I am in the process of finishing up my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. One of the principles drilled into us over and over again is to let go of expectations. I think this is a great lesson for pole dancers as well. Over the years I've seen students get frustrated with themselves over and over again because they couldn't do something they "should" be able to do, or they did it last week but can't get it this week.
Ourselves and the conditions surrounding our pole performance are ever changing. Temperature and humidity affect our ability to grip the pole. How well rested, fed and hydrated we are affect our abilities day to day. I am significantly weaker when I am having my period (overshare, I know) than when I'm not, so I just can not expect the same level of performance during that week of the month. I can't fight it, trust me I've tried. So rather than get frustrated at what I can't do, I need to let go of expectations and explore what my body can do. Maybe I work on perfecting a basic spin, or improving my freestyle rather than nailing the newest Instagram fad move.
I think to really enjoy and appreciate pole long term you need to be kind to yourself, enjoy what your body can do, enjoy the process and find your creative expression through dance.
At my studio we used to brainstorm T-shirt ideas. One student suggested I am Somebody's Goal Weight. Before someone gets offended, because someone always does when weight is mentioned, this statement wasn't a brag, it was a reminder that although she may not be where she wants with her body there is someone out there striving to get where she already is. It is a statement of appreciating where you are and what it took to get there.
I've been a little down on myself body-wise because I've gained a bit of weight pretty rapidly due to a new medication coupled with chronic illness. Anyway, I was pretty proud of the pics I got from MNPC and the fact that I crocheted my competition outfit. I shared one of the pics on a crochet forum. Someone commented how they made lots of crocheted crop tops when they were in their 20's. I commented back that I'm about to turn 37. Another person posted, "You're 36?! Dang. I'm gonna be 31 in a month and I hope I can look as good as you in 5 years!" Talk about a confidence boost. This compliment reminded me of the statement my student had made months before, and made me think about it in a greater context.
You are likely someone's pole goal. "What? I just started you", you say. You had the courage to sign up and show up to a pole class. Many are sitting at home still thinking about it. Wherever you are in your pole journey, someone is wishing they could be like you and do what you do.
Jackie began her pole journey in 2008 and opened Aerial Bliss in 2010.