As an instructor or even working with a training partner, you get used to describing how to do moves. “Put your inside arm here, and your outside arm there.” Over the last few weeks or so I’ve been putting up some videos and pictures of my poling practice up on the usual social media accounts.
Usually I get people saying that they like certain moves more than others, or students see some that they want to try. The thing that has really surprised me lately is the amount of non-polers who have seen videos and asked “How do you do that?”
It seemed at first to me to be a rhetorical question and they were merely showing interest. But it was the long pause after that made me realise that my friends actually wanted an answer. So what’s the best way to approach this question?
The Quick & Honest Answer
For me, the quick answer seems to be something along the lines of saying that it has taken years of practice. Well, that’s really the truth. I showed one of my beginners a routine to which she asked me how long it took to come up with. I said that I used moves that work well with my body, ones that I like and am used to, to which she said (in a joking way, I hope) “That’s not very encouraging”.
I wondered if I had said the wrong thing… Thinking about it I guess it has taken me all of those years of practice to come up with the moves in that routine, although perhaps I could have performed the same routine a few years earlier – I just hadn’t come around to it.
Yet if I perform a routine suitable for beginners telling them that it had taken six years to come up with, I think that may worry a few people. So the quick answer which I often go for to gauge people’s interest, hasn’t worked so well. What tactic to try next?
The Technical Answer
Perhaps I should start to explain to people how I actually do the move, seeing as that’s what they asked in the first place. It just seems a little odd to me to explain moves to people who haven’t poled before. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure they’d be able to understand the concept of ‘this inside leg does this’ etc but it seems like a bit too much information. Like when people ask you what you’re going to the shops for… It’s easier to say ‘Dinner’ than to explain every single item on the list.
I tried to explain how to do a handspring with out a pole. I felt a little silly going through the motions as best I could without a pole. At the end of my explanation, they wanted to know physically how to hold on – how you lift your own body weight. Now that’s a tricky one to explain. I showed the muscles, positions, where you feel it, how you hold on. I think I explained it well.. and then swiftly changed the subject!
The Other Answer
For me, the other option to go for is something jokey. Something along the lines of saying you know the exact number of bruises it took to get that move. While this often goes down as a good enough answer, I stopped to think about all of the hard work and effort that goes into each move and felt a little disappointed in myself to brush it off so easily. I want to make people aware of all of the time and effort that really goes in to pole dancing.
The Great Question
While I may not have perfected the answer yet, I’m really happy to be asked this question in the first place. To me, this means that people are really interested in pole dancing. The word (and pictures) are spreading and people are getting excited by the idea of pole dance and want to learn how to do it. We’re getting many steps in the right direction 😀