Every term we pick a student to be our “Social Butterfly.” Over the term this student will share his/her experiences as a pole dancer, how they came into pole dancing, frustrations, celebrations, and everything in between!
Our social butterfly last term was Tennille and her words were just so lovely we had to share. THIS is what pole dancing is all about:
“I was asked to write a few words on why I Pole Dance recently, so thought I’d share here them here too. I’d love to know why you Pole Dance so comment below ??
Why do I pole dance? So many reasons.
I started Pole Dancing mainly out of curiosity. I wanted to see how hard it was, how much of a workout it was, how fun it was and if I could actually do it! From my very first day I’ve been hooked. For many reasons, which I’ll try my best to explain below.
Fun. Remember when you were a little kid and you climbed the gym equipment, hung off the monkey bars and rolled around on the floor without a care in the world? Pole gives me a similar feeling, a feeling of freedom, play and excitement, it’s just fun! Pure and simple fun.
Confidence: it takes a lot of guts just to wear a small pair of shorts and bra top in front of strangers, let alone dance in them! Confidence isn’t something that you gain right away, it builds up over time. Each day that you go to class and realize that no one is looking at your lumps, bumps, scars or any other
insecurity you have, everyone has those, they’re focused on learning a new trick, stretching and conditioning their bodies to enable them to do harder tricks and more complex choreography and floorwork. One of the biggest things I love about Pole is that it’s not about what your body looks like, it’s
about what it can do!
Friendship. Like any hobby when you spend time with people who love the same thing you’re sure to make friends. But Pole friends are like no other type of friends that I have. There’s an immediate closeness that develops when you’re all together in vulnerable situation (wearing very little clothing and pushing your body to new limits of strength and flexibility means you’re almost always outside of your comfort zone) which means deep friendships are formed quickly. The Pole community is a small one and pretty soon when you tell people you do Pole Dancing they’ll ask, ‘Oh do you know x?’ and lots of the time you will! Either from your studio, seeing them in comps or simply being a fan (stalker) of theirs on social media.
Strength. When your hobby involves moving your body in any way and you do it often enough, you body changes. The fitness and strength aspect of Pole is definitely important to me and I get a great sense of achievement when a strength move becomes easier with time as my muscles get stronger. Each class starts with an intense warm up, head to toe, no part of the body is missed to ensure we don’t injure ourselves. Warm up also involves a good amount of strength and conditioning with push ups, squats, crunches, stretches and lots of yoga moves featuring regularly. So when you start Pole you can’t help but get fitter, stronger, more flexible and more toned. So whilst this isn’t the main reason I dance, it’s definitely up there.
Support. The Pole community is extremely supportive, open and welcoming. Everyone in class is cheered on when they try a scary new move for the first time, is given encouragement if they don’t quite get it, and we all celebrate vicariously through each other when someone nails a new trick! You’ll never go to a Pole Comp where the least experienced competitor doesn’t get just as many cheers as a the professionals, it’s just that kind of community.
Sparkles and glitter. Nuff said.
Shoes. See above but add sass and danger! (Also see prev BPSSB post re shoes)
Sex. This can be a little devisive in the Pole world as some students/ studios prefer to focus on the fitness side of Pole and not where Pole Dancing started, which is in strip clubs (not ancient Indian and Chinese cultural dance).
Personally I LOVE this part of Pole Dancing and openly embrace it, I thrive on the feeling of sexual confidence, sensuality and naughtiness when I dance. I’m not ashamed to say I like feeling like a bad ass sexy woman! I also greatly respect women who dance professionally in clubs. It’s an incredibly hard job
and they face extremely difficult situations daily, from public disdain, ignorance and prejudice to blatant sexual assault, just because of their chosen career. I respect every style within the Pole genre, from dramatic theatrical pieces to emotional contemporary and every new style being created as Pole Dancing evolves year after year. All styles of Pole (like all styles of dance) are extremely technical, difficult and unique and they all take hard work, discipline and dedication to learn.
CREATIVITY: I’ve always been creative, having been a painter and drawer all my life and I love anything that makes you or allows you to think outside the box. In Pole we have something called ‘Freestyle’ which basically means we put some music on and dance however we feel, do whatever moves we want,
move however the music makes us feel. And it’s extremely liberating! It’s not easy to do at first (again, back to confidence, it can take time) but after a few times you soon realize that no one is watching you, they’re all wrapped up in their own world, letting the music guide their hands, feet and bodies. As with
anything that is spontaneous and unplanned there are plenty of my freestyles that probably look like I drank a too many cocktails before hitting the stage, but I really don’t care. It’s not about looking perfect, it’s about moving FREELY and sometimes the most beautiful things come from the messiest beginnings.
Oh, and it’s pretty fun to show up the boys on the rings with spontaneous iversions in random places!
So that’s why I do Pole Dancing, as best as I can explain it anyway.
Who do you Pole Dance?
Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us Tennille, you are such a pleasure to have in the studio and you’ve been an ah-MAZE-ing social butterfly