We’ve all got that one relative (usually a Generation X-er) who bangs on and on about how they “never went to university, I went to the school of hard knocks” or some other such phrase which they believe once uttered makes their opinion the most valid one in the room. If you encounter such an individual, who starts insisting that they know more about life then you do and generally being a condescending shit, then you can use your time spent as a poler as your ace card.
Pole dance has taught me more life lessons in the (almost) three years that I have been dancing for than I ever thought possible. I started classes back in 2015 because I always thought pole dancing looked cool as fuck and wanted to give it a try. In this trying process, I ended up learning so so much about life and discovering elements to my own character that I never knew existed. Naturally being the gobby mouthpiece that I am, I thought I would share the biggest life lessons that pole has taught me with you all.
- When the time comes, you can handle your shit
In class and at practice sessions, you have all manner of support networks there to help you bust out a new trick. There are your teachers, your pole buddies and crash mats all there to catch you if you take a tumble. However this won’t always be the case. The day will inevitably come when you’re thrown at top speed out of your comfort zone and are performing on stage, no teacher there to support you and not a crash mat in sight. It’ll feel fucking terrifying, but you’ll do it and you’ll be so damn proud of yourself. Pole will prove to you that when it comes to the crunch, you can handle your shit perfectly.
- When you need it, ask for help
When you’re attempting a new trick, make sure you’ve got your teacher (or an experienced spotter) on hand to help you. Seriously do this. You may want to bust out a trick in your heels at the top of the pole for maximum Instagram likes but seriously, wait until your confident doing your trick with help first. Life is kind of the same. I’m one of those annoyingly proud dickheads who rarely asks for help until it’s too late, but pole is slowly teaching me how important it is to ask for help when you actually need it, before you make a cock up of things at least.
- Never ever EVER give up
Pole is testing at times, we all know that. For me there have been many occasions when I wanted to throw in the towel. Recently, it took me a whole year to get my shoulder mount and there were many, many times in that year that I felt like quitting pole, but eventually (August 27th 2017 to be precise) I finally got there! Yes I ran a victory lap of the studio too when it happened. If you keep at something long enough, be it your degree, your driving test, your job hunt, saving up for a home etc it WlLL happen if you stick at it long enough. If I can haul my ass up in a shoulder mount, you will achieve your goals too!
- Put on your brave girl/boy pants, face your fears and embrace the pain!
Attempting a new trick is nearly always fucking terrifying. My pole brothers and sisters nicknamed ourselves “The semi-circle of fear” whenever it was new trick time, as we would gather round like a bunch of nervous lads at a school disco, avoiding our turn to go on the pole. Eventually, one of us would muster enough guts to get onto the pole and attempt the new trick. Personally, my first attempt at a new trick would always result in grimacing in pain followed by a spectacular flop on the floor, however it was one step closer than I’ve ever been before to mastering a new trick and being a better poler. Whenever you find the courage to face whatever is scaring you and suck up the pain that goes with it, your life will inevitably change for the better. (shit the bed that was one cheesy sentence).
- You’re not an island, get out there and support your damn friends
*Choo choo here comes the emo train* you have a very special friendship with your pole family and a time will come when they need your support. Be it with learning a new trick, to performing in shows or competing. Don’t be a dickhead just because your buddies are progressing faster than you are, or because they qualified for the competition finals and you didn’t. Be a good sport and support them as you would want to be supported.
If you lovely lot have been taught some valuable life lessons as a result of pole, drop them in the comments below!