Pole dancing is an absolutely badass hobby. Period. However, with anything badass in life comes a hefty element of fear. Riding a Harley, getting tattooed, doing a bungee jump (as someone who is scared of heights that one can categorically fuck off) all have a sizeable chunk of fear thrown into the mix.
Pole dancing in my opinion is no different and when you come to think of it, there are several milestone moments in your pole dance journey that unless you have nerves of steel, will shit you up good and proper the first time you encounter them. Seeing as it’s spooky season, I thought I would compile these moments into a pleasant, fear inducing blog for you to read. Did your most terrifying pole dance milestone make it onto the list? Find out below!
The first time you attend a class
I don’t know about you, but I was borderline terrified the first time I attended a pole class. I didn’t know what to expect, as I had only seen all the crazy advanced level pole moves on YouTube before joining a class. Was that the sort of shit we would be attempting in an hour’s taster class?! Thankfully (and obviously) not, however this didn’t stop me being overly cautious, assuming the pole was going to fall down and consequently being too scared to do much more than half-arsed attempts at a back hook during my first class. Still, like the bravest of beans we faced our fears and went back didn’t we? So go us I say.
The first time you properly go upside down is some genuinely scary shit. I have zero gymnastic background, didn’t spend my childhood doing handstands, headstands or other gymnastic maneuvers, so the idea of going upside down was pretty much completely alien to me.
Once my pole journey had reached the point where inverting was the next big goal to achieve, I attended an inverts workshop back in March 2016, which focused on nailing those all-important crucifixes and Geminis, and during this workshop I had but one thought going through my mind, “Christ almightly what is this knee and thigh grip madness all about?!” Encountering the burny bastard that is the knee grip on my virgin knees and thighs for the first time felt like a whole new world of pain. Thankfully after years of drilling them (I’m embarrassed to admit I am only really now focusing on both sides), the back of my knees and thighs have toughened up nicely to gripping, but they sure as hell weren’t at first. So overall, your first invert is a real double whammy of fear, in terms of going upside down and having to grip on with the back of your knees for the first time in your life.
First lay back
Bloody hell this was a scary moment wasn’t it?! It’s no secret that I fucking love a layback, especially my old friends the cross knee and cross ankle releases, but shit the bed the first time I attempted one I was terrified! I learnt the cross knee first and even then that took months and my teacher spotting me over huge crash mats in case I plummeted to my doom. The cross ankle, which I always found slightly scarier, took over a year of me forcing myself to train it to properly master the fear inducing beast and if I’m going to be completely honest, I still get slightly scared that I’m going to slide out of still to this day. Laybacks are scary buggers, end of.
First time in heels
I’m pretty sure we can all remember our first pair of pole shoes! Mine were the beyond comfy 7 inch chrome red Pleasers, which even though I haven’t worn them in years I am still too emotionally invested in to part with. In my pre-pole journey life, I think I wore heels on average once every three years, and still outside of the pole world I live in trainers, vans and walking boots, so wearing 7 inch heels for the first time for me was pretty daunting. However, once accustomed to how comfy pole heels are, and all the utterly badass tricks, bangs and clacks you can achieve in them, I got so hooked I have now graduated up to the ultimate bad boy ten inchers. Still, I’ll never forget my first bambi on ice walk in my seven inchers, and how I felt like some sort of drunk giant falling around the beanstalk when trying to move in the things.
First live performance
In all honesty I think this is the most nerve-wracking thing on this list, and possibly that I’ve ever done in my life. My first pole performance was way back in April 2016, and I decided to make life really fun for myself by doing a solo routine. The audience wasn’t going to have anywhere to look at apart from me during my performance, I have never danced on my own on a stage before in my life and the thought of it was beyond overwhelming. Fuck I was even convinced that I was going to be such a nervous wreck on the night I would piss myself in fear on the stage, yes you have my permission to laugh at that! Due to pole requiring a fair bit of coordination, plus the obvious safety element, I couldn’t even do what I usually would have done when in my mid-twenties and guzzle down some Dutch courage to get me through said experience.
When the time came to get on the stage, I am happy to say that I absolutely loved it, became so focused on smashing my routine I honestly forgot the audience were even there and not one drop of wee came out on stage. Phew! Even still to this day when I have something anxiety inducing that I need to face, I tell myself that I’ll be able to face it like I faced my fear of performing, so thanks for that pole dancing <3.
Despite the fact that by the time I hit the stage as a competitor I was a seasoned performer and didn’t quite get the level of nerves prior to hitting the stage that I used to, I had never performed in front of a panel of judges before, so that was a whole new level of fear. In the past, I grew to love performing and the freedom that came with it. As I had only ever performed in showcases, if I had an accidental micro bend in my leg or a slightly flexed foot, no one gave a monkeys, however this wasn’t the case on the competition stage, everything had to be perfect, which added the pressure on big time. I was so nervous for this that I immediately cracked open a can of G&T the second (literally, thanks to my buddy Lilla for holding it for me!) and knocked back at least another six that evening. Overall, I found that I forgot the judges were even there and treated my competition as any other performance, this one definitely wasn’t as scary as I anticipated. Bonus is the judging panel gave some very kind feedback too.
First attempt at an arms only move
Last but by no means least is pole milestone that I am still valiantly battling. If I’m going to be brutally honest with myself and you all, my ability to bust out an arms only move is a bit hit and miss. Some days my ayesha is firmly here and wanting to hang out, other days she’s fucked off to the moon, and don’t even get me started on the old handspring, as there’s no chance of that being mastered anytime soon. Until I can conquer these bastards properly in my heels (I class being officially able to do a move as busting one out for a photo in heels) arms only stuff will still give me the creeps. I cannot fathom how my rather small arms will ever hold up my rather chonky booty, really struggle to get my balance and am convinced I will fall all of two feet to my doom and snap my neck. If I ever conquer arms only shit successfully I can guarantee to you all I will blog about the fearsome battle.
Shit the bed I think I need a stiff drink after writing this! If you can think of any other terrifying pole milestones that I have missed off from this list, let me know in the comments below!