You can only grow if you’re willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. – Brian Tracy

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the Love Yourself Party at the studio on Sunday, you missed a really special event! I was a half hour late but still had a great time and learned a lot. It was so cool to see my fellow pole sisters express themselves thru clothes – not pole shorts and tank tops that I always know them in – jeans, dresses, heels, sweaters, leggings, travel t-shirts, even ocean footie pajamas made an appearance! Everyone was wearing something they were comfortable in or made them feel beautiful. (I, for one, was Finally able to squeeze back into a dress I hadn’t been able to wear since September 2016! Yay! Win for me! I didn’t feel comfortable or confident but I did feel beautiful and accomplished!)
As I watched everyone having such a great time and enjoying themselves, I was amazed at what everyone was still able to do not in pole shorts. Pole is very different when skin isn’t there to grip the pole! But, despite that there were still many cool tricks being done. I got on a pole and tried a few tricks in my dress and was surprised at how different it was, good and bad. It really made me focus on good shoulder engagement and using proper grip points with no cheating. The girls in heels were playing with some floor work of gripping the bottom of the pole and sliding their feet straight out and then back in and up. Without heels, this move would rip off a toenail but it looked super cool and classy with the heels!
Another fun thing we could do was blindfolded pole… It was very interesting to watch so I tried it when I got home. This takes an amazing amount of spacial awareness and focus. If you lose contact with the pole there is a very real possibility of wacking an arm or your face as you attempt to relocate it. But it was fun to “see” how much I could do while disoriented. Lots of box tangoing, struts, back hooks, front hooks and fan kicking. But there were a few other pole flow and careful floor flow moves I was able to do while maintaining contact with the pole.
Seeing, listening and experiencing all of this on Sunday was very inspiring. This is my 5th time through Intermediate and, lately, I’ve been getting kinda bored in class. Not because it’s not challenging, with my physical changes post baby it’s still physically challenging (which is actually even more discouraging), it’s just so repetitive. Aside from asking Kim to teach me a Sad Girl Drop I haven’t learned a new move in months. Sunday helped to encourage me that, while I may not be learning new moves, I can still do old moves in new ways.
I highly encourage you to ask your instructor at your next practice if you can try to pole with leggings or a sweat shirt on. Just play and see what you discover your body can still do. Get better at shoulder engagement and strengthen your grip. Ask if she’s ok with you trying blindfolded pole and see what that feels like! It’s fun to really become aware of where on your body the pole hits or grips for certain moves. I wasn’t really aware just how useful my stomach is for Embrace until I had to just feel it. We always focus on our arms hurting but our abdomens really take a lot off! Are you Really getting close enough to the pole for Fireman Climb? You’ll find out if you’re blindfolded and you don’t feel your lady bits touch! Can you hold a sit long enough to just listen and enjoy your favorite song with no visual distractions?
If you feel stagnant or discouraged in your pole journey, or, if you’re just wanting to freshen things up because you feel pretty accomplished and no longer challenged in pole, I encourage you to try something new. Try dancing blindfolded, wear jeans, heels, a fun costume, a prop like a balloon that you’re not allowed to drop, the possibilities are endless! Share with me some of the fun ideas you come up with!

Photo Credit: Jenny Lang