If there’s one thing I have noticed on the old social media at the moment, it’s that our rhetoric towards our bodies is changing, and sadly not always for the better. I have seen so many pole dancers talk about themselves pretty harshly, insulting their bodies for not looking the way they once did and especially, not having the strength they had pre-lockdown.
Unfortunately, this isn’t just limited to us amateur dancers too. I have seen a few pole dance professionals who can do some quite frankly death defying moves both on and around the pole feeling down in the dumps about how their bodies have changed and how they’re not as strong as they once were. Now, I really really do not mean to criticise or be unkind to anyone with this blog, and if this comes across that way then I do apologise as that was not my intention at all, but I feel I need to say that you all need to cut that shit out and fast, because your body is far from weak, it is a god damn machine and we need to stop this self- strength shaming malarkey.
Us pole dancers are strong. Period. Whether you’re a beginner who is just discovering how powerful your body can be whilst learning to climb or an advanced Audrey, who has got that aerial handspring nailed, you. are. strong! You can lift yourself up in the airlike some sort of motherfucking mighty magician, your pain threshold is taking a hefty battering in training (trust me though it’s growing into a beast of hench proportions) and you keep coming back for more. No matter where you are on your pole dance journey, you’re one big strong bastard who will get stronger every time you train.
However, I must confess that I am a right bugger for not appreciating how far I have come on my strength journey. Once I achieved the milestone that was my first invert, I did not spend enough time celebrating my body and feeling proud of it and instead turned that energy into frustrations that I couldn’t yet invert in heels. This cycle was pretty much stuck on repeat. When I could invert in heels I became frustrated I couldn’t aerial invert, when I could aerial invert I became frustrated I couldn’t shoulder mount and when I could shoulder mount I became frustrated that I couldn’t Ayesha. You get the picture. Yes it’s good to have pole goals to aim for, but it’s also vital to celebrate your achievements too and give yourself the pat on the muscly back that you deserve.
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Happy bank holiday #mondaybumday one and all! I’ve spent the last two days eating, drinking and getting up to mischief, so have a jade split from Thursday. Dead chuffed with my Jade progress, regular splits stretching at @silver.cloud.studios and getting my hamstrings pulverised by @bristol_sports_massage are making a difference 😍 * * * #poledancersofig #poledancersofinstagram #pdjade #mayadanceandfitness #strongwomen #inkedgirls #girlswithtattoos #fitfam #poletrick #poledancer #polefitness #progressnotperfection #poledance #unitedbypole #poledancenation #poledancecombo #poledancing #poledancingmotivation #poledancelife #intermediatepoledancer #splits #pdsplits #bendywendy
I am also not afraid to admit that I am guilty of comparing myself to others, especially in my body capabilities. Yes, this is a flaw and it’s one that I am working very hard on shifting, but the first step is admittance, so there you go I said it. So when I see pole dancers, be they professionals in any capacity or amateurs, having a rant that they can no longer handspring/aerial shoulder mount or any other big strength move, it leaves me sitting there feeling a bit like a potato. Fuck me if they think they’re not strong, what the hell would they think if they saw my posts?! Would they mistake me for a wet noodle trying to hoist themselves up the pole? Basically speak kindly to your body and compliment it for it’s strength, it’ll do wonders for your self confidence and you never know who is listening.
Lastly but most importantly, there is no correct body type for pole and strength doesn’t always look like an eight pack and enviable biceps. I have seen dancers of all shapes, sizes and genders executing all manner of badass strength moves in my many years spent spectating at pole dance competitions and showcases. I truly do not believe there is one body type that performs best as a pole dancer. In fact I think it’s utter horseshit. I used to forever think that if I lost a few pounds here and there I would be able to do arms only tricks easier, especially as I’m a pair shaped lass, so would have less arse to hold up. That turned out unsurprisingly to be utter bollocks as I’m still pair shaped and can Ayesha- so take that self-doubt!
I propose to us all that we take our strength-shaming tendencies and drop kick them into the nearest bin. As a former strength shamer, I am happy to lead this movement, take my own advice and start loving my body for the strong shit it can do instead of worrying about the tricks it hasn’t yet conquered. Who is with me?!