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What to expect on your pole dance fitness journey!

Many of us have certain expectations when attending our first pole dance fitness class. We generally walk into our first pole class because we have been inspired by someone who seems to pole effortlessly. We may have these thoughts that we can do the skills that these advanced pole dancers have spent years mastering in just the first class. However, when reality sinks in during our first class that pole is tough and exhausting, it can be disheartening to continue. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy and talk ourselves out of the things we do not think we are capable of doing. We need a constant reminder that we ALL begin our pole journeys at the beginning; and the hardest step of starting anything new is actually DOING it.

Choosing to start is the toughest step.

When we walk into a pole studio for the first time, it can be intimidating to see the tall poles, experienced dancers, unfamiliar students, and so forth. It's a new space that we have not yet experienced. We may think that we are not fit, graceful, strong, or flexible enough to begin pole. We may talk ourselves out of going to class because we think we will draw too much attention to ourselves. We may think we are so out of shape and there is no way we could lift ourselves up on the pole. We may think that our grip is so weak and we sweat so much that we will just slide right down. There are so many reasons that we talk ourselves out of doing new things; and this does not solely relate to pole, but to every aspect of our lives. The most important part is that we chose to take that difficult first step of beginning something exciting. That is half the battle.

There is no timeframe for advancement.

We all have our own timeline for improving and advancing levels. We should NEVER compare ourselves to other students and their abilities, other students' pole journeys, or our instructor's skill level. We all bring something unique to class and we should praise that about ourselves. We need to be reminded to love ourselves for who we are and where we strive to go. We are constantly learning, growing, and evolving. Our pole journey is the same. With each class, we grow and learn about ourselves in a deeper sense than we could have imagined. Enjoy your journey and all the benefits that lay ahead of you.

Pole kisses, sore muscles, and awkward feelings.

In the beginning, we all experience sore and fatigued muscles, bruises and bumps on our skin, and feelings of awkwardness as we learn to move our bodies.

Sore muscles are a sign of weakness leaving our bodies. Soreness is a good thing, and taking this positive outlook will encourage us to come back for more. In order for us to become stronger and more flexible, we must endure soreness and fatigue. That is a sign of GROWTH. Keep growing!

Bruises and bumps are frequent in the beginning as our skin is getting used to the pressure we put on the pole, gripping the pole with our skin, and falling. We refer to bruises as pole kisses. Calling these appearances something positive will encourage our participation on the pole. Know that pole kisses don't last forever. Once our skin cells die from the constant pressure, bruising will be minimal to none. Bruises are most common on the back of our knees, inside of our thighs, knees, shins, and feet. Taking epsom salt baths, icing, and rest will help alleviate the discomfort from these bruises and bumps.

Feeling awkward is common for every single pole dancer, especially in the first couple of classes. We are learning to move, dance, and flow with a permanent prop (a pole), while also learning all these new skills. We all remember our first class and empathize with every new pole dancer. When we feel discouraged due to the awkwardness, to it important to remind ourselves that we have endless support from our pole family and is it part of the learning process.

Consistency is key to growth and accomplishment.

Being consistent in our practice is what will move us forward. The time we dedicate to ourselves and our growth will impact our overall success. This is true for pole and all other aspects of our lives. The more hours we dedicate toward pole, the quicker we will advance. We gain strength, mobility, confidence, coordination, rhythm, and so much more with each class. Our ability to pick up choreography will also improve. The more often we are involved in pole each week, the more we will reach our personal goals.

Over time, we each find what types of movement bring us the most satisfaction and joy. Whether this be more dance, low flow movements, or gymnastics, trick based movements, or spin flow, we all have to find it for ourselves. As we progress from beginner to intermediate to advanced, we will learn more deeply about ourselves and what truly fills our cups. In times of unclarity and lack of motivation, understanding our specific style in pole will help bring us back to our center.

As we grow, it is important to remind ourselves that pole is limitless and there is no timeframe. Whether we are beginner or advanced, there will always be an endless list of skills and transitions to be learned and mastered. Be patient and enjoy every second! As we are growing individually, so is pole itself.

Document your progress regularly.

It is so important to document your progress through videos and pictures right from the start. Even if we feel awkward, intimated, or unworthy of videotaping ourselves, it is crucial for our growth as pole dancers. We learn so much about ourselves from watching ourselves. We can see the mistakes that are made and how to make them better. We are comparing ourselves only to our own self and progressing in a healthy way. Seeing where our pole journeys have blossomed months and years down the line as we look back at our beginning pole days is truly rewarding.

Your journey is yours, so enjoy every bit of it. Even on the tough days, remember that YOU are growing, improving, and learning. You are supported by everyone in your pole community. You are worthy of amazing things and YOU ARE LOVED!



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