This term is coming to a close, and the Aerial Dance instructors are talking with students about moving up to the next level in the next term. There are some students who are just itching to move higher and are thrilled to hear their instructor offer it to them. The more common response is, “Are you sure I’m ready?”
This happened in my Intermediate class last week. There are two of my classmates that, to me, look ready to move on. When the instructor asked them, the expressed uncertainty. I chimed in and told them I thought they were doing really well and seemed ready to me. I believe another student or two may have chimed in as well, and both of the ladies seemed to feel a little better about moving up.
It’s so easy to tell someone else that they’re ready to move up–I can see how awesome they are! When the instructor came to me, I found myself feeling the same uncertainty as my classmates. Am I ready for Advanced?

My face when my instructor asked if I'm doing Advanced next term...

My face when my instructor asked if I’m doing Advanced next term…

Truth is, I know I am. There are some things that challenge me (curse you Side Climb and Vixen!), but I keep performing Advanced skills during my Intermediate Class. If I have a moment, I’ll practice Chopper, Serpent, and other inverts to keep fresh. My Chopper has improved greatly and I’ve FINALLY regained my ability to do aerial inverts. These are Advanced skills, and if I’m very comfortable with them, I should be in an Advanced class.
What I fear, like before, is being faced with failure. I always say to new and frustrated ladies, that “you’re only competing against yourself.” Right now, I’m comparing my current skills to my previous Advanced skills. I shouldn’t compare my old pole self to my new pole self, but I do. I’m afraid of getting up into a move that used to be able to do well, only to find I can’t get into it or remember how. I was proud of how much of my invert card was filled out before I left–now I’ll have to start through it again. It’s a blow to the pride.
It’s not far from what any student moving up feels. They’re about to trek into unknown territory. They don’t know what instuructors are going to have them do, or how well they’ll be able to do it. They’re comfortable kicking butt in their current class and happy with how well they’re doing. Why would they move up?
We all have the same, simple reason to move up: to get better. None of us will ever get to those crazy moves we see during our YouTube searches if we don’t push ourselves to the next level. We won’t be able to get new pictures if we don’t learn cool new moves. We won’t get that endorphin high that comes from accomplishing something difficult and new. Why cheat ourselves of this awesomeness?
The more I write about it, the better I start to feel about moving (back) into Advanced. If you’re just starting pole or you’re moving up, it’s going to be ok! We’ll all survive, and it’s going to be great! 🙂