What to know before you start pole dancing: Six unexpected things that happen

A couple of weeks back I was having a little reflective chatter with my pole sisters about how our pole journeys have gone so far and all that jazz. Personally, looking back at when I first began my pole quest, I realised that pretty much the entirety of my journey has involved a lot of unexpected shit going down. Awesome, confidence building, life changing sparkly shit, but still unexpected shit none the less. Therefore, I thought it might be a good idea to whip up a blog for those who are about to embark upon their pole journey, listing six things that are pretty much guaranteed to take place during it.

Please note that the list below consists of things that I genuinely did not expect to happen when taking up pole. Yes you have my permission to laugh at me for some of these!

Pole fucking hurts, deal with it.

Pole Faces

Back in 2015 when my knocking knees first set foot in a pole studio I honest to god did not expect it to hurt. What a tit. Like how on earth did I not expect gripping onto a metal pole with my thighs would not hurt? Had I abandoned science for the day? Anyway I digress.

For those of you who, like me, had not a clue what you were letting yourself in for yes, pole hurts. And not just the classic, satisfying case of the post exercise DOMS. You will feel intense, sharp pinching as your skin grips ground the pole which, if you don’t let out a yelp or at least a mild wince, you’re one hard motherfucker. You’ll be bruised like peach that’s been booted full pelt round the green grocer’s floor after a good practice session and those bruises will be all colours of the rainbow and come in a variety of shapes. As you practice a move repeatedly, I promise you that your body will condition itself to stop hurting (sooner than you think actually) but at first, new moves hurt like a cunt. Just gotta suck it up I’m afraid.

You won’t get moves straight away, but you will get them

shoulder mount

Christ almighty just look at all the professional polers out there and the mad shit they’re doing. Even moves that are not next level crazy (I still can’t do these however, just throwing that out there) such as Ayesha’s and Jade Splits, require pretty solid levels of strength and flexibility in order to execute them well. When starting pole completely from scratch, unless you have a strong gymnastics, dance or sporting background then you ain’t going to be able to bust out higher intermediate/advanced level moves in a couple of months. Let’s not live in Cloud Cuckoo Land. I was no gymnast before I started pole, so there was no way I was going to be able to execute moves which require great dexterity and skill after three weeks of classes.

However, after nearly three and a half years of pole dance, I can safely say that there has been some form of progress. I may not be able to bust out the pro tricks yet, but I can manage Extended Butterflies, Shoulder Mounts, Bow and Arrows and laybacks all in my heels (booya!). As much as your first few weeks, months or even year of classes will feel intimidating, I promise that with consistency and hard work you will progress from those first few pesky sits and fireman spins.

Situations will appear that will encourage you to leap out of your comfort zone, you must take them

IMG_5647

Well fuck me that sounds like something out of a fortune cookie. If you ignore the pure, Instagram quote cheese of that sentence, I assure you its accurate! At some point along the path of your pole journey, situations will present themselves that will up your pole game tenfold, but fuck me they will seem terrifying! It may be the opportunity to perform in a show case or even enter a competition. Getting a routine together for a show or competition is a stressful experience that involves a shit ton of hard work, sacrificing both your finances and spare time and will involve you popping your performance cherry, which is a whole new barrel of nerves in itself. What’s the point to all this stress I hear you ask? Well, not only will your pole skills exponentially improve due to all the extra hard work you’re putting in, you will also get a massive sense of pride and a huge self-esteem boost once you have faced your fear and performed/entered your competition. You’ll feel immensely proud and be ready to face the next challenge in your pole adventure, or even your life come to think of it. I’m convinced I passed my driving test on my third attempt because I kept telling myself “Foxen, if you can perform in a pole show in front of a sold out audience, you can do this!”

You may very well end up discovering your feminine side…

Make up face

I was categorically NOT a very girly girl before starting pole dancing. My life pre-pole consisted of running around in leggings and Nike’s, my makeup style was somewhere between a Panda and a racoon and my free time was spent necking pints at local death metal gigs and festivals. I’m not going to lie there’s 10/10 nothing wrong with that existence, but now I drink much less than I used to in order to make Sunday practice sessions at my studio, I have learned way more about make up (I’ve even branched into the realms of false eyelashes) and I spend an equal amount of time in my Bad Kitty sets and eight inch pleasers as a I do in my leggings and Nikes.

And your sexy side

Halloween topless

Learning stripper style pole dance for me was a gigantic jump into the deep end. As previously mentioned, I was a wee bit of a tomboy before pole, and the thought of doing some sensual floor and flow in my heels at the end of my first six weeks of lessons filled me with utter dread as I honestly felt about as sexy as a poo. Now it’s one of my favourite parts to pole dance! I don’t (yet) class floor work and flow as one of my personal strong points, but it’s something I love to both watch and perform and am determined to progress in. I can feel a summer of floorwork workshops coming on!

Finally, you’ll magically find a whole new bunch of besties

Pole Theatre

Those folk in your class now, who you have only known for the past week or two and you attempt to make awkward small talk with will in a few years time feel like fucking family to you. You’ll be taping each other into costumes, communicating via a series of sounds instead of sentences, having various pole related in jokes and be an inseparable gang before you know it. I’ll keep this last point short and sweet, as I’m pretty certain I’ve already written a blog about how awesome pole friends are, but yeah, they’re badass.

Well, those are the six things that happened to me on my pole adventures that I legit did not expect to. If any others happened to you, please drop them in the comments below!

PS- The eagle eyed readers among you would have noticed that I have recycled some old pictures for this post. This for one of the following reasons; They’re significant moments from my pole journey so far documented in photographic format and are thus relevant to the blog, or I am simply too lazy/down right terrified of the mammoth task that is sorting through three and a half years worth of pole photos to find relevant ones for blogging.

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