When you think about the skills that a pole girl needs, a few things come to mind. She needs strength to pull her body into those moves. She’ll need endurance so that she can practice that move over and over. She’ll need perseverance to help her get past her frustrations. She’s also going to need some flexibility!
Flexibility is not always the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to pole or the aerial arts. It’s crucial for a pole fitness woman, whether she’s a beginner or a very advanced dancer. Think about it: there is nothing natural about what a pole woman asks her body to do. What person in their right mind would contort themselves into various positions on a pole, for fun? A pole person of course–and we’re a special kind of crazy. In order to protect herself, a pole woman should make flexibility a priority.
Paula and the staff at Aerial Dance have been stressing this to students since the beginning. Now that I’m returning, I realize just how right they are! In order to start gaining flexibility, I decided to try a Bendy Babe class. Most other classes cause me to break into a sweat, so it was nice to take a class that didn’t tucker me out! I was a cheerleader in high school and I could drop into the “scissor” splits from a jump. I thought I’d have it all in the bag!
NOPE. Not a chance. Sure, I can stretch. We all can stretch. Let me tell you, it felt great! I was able to get some of the tension out of my shoulders and work out some knots. Leah did a whole body routine, so no muscle was left un-stretched! At the end, we stretched using what I call the “sideways” splits. Everyone else in the class had a pretty flat block, or maaaaaybe one big one under their hips. Not me. Nope. I think it was 6-8 inches of foam blocks under my hips. I was so high up that I had lean on another block in order to keep that tower from tumbling.
Total flexibility FAIL. Here’s the thing to remember though: Failure should not deter you, it should motivate you. I cannot do those sideways splits worth a darn. That won’t stop me from taking another Bendy Babe class. In fact, it motivates me to keep it on my schedule! Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get it right away–keep trying, keep working!