I went to pole and it made me cry

This post has been moved to my new website! Find it at http://polecompete.com/2014/07/i-went-to-pole-and-it-made-me-cry/

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Best of Pole Dance Competition Blog 2013

Top posts on Pole Dance Competition in 2013 by number of page views, from most to least.

  1. Three Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Starting Pole. In this post, I outlined some things that would have made my pole progression happen faster, such as by taking more “before” videos and photos.
  2. How Not to Train Flexibility. I discuss some really important components of flexibility training to prevent injury and be more successful in your training.

    splits, pole dance, flexibility

    This is an older picture of me doing the splits. Mine are actually flatter now.

  3. Fuck Loving Your Body. I argue that self esteem is over-rated, and that there are better ways to spend your time and energy. This might be my all time favorite blog post.
  4. Natasha Wang on Competing. Pole super star Natasha Wang shares some of her competition secrets. A must read for anyone who aspires to compete in pole at any level.

    Natasha Wang, pole dance, competition tips

    Super-pole competitor Natasha Wang shares some of her competing secrets

  5. How to know when you are ready to try pole dance. A blog post especially for the folks who kind of want to try pole but still haven’t taken the plunge.
  6. Social Media in Pole Dance- Get off Your Ass and Into Your Studio. This post suggests that actually practicing pole is more effective than reading Tweets about pole.
  7. 10 Ways to Afford Pole. Everyone knows that pole isn’t cheap. This article gives some suggestions about how to afford it- but be warned they are mostly big, hard to make changes.

    biking to save money

    Not to give it all away, but biking is one great way to save cash. Biking will help you get in better shape too!

  8. On Being Obese. Obesity is not a disease, regardless of what the American Medical Association thinks. This article explains why.
  9. Bear Cubs, the Wall Street Journal, and Pole Dance. What do these things have in common? Read here to find out.
  10. Finishing. Keeping your dance clean and moving through your moves is critical to a successful dance performance. Here’s why.

To read more about the best of pole dance, check out the blog hop!

How to know when you are ready to try pole dance

I hear a lot from women who are afraid to try pole because they “have absolutely no upper body strength” or they “are too fat to prance around in my underwear” or because they have “no fitness experience whatsoever.”

First, pole dance is not prancing around in your underwear. That is insulting.

The deeper issue is the feeling of being too inadequate to pole dance. This feeling of inadequacy is especially important because these are often the women (and men!) who have the same qualms about trying Zumba or weightlifting or swimming or running. People who feel inadequate don’t want to feel foolish trying something new, and they often don’t think that their bodies look good enough or are capable enough of mastering a new sport.

Truthfully, pole dance is not for everyone. So how do you know if you should try it?

Basically, it works like this: you should try pole dance if you are interested in it. If you are not interested in pole, then you should try another sport. You should not, under any circumstances, continue to do nothing.

You should ignore the fact that you won’t be good at pole or whatever other sport you choose, probably for a very long time. In fact, you will probably be very, very bad at it. You should try anyways, because trying and failing and continuing to try is part of life. These lessons will help you in every other aspect of your life.

You should ignore the fact that you might not be strong enough or flexible enough for pole or whatever sport you choose. You will not become stronger or more flexible until you try consistently, frequently, and with all your heart and brain behind the effort. Have faith that with practice, you will become strong enough. Have faith that you are enough.

You should ignore the fact that you might not look good while you are trying pole or whatever sport you choose, because life isn’t about looking good. Life is about building yourself into the best person you can be, and part of being the best person you can be is maintaining your health and fitness. Life is about helping others, and you can’t help others if you are not confident in your own abilities. Training, for pole or for any other sport, will give you confidence and the ability to help others. Training is not about what you look like. If you wait for your appearance to change, you are wasting your time and your life, which is shorter than you think. Don’t waste time.

You should ignore the fact that other people might not like your new hobby. Change is scary, and the people in your life might not approve of pole dance or whatever sport you choose. These people may like the old you. They may see your new endeavors as a threat to them. You should find people who are supportive of changes that make your life better. When you get better people in your life, you will be able to do great things. It takes courage to ignore negative people. Be courageous.

You should ignore the fact that people might look at you. In most studios, gyms and sporting arenas, other people are supportive of your efforts. If someone is looking at you funny, you should ask them for advice. Make a friend, and  learn more about pole or whatever sport you chose. Stop focusing on how you feel and start focusing on how to make yourself better.

You should ignore the fact that you are afraid, because only by facing your fears will you move forward. Fear is a natural part of life. As you overcome fear, you will become better able to handle challenges, both on and off the pole. You will walk taller. You will demand more out of your life. People will respect you. Face your fears.

How do you know when you are ready to try pole dance? You won’t. Jump in, try something new, and make your life better, starting now. Stop waiting for the perfect moment, and start where you are. Be courageous, and do it immediately.

Three things I wish I would have known before starting pole

1.    Take photos and videos early.

One of my biggest regrets (OK, one of my only regrets) about pole is that I did not start taking photos and videos of myself earlier. One of the most rewarding things about pole is watching yourself progress, and the earlier you start taking photos and videos, the clearer you will see that progression. Watching videos of yourself will also help prevent bad habits, like failing to point your toes.

Here is one of my first jades. Not pretty.... I'm pretty sure it's better now, but I can't actually find an after picture. Perhaps I should specify both before and after photos and videos are good.

Here is one of my first jades. Not pretty…. I’m pretty sure it’s better now, but I can’t actually find an after picture. Perhaps I should specify both before and after photos and videos are good.

2.    It’s OK to ask for help.

When I first started training for pole, I had the idea in my head that I should only ask the instructor for help. This is really limiting, because there are so many things you can learn from your fellow students. Asking for help is what ends up helping you make friendships, and it also helps your technique. Being asked for help forces you to think about where you are connected to the pole and how to do certain moves. Everyone wins if you ask. Don’t wait so long to start.

Make friends by asking for help with pole or stretching or pretty much anything. Ask sooner rather than later.

Make friends by asking for help with pole or stretching or pretty much anything. Ask sooner rather than later.

3.    Don’t be so cautious to try new levels

I was really hesitant to move up to new levels at first, because I wasn’t sure if I “had” stuff from the previous level well enough. This ended up limiting me, and there wasn’t really a reason for it. Make sure you have the minimum requirements, obviously, but don’t wait until you can do every move from the previous level perfectly. A better option would be to move forward, skip anything you can’t do yet, and continue to train at the previous levels at the same time.

This is part of a blog hop! To read other blogs about things people wish they had know before starting pole, please click here.

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