It’s not uncommon for pole fitness students to hide their new-found passion from people. Since there are many folks out there who still don’t understand that you can find a pole OUTSIDE of a strip club (shocker, I know), many fear being judged poorly for being involved in such a positive and empowering sport. They stay in their “pole closet,” afraid of being judged, or any other potential fallout. You know what I think about that.
Get out of that pole closet. Roll, slide, flip, leap, I don’t care… GET OUT.
I was once one that lived in my pole closet. It was nice and quiet there. I began telling my close friends, and when they saw my pictures they seemed genuinely impressed and interested. They asked questions, and to this day have been some of my greatest supporters. My family was a bit harder… they were just confused at first, but they never spoke ill of it or degraded me for doing it. In fact, once they saw it in person, they were much more understanding. The hardest people to come out of the pole closet to are the absolute strangers.
Since they have no vested interest in you, their reaction can go either way. I’ve never seen disgust, just confusion and the refusal to listen to me. Most times, people are curious. “You do what?!” Then I show them pictures, and tell them about the studio. I tell them a version of my story and dispel any myths they bring up. I tell them about the blog, and let them know they can read it if they’re interested in learning more. I actually carry Aerial Dance Pole Exercise business cards with the path to my blog written on the back. I’ve told a couple people at my new job, and everyone at the credit union is already aware. The most interesting situation happened to me by complete chance. In the event she reads this and for her own privacy, I won’t be using her real name. We’ll call her Sandra for illustrative purposes.
Sandra works at UW-Green Bay. I have passed her in the hallways since I first attended UWGB in 2010. Today I was headed out and as I walked by, Sandra asked me what I was doing tonight, since all this snow had fallen. I told her that the highways were pretty clear, so I might go down to Appleton for a fitness class. Like most folks do when I say I drive to Appleton, they question why. I tell them my favorite studio is in Appleton. Sandra then asked me if it was that aerial place (or something to that extent) to which I agreed. She said she had heard about it and was interested in trying it, but didn’t know anything about it. I gave her a version of my story, and we exchanged contact info so that I could someday bring her to a class with me! I just think that’s so cool!
I hold no shame about my aerial pursuits. I will defend them and demonstrate their awesomeness. I will, outright, bring it up in a conversation just so I can share my experiences and let them know, in case they want to try it too. I have, in front of a large lecture group, introduced myself, “My name is Breanna, I’m in my senior year going for a Communications Major with a Public Relations Emphasis, and an interesting fact about me is that I’ve been involved in pole fitness for three years, and I just started learning aerial hoop a few months ago.” Yes, I was nervous when I first said it, but I’m glad I did. I’ve got nothing to hide, and neither do you!