No, Not at Pole………
I am closing in on a week of graduating from Vitrebo University in La Crosse WI. After a long two years I finally earned Master of Arts in Education. Although graduation was great, it did not come without judgement. Last week Monday, I had to travel and stay on Viterbo University’s campus for the week. This meant that I was not able to go my home away from home Aerial Dance.
Sitting through presentation after presentation really drags a person down. Don’t get me wrong the content was great, but 8 hours of being talked at is way too much. While on a break, I was googling “Pole studios near me.” One of my fellow students walked by as I was searching. They stopped a proceeded to do a double take. It didn’t even occur to me to think twice about what I was looking up, but the first words out of their mouth were, “Do you really think you should be looking up stripping on a Catholic college campus?” At this point my jaw hit the floor! I turned around fast as lightening with a reply of, “Excuse me?”
Now, I know many of us are accustomed to being called strippers and whatever stereotypical standard closed minded people may apply to our sport. What really set me on fire was the fact that they were so quick to judge. After four years of pole, you would think that I would be used to this kind of judgment, but it still blows my mind……. IT IS 2018 PEOPLE!
After explaining that I in fact was not looking up stripping, but was looking for an aerial studio to workout, because I had been suffering all week without one. Their next question was…………
How Can You be an Educator Working on Earning a Master’s and Pole Dancer?
Again, my mind was sent spinning! I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, but instead I chose to educate this individual. I explained to them that Pole and Aerial sports are a way for women and men to express themselves in a safe judgement free environment. That it had helped me to change my view of myself. It is what gave me the drive and confidence to actually pursue my degree. I informed them that the owner of our studio holds a PhD. That our instructors are women who hold very prestigious jobs within their communities. Some of you may chuckle a bit, but think about it. Prestigious means: inspiring respect and admiration. The women who teach us, seek to better themselves by continuing their education to keep us safe.
Our conversation continued, I shared how I do pole with more educators than I can count, lawyers, physicians assistants, those who serve in the armed forces, nurses, mothers, and so many more extraordinary women! In the end, my reply for their initial question of how I can be a graduate student and a pole dancer was……….
I do it for my students. I do it because it helps me recenter myself. It helps me become the best version of me that I can be. I am able to walk into my classroom a strong and confident woman ready to shape young minds. The saying it takes a village applies more than to just young children. It takes a village to foster someone, to help them see the potential that lies within. At Aerial Dance, that is what we do. We foster and encourage the potential within each and everyone who enters. We unlock power the hides inside.