Size Does Matter…when it comes to your pole clothes! And I don’t mean what size you’re wearing, I’m talking about how much skin you’re showing!
When I first started at Aerial Dance, I knew that I was signing up for a class that would need shorts and a tank top. I purchased some (because goodness knows I didn’t own any) and thought I’d be set. My shorts weren’t super short and they weren’t super long. My tank top had thicker straps. I thought they would be perfect. And they were through those first few weeks of class.
Then you get to that very first sit and you realize – well this ain’t gonna work. I never thought I would be rolling up my shorts (I thought they were short enough!) in order to get a pole move. It finally made sense why I saw all those advanced girls in practices wearing sports bras and shorts only. I thought they were just bad asses with amazing body confidence – which they were! But I learned how important skin is in pole. Skin is literally our grip and what keeps us from plummeting to the ground when we’re hanging upside down from our thigh skin or our ankles. Sure a flexed foot might help you against the pole but it’s that skin also doing a lot of the work.
I finally got shorter shorts, but soon I was introduced to Teddy Bear and realized that even my waistband was in the way of me getting this move. I remember Instructor Kim providing a hot tip that sneaking that waist band down just a tiny bit to expose more skin on my back would help make this move achievable – AND IT DID! I finally got that bad boy that I had been struggling with for weeks.
Next up was learning Embrace. When my instructor told me I’d need to expose my stomach I thought she was crazy. What were we about to learn?! And oof that burn on my belly! But it was that burning, skin-pulling sensation that kept me up in the air and not sliding down. If you’ve ever attempted an embrace without that belly grip, you realize it is just not going to happen. The first time I ever worked on a Shoulder Mount I realized that even the placement of my bra strap could affect my ability to execute the move.
So I cannot reiterate this enough: SKIN IS GRIP!!! Now I know it may seem terrifying to think about exposing more skin than you feel comfortable doing and fighting those voices is difficult. But I promise you that no one at Aerial Dance is judging your body. This is part of why I love this studio so much. Aerial arts can be performed by literally all body types – I mean there are one armed polers out there even! If anything our encouragement to strip it down is to ensure you’re safe when you are doing new moves!
The next time you’re having difficulty accomplishing a move, don’t be afraid to show that beautiful skin. It might just be your secret to success!