The Perks Of Being A Pole Dancer

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The Perks Of Being A Pole Dancer

Recently my boyfriend was struggling with some DIY in the house. A cable attaching a lamp to the wall wouldn’t budge. I took a look and told him he needed to loosen the screw on the side of the attachment, just like I would do on my pole to change from spin to static mode or to dismantle one of the joints. He looked at me skeptically. “Yup, I know that ‘cause of pole dancing!”

It made me realise just how much my pole dancing hobby was starting to creep into other areas of my life. Not only do I feel stronger and have more energy now but I see the moment I started Pole Dancing regularly as a life changing event.

Increased Strength – On And Off The Pole

One of my favourite pole dancers, Alethea Austin, has “push past” tattooed on her hands. When I first saw this, a couple of months ago, it really struck me. I was going through a difficult period, unable to do any sport (doctor’s orders) after learning that I had suffered an ischemic stroke. “Push past” is something I have to do every day. I keep telling myself that if I can train my body to do what at first seems impossible on the pole then I can get myself through anything. I have had to teach myself that I am physically and emotionally stronger than ever before, even if my brain is essentially weaker and damaged. “Push past” also helps me keep things in perspective. Dealing with a stroke is nothing compared to what plenty of inspirational pole dancers (and friends of mine) are doing, with physical disabilities or limited range of motion, with pain and stress and daily difficulties. Strength, perspective and positivity, thank you!

Therapy

Therapy is something I have only ever found in yoga, chocolate or a good cup of tea. But Pole Therapy is different. It does more for me. When I am concentrating on a move or spin, I am really ‘in the zone’. I don’t think about anything else from the moment I step into the pole class ‘til the moment I leave, refreshed and exhausted and happy! Feeling stronger, like I said before, is calming and exhilarating at the same time. Seeing my body change, slowly but surely, is evidence that what I’m doing is good for me… even the bruises, which I’m ridiculously proud of! The more time I spend poling, the calmer and more confident I feel. And don’t forget feeling sexier, which is an added bonus!

Music

I have always had a very eclectic taste in music. Whatever my mood, I can find something to listen to that complements the way I’m feeling. From hip-hop to classical, hard rock to love ballads. Pole dancing has opened up not only my hips but also my collection of music and songs from artists as diverse as Tool and The Weeknd, Lindsey Stirling and London Grammar. Even the likes of Katy Perry and Gaga are now regularly on my pole playlist! Discovery and the excitement of new sounds and styles is an addictive benefit of being part of the pole dance community.

Community

I have connected with more people through my classes at Pole Dance Academy (Marseille, France) and online via Facebook groups or pole dance blogs than I have in years as an expat living and working in a foreign country. And it’s not like watching a football match where boos and insults are thrown back and forth. No way! Pole dancers shout and scream their approval and admiration, shriek “woop, woop” and jump with glee after every pretty move or spin. Any shape or size, any nationality, any age, any style. Anyone can be the centre of that loving attention.

Fun!

Did I mention that pole dancing is fun?! It’s hard work, it’s sweaty, it’s not sexy most of the time (especially as a beginner!) but the tumbling and falling and slipping and tripping in class are all just plain fun! Laughter and giggles abound. Add to that the fact that I can choose to actually do my hair and make-up before class, not just after. I can shop for tiny, sexy, empowering outfits and leg warmers and dance slippers and oversized tops and sweaters, not to mention my new found adoration of 7 inch, patent leather heels! And the feeling of making pretty shapes with my body on or off the pole? Unbeatable!

I’m sure I have neglected to include a huge range of other benefits and perks of pole dancing. I’m sure there are also other, stranger aspects of being a pole dancer that I couldn’t even imagine (or haven’t discovered yet). I would love to hear yours. Surprise me!

Category: Beginners, Discussion

About ElizabethP

I’m a tea drinking, sun seeking, English teaching, pole dancing, cat loving blondie. I live in Marseille, France and I have been pole dancing for one year, on and off for the first six months, until I got my own pole and was hooked! After only a month of pole dancing at home I suffered a stroke (at 30!) and after a brief stop it’s now a full time addiction that kicks my ass and makes me feel great. Getting stronger everyday!

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22 Comments to “The Perks Of Being A Pole Dancer”

  1. Roberta says:

    Hi there. A friend posted your story on her Facebook and i realized i had the same thing you had. A ischemic stroke. I had it last month, at age 31. I have been pole dancing for 1 year and 5 months and now im struggling with the idea of not being able to do it anymore because of this. I still cant do any sports (doctors orders) and i wonder how long did you take to go back to pole dancing? Can you answer directly to my email? (dolce.beta@gmail.com)

    Thanks in advance,
    Roberta.

    • ElizabethP says:

      Thank you for getting in touch! I have emailed you. I’m glad you liked the post…we have plenty to talk about! I hope you are doing ok. Xoxo

  2. Christina says:

    I love this story! I feel exactly the same about pole as you do. I got into it to avoid back surgery and I became addicted and I am opening my own studio and give private lessons! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story.

    • ElizabethP says:

      I’m happy you liked it! Wow! You are now an instructor with a studio?! THAT’S inspiring! Thank you xoxo

      • Christina D. says:

        Thank you! I have several classes that I teach now! My dream has come true and I am happy to know people like you are out there for support. I never imagined I would have a title like “Pole Fitness Instructor”! lol Anyway, thanks for being here and for sharing. What a great group of people we have here! 🙂

  3. Milena says:

    Great story and congratulations for your courage to continue with pole dancing after a stroke :/ I’m pole dancing too for almost a year now, and when I read your story and then Roberta’s comment that she also had a stroke after she started pole dancing, I can’t help but wonder could this disease have something to do with our sport activity.. I hope not. Anyway, I’ve been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, sometimes minor depressive episodes for years, but last winter I went through a group therapy and began doing yoga classes at the same time , and after that I took up the pole and I feel better and more confident now definitely… not to mention the body improvements 😉

    • ElizabethP says:

      So true. The therapy from pole dancing does wonders! I can understand what you said, from my own experience too. Anxiety and panic can be terrible for confidence and doing pole just adds a boost that makes everything better :)) xx

  4. Lexie says:

    This is a great story – I feel exactly the same way! I got into pole to get fit after having a spinal fusion a few years ago that left me with way too good an excuse to be lazy. All the girls in my pole class are so supportive and fun. I love that we can all get dressed up if we want to and nobody judges one another; we’re doing our first dance in heels next term. It’s fun, we’re getting fit, and thanks to the strength I’ve gained, my back doesn’t hurt every day anymore! I really can’t believe how much pole has improved my life.

    • ElizabethP says:

      That’s so true. Support from other polers is incredible. I’ve tried in heels a few times… Needs more work for sure! Enjoy!!! Xoxo

    • Ozge says:

      Hi lexie,
      I also have spinal fusion. I would love to keep in touch with you to exchange knowlegde. I am Ozge URaz Kum on facebook 🙂

  5. Marieven Budiongan says:

    It has given me so much confidence. You get a different type of high when you get a spin or a pose
    perfectly. 🙂

  6. Marcela F says:

    Elizabeth,

    I just started pole dancing 3 months ago and love it. Everything you wrote is so true. I also had a stroke, but that was 8 yrs ago when i was 26. Hope you´re fine!

    Marcela

    • ElizabethP says:

      Hey there,

      How are you? I’m great! I’m glad you liked the post. Our ‘pole dancers with a history of stroke’ community is growing, thank you for getting in touch! Where in the world are you?

      xoxo

  7. chiherti says:

    would really like to take up pole fitness but im scared i will be judged and told that i can’t be one cuz im too old or its only to be sexy when really i just wanna have fun and gain more strength..

    • Christina D. says:

      Please! Don’t ever worry what other people think, just be you and people will think what they are going to think. No matter what you do to avoid judgment, there will be always be a hater in every group. I love all the people I have met through pole! Only a couple of haters in a sea of admirers so far. I try not to take it personally. I learned to pole at home at 38 years old to help a back issue and gain strength and flexibility. Now, I am 40 and I have opened my own studio and have several classes that I teach! If you want to do something, go for it! Don’t let others hold you back!

    • ElizabethP says:

      Hey Chiherti,

      Listen to Christina D!!
      Don’t let anybody tell you what you can or can’t do… pole is different for everyone, we all have different styles and within the pole dance community everyone supports one another, there’s no judgement and it really is one of the best communities to be a part of. Get poling!!! You won’t look back.

      Let us know who you get on!!

      xoxo

    • TINA says:

      I took up pole 2years ago with no sport background. I am 56 in May. Absolutely best thing I ever did. Go for it

  8. barbara says:

    You are never too old for pole..if you like it just go for it 😉

  9. Stefanie says:

    I loved reading this. It seems pole changes lives in ALL ways. Two years ago I wouldn’t have had a single day off of my pole. Depression, life changes, sickness and major sickness kept me from the two things I loved most- motorcycle riding and Pole Dancing. (I also used to be more creative and had a lot to write about (for Pole Freaks)… Now, after a long 24 month period of time, my mind is clear and my body is capable. I’m doing both things I love again. Pole dancing makes everything strong- body, mind and heart!
    Loved reading this! Thank you!

  10. Fiona says:

    Great post. I pole-danced for 2 years and have now had a 2 year gap following a wrist and back injury. I’m booked into my first pole class in a couple of weeks and I’m both excited and nervous about going back. It’s inspiring to read about others rebounding from health issues, and I’m hoping that getting back into pole will improve my back strength and reduce my discomfort. All the best for your ongoing recovery.

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