I’m experiencing a new and different type of pain in my pole dance classes. Instead of the typical bruising and missing chunks of skin that I (and most pole dancers) have grown to know and love, this is pain of a more psychological nature. Specifically, I’ve started videotaping my free dances.

It’s pretty terrible. I rush through things, my toes aren’t always pointed, or my knees aren’t straight. And sometimes I try things that just plain don’t look good.

All of which has led me to a new goal- finishing my pole moves. I’m still a little vague about what I mean by “finishing,” but the general idea is that I will extend into the full move, hang out there for a few counts, and then do something artistic and graceful to come out of the move. Stopping is probably the hardest part- it’s really easy to rush, and I would like to get out the habit. It will be much easier to not rush through a performance if I don’t rush through my practice.

A long time ago I took a workshop with Alethia Austin. One of the things she said that stuck with me is that she practices getting up smoothly so much so that her body “doesn’t know how to get up any other way.” In other words, she practices exiting pole moves in a way that is graceful and beautiful (and for Alethia, probably sexy too). She practices it so much that she doesn’t think about it- her body automatically knows that she needs to finish the move out instead of just standing up.

I love this idea of practicing enough that you literally cannot get what you are doing wrong. I’m working on getting out of my pole moves with grace and style too.  I am not there yet (which is why I’m not sharing my videos. Too embarrassing. Sorry.)

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