Caution: Pole Burnout Ahead

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Caution: Pole Burnout Ahead

Like many pole dancers I know, I’ve got a “pole” Facebook account. I’ve never met most of my “pole friends” on Facebook, and may never ever meet them. Despite this, I have seen, shared and liked photos and videos of them with very little on, proudly showing the world their new / favourite / most recent achievement on the pole.

I love that the pole community worldwide is open and willing to share all that is in the pole world, whether old or new. But more recently, I’ve felt like checking Facebook actually stresses me out!

It’s A Love / Hate Relationship

I’m pretty much ALWAYS logged in, I am often inundated with pictures, videos and status updates about the latest pole move that someone has made up or managed to nail. I’m excited to see what polers are working on in a different country, on different poles, and in different styles. But (a very large) part of me feels pressured to keep up, try the new tricks that everyone else seems to be able to do.

I do not remember ever feeling this way when I first started pole 4 years ago. It was a much simpler time. A time when you were taught particular moves for particular levels, and you could only compare yourself to the 6-8 classmates you had at class. A time when, the “iron x” was (unless you are Felix Cane doing the “spatchcock”), the pinnacle (if not close to the pinnacle) of pole tricks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as guilty of posting pictures and videos of new pole moves, including moves I’ve seen online. Some of my attempts are more successful than others, but regardless of the outcome, I head home from the pole studio feeling like I’m constantly trying to play “catch up”, not only that, I also have to make sure that I don’t “get caught”.

You see, with the help of the internet, pole students don’t just learn what they are taught by instructors face to face anymore. If you are an intermediate student who is game enough to try a more advanced move, just search for it on YouTube and Facebook. Chances are you’ll probably be able to find a tutorial for that move. So, moves I was only taught 2-3 years into my pole life are being attempted (some even successfully) by polers who have been doing pole for less than a year. Now, they are doing things quicker, faster and they are catching up quick. [As a side note – What is in the water nowadays that is giving everyone superhuman strength, except me?]

It Is Physically And Mentally Tiring

Pole should come with a new warning, “Beware not only of “pole burn” but “pole burn-out”” – I know a few friends who have quit pole altogether for the mere fact that the pressure to keep up and be better, stronger and faster, meant pole was “not fun anymore”. Here is an insight to what one poler – Artemis Reyne, was thinking just before she decided to put pole on hold.

I’ve been trying to find a way to come to terms with the fact that…. I cannot single handedly keep up with the thousands of polers out there. I think I’ve managed to wrap my head around it. Pole is like… Golf. The only person you’re playing against, is yourself. You keep score against yourself. You improve against yourself. You go at your own pace. Remember, you started loving pole because it was fun! It made you feel fit and confident! I’ve decided I’m not going to ruin pole for myself. Achievements are great but the failed attempts are arguably the best part, thanks Cleo for sharing 🙂

Category: Discussion

About Jinx

I started pole in 2010, with absolutely no dance/gymnastics background. I'm a serial hobbyist (always trying new things and never really sticking to one), so it was as much a surprise to me as it was to my friends that pole REALLY stuck. I have found pole to be a constant challenge physically and mentally (most of the time, in a good way) and love the social aspect of classes. I've been competing in local competitions in Sydney for the last 2 years, and my favourite part of a competition is hanging out with the other contestants backstage. I'm known for having a "splitstastic" routine and love heel bangs!

Find me on Instagram under 'jinxiejuls' :D

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6 Comments to “Caution: Pole Burnout Ahead”

  1. Roberta says:

    That’s exactly how i feel sometimes. I guess thats something every intermediate lvl gets.


    • Jinx says:

      Hi Roberta! Thanks for sharing your comment! Seems like this feeling is becoming commonplace amongst polers… Just have to remember that we all progress at different rates and as long as we improve we should be proud of ourselves!

  2. Claire says:

    I agree completely! I’ve been doing pole for over two years now and have recently changed pole schools as I felt stagnated for the last 6 months. So many dancers above my level and I couldn’t keep up! I often feel left behind by people who have been doing it for a lot less time. But I’m now moving forward again! I’m excited to be able to achieve new moves and have the strength to be able to try more ‘impossible’ things. I’ve no previous real dance experience and am in my 30s now. If only I’d started 10 years ago!! But if I wasn’t doing this now I wouldn’t be as fit as I am from it. I remind myself of these positives. Sometimes these more experienced people will even surprise me by surpassing me on a hard move then struggle with a move that I would consider easy. It’s different for everyone and the community spirit keeps us all moving forward together.

    • Jinx says:

      Hi Claire!! I’m glad to hear you are moving forward again… sometimes it takes a switch up to help you grow… at one stage I was going to 4 different pole schools!! They all do different things and I loved how I got a more “rounded” experience!!

  3. Claire says:

    Very well said! I’m in the same boat as you, I’ve been doing classes for almost 4 years now with no previous experience in any related sports. I think we have to remember that people flock to pole dancing from a huge range of skill levels & backgrounds. Gymnastics, aerial, ballet, contortion & pretty much any form of dance. Those people really are already a step ahead of us, and can use their strength/flexibility/coordination/bravery in the pole world. We really need to focus on ourselves more & listen to our bodies & brains. I think it’s healthy to look back on old videos & photos of yourself as a reminder of just how far you’ve come in such a short period of time (& keep in mind most of us are training only a couple of times a week to fit in with our full time jobs, family & social life).

    • Jinx says:

      Hi Claire!! Glad you liked the post!….. You’re right about looking back on old photos and videos! I love watching my old videos – usually to laugh at myself – but it does show us how far we have all come! Awhile ago Cleo posted a video of her when she first started, and just after she won Miss Pole Dance Australia for the first time – Loved it! Everyone has to start somewhere and we will only get better!

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