things than I what I could do in a day. It never occurred to me that pole dancing took practice and skill because all I could see was flawless video clips of gorgeous aerial angels dancing through my head as I played on my pole.
About a year into pole dancing I had been equalized and seasoned. I learned that the things I had been pushing my body to do were unsafe for most, yet in my head, not unsafe for me. It was then that I ventured down the path of teaching. Why did I want to teach? I want to give other women the same feeling of power I had every time I nailed a trick. I wanted to give other women that skip in their step that comes from being strong, agile and athletic. I was still trick addicted at this time and luckily ran across some very important people that taught me to temper my tricks with dance. The addiction to push beyond reason was still very strong in me and I needed to find others who felt the same way, that shared the same sickness, that could only get high on mastering every trick they saw. My intentions were so very true and honest. I wanted to show the world that I wasn't SEXY! I'm STRONG and able to do great tricks! I wanted to spread this gospel to other women. I was sick.
I didn't actually start teaching until about 6 months later. By this time I had come to see and value the human body in a way I could never value my own. I wanted to nurture and care for the bodies in front of me and I was so soft and timid with them. I was a virgin teacher afraid of hurting her students, afraid to let them grow wings and fly themselves. Ofcourse there was there was the issue of liability which again scared the shit out of me more than that first invert ever did. But at this point I had left a studio to pursue my own thing, was unsure of this decision, scared of hurting someone and finally beginning to face the fact that I was a junkie. I wasn't pole dancing because it made me feel good, I was doing it to get high on nailing new tricks. Oh yeah, I told myself it was for fitness but it really wasn't...I was reclaiming power I had lost in a 3 year nightmare of chauvinism. Pole to me was POWER. Power because I could do things men couldn't.
It was an early May morning and very warm, I set up my four poles and stood in front of scared, excited and shy faces looking at me and I realized in that moment a new kind of power. This power had to be handled gently with love and consideration. I immediately forgot what I was doing and felt overwhelmed with the charge of raising up new pole dancers. I couldn't raise them to be my junkie friends. I couldn't show them inverts and knee holds I had to start from the beginning but I myself had no beginning. AH, but I did! The day I put that pole up was something like December 22nd, it was a Christmas present for my boyfriend. So clearly the feelings of that night rushed into me like a wave of sedation. I wanted to be his sexy stripper for the night! I wore a slutty Mrs. Clause string bikini and danced around the pole to Nine Inch Nails and fell so in love with how great it felt to dance that I kept dancing so long, he put his pants back on and said to come get him when I was ready. Coincidently I did go get him when I was ready - I've never left him hanging, pun intended.
So in 30 seconds I relived the last 18 months of my life and had to face an addiction and still pull myself together to raise up these women in front of me. Deep Breath. We all grabbed our poles and walked around it, one thing led to another and 12 women were taking turns grinding up and down the pole, giggling and blushing. This is the moment that my life made sense. After 3 years of putting up with asshole men who thought they were smarter than me - yet relied on me to make them successful - 18 months of getting high on the fact that I'm so strong and awesome now, I was exposed and exposing others. I had spent so much time denying that pole dancing was sexy that I personally had a hard time teaching them to grind on the pole. I had a hard time teaching them to be sexy and transitions fluidly. I mean, I had always kinda tried to dance and dabbled with being sensual and did really want to be seen as that but my head never accepted that part of me. I guess I had been so trapped by male perceptions that it became my prison and I was afraid to be anything less than strong...then in a single moment a group of women brought me back to earth. Those women taught me far more than I could ever teach them. That first group of women exposed so many of my flaws and gave me the desire to fix them, I'm sure they have no idea how they changed the path for me.
So why am I blogging about trick addictions and the women who broke me down and reminded me to dance? Because. Because we all need to check ourselves to keep our dancing authentic and feeling good. When I tell a student to dial it down for a second, I'm not being a bitch, I protecting that gorgeous body and pushing you into the moment I was in the first time I danced on a pole. That feeling of nakedness, fear, that feeling of letting it all flow out, that feeling of being EROTIC, sexy and wanted, that feeling of power that comes from YOU - not your tricks, not your clothes, not your shoes, not your job...that thumping, pounding music, that cold steel pole, that lost feeling that takes into a world where everything disappears...that feeling of being girl.
How often in our day do we get to be fucking girls? Just girls? Sensual, pretty, weak, strong, ok, wanted, needed, desired, emotional, tearful, laughing GIRLS? Curvy, beautiful, scared little girls. We need to push ourselves to fear the woman inside then dig a hole for her to come out. Pole dancing shouldn't end when you walk off your pole or out of the studio. Pole dancing should be in our veins, in our walk, in our thoughts and I don't mean a gross obsession but we should be taking strength and courage from it in the RIGHT ways. We have this great gift that allows us to investigate our femininity and masculinity - we should allow it to envelope us in HEALTHY ways. It's not your tricks or your dance, it's you.