fitness, personal

Why I started pole dancing…

So the questions I face when people come across my instagram feed…. 

Why pole dancing?

Or:

Couldn’t you do something more traditional?

Or my personal favorite:

Do you want to be a stripper or something?

My short answer: because I fucking want to. 

I have a history of sports I’ve half committed to, when I was aged 8-11 I ran cross country for my school, I competed against some of the best runners in the county in my age group. When I took the leap to ‘big school’ I went to a boarding school, with no where to run and no access to outside when it was dark…good bye running. 

As with most traditional British school’s field hockey was popular, I showed up on my first day in my kilt skirt and blazer, hockey stick in hand. I had never played before, yet the stick was on the ‘must haves’ list provided by the school. I actually quite enjoyed hockey but didn’t have much of the skill, I often got brought up for my grunts similar to the Williams sisters of tennis. I tried to keep up with the sport but after leaving private school for public school the tradition of hockey was lost. 

The public school years: did you know that in Britain pupils only have to complete 2 hours of physical activity a week? On reflection I feel this was definitely not enough and didn’t help me commit to any sport at the school. We had the usual sports that school’s enforce when they are understaffed or underskilled: netball, football and rounders with some athletics thrown in during the warmer months. 

I don’t blame my secondary education for my lack of commitment to physical activity, but i certainly don’t feel I was encouraged.

At age 25 a friend of mine, Steph, invited me to her home to “have a swing on her pole” in any different context I would follow that sentence with a *waaaaaaaaay* super mature I know. She had been pole dancing for a couple of years and I often admired her strength and grace, what did I have to loose?

So I showed up one Friday evening with my shorts in tow, to have a spin.  Two other lovely ladies were there also, another pole virgin like me, Toni and someone who had poled at uni, Emma, it was a good mix of skill and laughs!

It was frustrating, I managed a basic fireman spin (simple spin with legs crossed around the pole) I couldn’t lift myself or do any of the spins the others showed me. Adding to my stress was the fact that Toni who’s first time it was also, could do so much more than I straight away.  I still had a good time, Steph and emma were so supportive and encouraging. 

So, I have what I like to call *demon toe* in which my second toe is longer than my big toe, thanks genetics! The end of my first pole session resulted in me falling a bit hard from a spin attempt onto what ballet dancers call points, resulting in breaking my three middle toes, ouchies!

Despite my injury and frustrations I showed up the next week with a keen desire to learn, here we are 2 years later and I have stuck to it! Pole dance is so addictive, I have never wanted to work out as much as I do now, I spend my spare time looking up moves to try in my next session, I’m even trying to choreograph my first routine!

Some times I feel super sexy in heels, sometimes I feel a little ridiculous and embarrassed, but i keep going. It is a painful sport, you are literally wrapping your self around a piece of metal, skin pinches and bruises are constant…some girls don’t feel it was a good workout without some bruises.

So in summary:

I enjoy pole and it’s a sport I have stuck to, I do not want to be a stripper, but what does it matter if I did? 

– That Unicorn dancer

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