I promise this article has nothing to do with menstrual cycles and everything to do with finding your self expression!
Graceful. Sensual. Elegant. Limber. Balletic. These are things that I long to be…and am decidedly not. When I was 3 my mom brought me to a ballet class and the teacher said “why are you here, this child has no grace and never will.” Mean teacher! Way to give me a complex! Fast forward a bunch of years and I was in a workshop that was supposed to cover floor transitions. After the first few moves the instructor comes over to me and says “hmmm, maybe this isn’t your thing.” Thanks. Helpful. NOT!
So needless to say, I’ve always had concerns about dancing. I don’t have any dance background. When I write pole routines I cram them with tricks because I like strength and feel more comfortable in that area. But when I watch pole videos I watch the beautiful effortless movement and long to be that. When I go to other studios I take “flow” courses and love how I feel free. So after months of my instructors asking, we are now offering “Pole Flow” which is a dance class. This one isn’t about tricks and is everything about moving with fluidity.
One of my goals when starting to offer this course was to improve my own dancing. I started by going in the studio, not turning on any lights, and just moving. Not surprising, it quickly turned into strings of tricks. Which then hurt my shoulder and upset me and well, bad. Let’s just say it went south. So then I made myself start without the pole and just move. I thought of this as “flow warm-up” where I was trying to get my body feeling loose by doing stuff on the floor. (I now plan to use this style as my class warm-up in Pole Flow!)
Eventually I did full songs where I wasn’t allowed to stand. At all. The rule was I had to be touching the pole most of the time and I couldn’t go past my knees. A first it was a challenge. Then it became crazy fun. I did some really horrible things and found some really cool things that made me feel good. No idea how they look. Don’t care. They feel right.
Then I started adding standing into my floor play and wow was it easier. I found that I actually enjoyed not doing tricks and finding my own movement. The movement changed based on the song. The change between standing to down to back up became of particular joy to find creativity. Most of the time I don’t film myself (since I’m currently feeling bad with how I look, but that is a whole other blog topic…) and I just move. Then I try to remember what I liked, to write down for curriculum (I need to get better at the remembering what I did for just suck it up and video myself). But what has shocked me the most, is the awkward girl who really felt like an elephant robot trying to dance is now excited for that time. I found that the more I made myself move without a plan, the more my body craved that freedom. The more I moved freely, the more graceful I became. Maybe all those people were wrong. Maybe I can be a pretty dancer after all if I just quiet the voice in my head that says I can’t. Because I feel like a dancer.