Last month marked the auspicious occasion that was my six-year pole anniversary. Fuck me a whole six years in the world of pole dancing! To be honest given the number of ruts I have been stuck in, monumental strops and times I have contemplated throwing in the towel I am amazed I’m still training.
Anyway, this isn’t a blog post about the importance of never giving up, if you fancy reading one of those, give this link a click. This blog is dedicated to everyone who has been pole dancing for a little while and isn’t quite where they thought they would be in their pole dance quest, just like this lass right here.
I am going to straight up admit that I am nowhere near as advanced as I thought I would be for someone who has been pole dancing for six years. Back when I was a baby pole dancer ( i.e. someone who has been poling for 0-2 years) I used to gawp in awe at my favourite dancers, discover how long they had been dancing for and couldn’t wait until I had been dancing for that length of time, imagining all the badass shit I would be able to do and achieve by that point.
However, those milestones came and went and surprise surprise I was not at my idol’s levels. I can’t do handsprings, my splits are about as flat as the Himalayas and my flow and floorwork is still very much a work in progress. I used to really let this shit get me down, give myself a hard time mentally and in all honesty, there were times when I felt like a bit of a failure. Should I quit pole? I mean it’s clearly not something I have taken to naturally, maybe it isn’t for me and I should save myself a lot of effort and heartache.
However, the other day whilst tidying my bedroom and having good old fashioned ponder about pole (standard pondering topic in my noggin) I had an epiphany moment about the whole thing.
I have my whole life to pole!
Why the fuck am I putting a deadline on this process, rushing it and trying to be a bloody Felix Cane level expert asap?! If I have no intention of quitting, and if I train regularly, I will get there when I get there and there is no need to rush. Yes there are people who have been pole dancing for equal or less length of time that I have who are the elite Eileen’s of the pole dance industry, but comparing yourself to other people never does you any good. For all I know they could be former gymnasts, ballet dancers or didn’t spend the ages 17-27 pissed up in some salubrious location like I did. In fact, given my lack of dance experience, I actually think I’m doing pretty well to be where I am!
Personally, I have a lot of (hopefully positive) change going on in my life in general at the moment, and I am really making a conscious effort to enjoy the journey of the whole process and not be in a rush to get to the destination (Christ that sounded cheesy as fuck). Enjoying the journey, being mindful and living in the present may all sound like a load of hippy dippy bullshit, but it is very much a mindset that can be applied to our pole lives and will do them the power of good. Learning how to be an awesome pole dancer isn’t an episode of the Apprentice whereby we need to get everything rushed and achieved within a week for fear of being fired from the pole dance industry forever.
No matter what stage we are at in our pole dance quest we need to be kinder to ourselves, and not give ourselves hard time because we can’t achieve a move yet- we will get there eventually! Trust me I have been reading back old blogs and have been chuffed to bits to read that old moves I used to rage over I can now do with not a huge amount of difficulty, so if I can get there you most definitely can too! Instead step back, trust the process as they say and enjoy learning.
I believe that to a certain extent we are conditioned by school, college, university etc to be the best at everything and achieve as much as we possibly can, but that’s not the case with learning to pole dance, and thank fuck for that! Of course if you’ve got the ambition and want to take your pole career that step further and learn to teach, strip or snatch trophies at competitions then by all means go for it and fucking slay, but if you just want to learn cool shit in your own time that’s epic too- that’s the beauty of pole. There is no time limit to how long you want to learn for, what you can achieve and if it’s taking you a little longer to achieve your pole goals, that is perfectly fine.