An Open Letter to Baby Polers....

Dear New girl in class: Welcome we are so glad you are here. I know that it seems like it’s so easy for us and that you will never be able to do the things you see us do, but you will. It was hard for us when we started; it’s still hard for us, but it’s just different hard. Most of us started out having no clue how to hang on the pole at all. If you are like most of us, you thought it was going to be easier than it is. Poling is hard. It’s harder than most of us dreamed. I want to say, don’t give up. Keep coming back. The things that you are struggling with will become easy for you and then you will find a whole new set of things to struggle with. Also, don’t be intimidated of us or afraid to ask questions. We love to help new polers. We remember how hard it was just to show up for the first time. Speaking of that, GO YOU!!! We are super proud of you for showing up to say, “I want to learn how to do this.” That took a huge amount of courage. Helping you learn a trick actually helps us get better at the trick and helps us understand how to improve our technique. My dearest baby poler, the first few months are so hard. You will want to quit over and over. You will feel like you are never going to get this pole thing. You will doubt yourself and go home defeated and exhausted. Then, all of the sudden, things will come together and you will realize that you are learning tricks, you are stringing together tricks, you can flow with the music longer when we freestyle. It seemed like all of the sudden, after struggling for months, everything came together and I realized that I was, in fact, a pole dancer. When the haters start, you know that ones outside of the pole studio who don’t understand why you would want to learn this sport, the one’s who call you a stripper, and look at you with side glances when you start posting the videos that you are so proud of, ignore them. They are just ignorant. You didn’t start learning this sport for them; you started learning it for you. And, it is a sport. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline, training and hard work. Just turn to your pole sisters and listen to us tell you that you can do it and that we understand and are proud of all you are learning. The pole burn sucks!!!! It never really stops sucking, but it gets easier to tolerate, or hurts less, or something. They told me that and I didn’t believe them, but it turns out that it does get better. The first time I hung on the pole with my thighs and let go with my hands, I wanted to quit. But then I kept letting go and before long it didn’t feel like the pole was peeling my skin off anymore. The truth is, though, you get used to pole burn in one site and then proceed to learn a new trick that requires burn somewhere else and the skin peeling pain starts again in that spot. Just keep embracing the burn for as long as you can and you will find that you can tolerate it better and better. When you have a chance to sit on the pole or work the burn, do it, so you can move to the non-skin peeling part of poling. You will be bruised in crazy places, but you will start to be proud of the bruises that you acquire working on some trick you really want to get. You will find bruises in places you didn’t even know you bruised. Then you will start to delight in trying to figure out what trick gave you that bruise. Fear is normal. We are preconditioned toward self-preservation. It is not natural to hang upside down and drop from high places. It is normal to be afraid to try a new trick. Fight the fear the best way you can. For me, when I am learning a new trick, I get the mats out and do the trick from the ground or low on the pole. Once I feel like the steps to the trick are in my body, I take it higher on the pole. Muscle memory is a real thing. Get the movement into your body and then make it fantastic. Get a spotter if you need to. Sometimes if you can feel what the trick feels like with a spot, then you find that doing the trick is much less intimidating. Remember most of the girls you see on Instagram and Youtube have been doing pole for years. Don’t get frustrated when you don’t look like them. Give it time. But do record yourself. You need to see what you look like when you dance. You need to be able to compare and see how far you have come. You need to see when you think something looks good in your head, but does not translate like you imagine it will. Keep working and dreaming and you will get better. There is a price to learning to pole dance, but the rewards are so much greater. You will gain so much confidence. You will become so body aware and learn to use the tiniest shifts to counterbalance yourself. You will get stronger. You will get leaner. You will do tricks you never dreamed were possible. You will develop close friends and become a part of the sisterhood/brotherhood of pole. You will find yourself dreaming up choreography when you hear a song. You will fall in love with pole over and over and over. My dear baby poler, welcome to this crazy sport. We are so excited you are here. We will be your biggest cheerleaders. Don’t give up. Keep coming back. You will get to where we are, because we were once where you are. Embrace your strength, and beauty. Take up your pole wings and fly toward the moon. 

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