The bass resonates in the floorboards and vibrates up through the soles of my feet. My hips begin to sway from side to side, testing their boundaries. I run my fingers through my hair and if you were to look into my eyes, they would be saying, “Come over here, I dare you”.
How Every Woman Feels Pole Dancing. Seriously, you can’t help but feel like this.
A couple of months ago, I started pole dancing as a new form of exercise. Four months later and I am totally addicted. To the point that I can’t stop talking about it, and want all my friends, and potentially ALL WOMEN everywhere, to try it out.
I know to many of you this may sound crazy, but trust me, the experience is amazing and completely life changing. The pole? Life changing? YES. Well not just the pole, more the class in general.
I have been interested in the political issues surrounding the female body for years. It’s such a loaded subject – concepts of ownership, decency, guilt, shame, and intrigue all rolled into one little body! Because of this, as an artist, the depiction of the female form was one of my favorite subjects. I understood the power of the feminine theoretically, but somehow I was still separate from it. For example, I loved reading Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and thinking/discussing the ideas presented in the book. Yet something was still missing in my own life and I couldn’t figure out how to bridge the gap with logic.
Cut to a few years later. I have a few friends who have tried pole dancing and love it. Then I see this TED Talk by S Factor founder Sheila Kelley. It sounds like the living embodiment of what I was trying to convey in my artwork, so I decide to give it a whirl. Now, I am finishing up level 2, moving onto my next 8-week session in a few days and I just can’t get enough. And for the first time, I feel like I understand all those theories I loved reading about. I don’t understand them in my head. I understand them in my body and in my soul. And I didn’t think my way there. I danced.
The support of this female community is amazing.
With that said, these are my top 5 reasons that I think every woman should try pole dancing. And if there is a studio in your neck of the woods, I definitely recommend trying it!
1. Gain strength
Pole dancing increases your overall strength. Climbing and twirling on that pole requires some massive arm and core strength! To prepare you, each class comes with an hour-long mat warm-up/workout, tweaking moves from dance, yoga, and pilates to name a few. Going to class just once a week, it’s amazing how much stronger, and more toned, you get!
2. Become more flexible
Like many forms of dance, pole dancing improves your flexibility. Keeping your spine and legs flexible has so many health benefits! It can reduce your risk of injury, improve your posture, increase your blood flow, and reduce stress. Even if you are an active person who loves cardio, you can benefit by adding a stretching routine to your daily repertoire!
3. The support of an amazing female community
This is hands down one of my favorite parts of S Factor. How often do you get women stepping into their sensuality and cheering each other on? It’s great seeing all the girls in my class week after week, and noticing how far each of us has come from those first awkward steps in the intro class. There is no competition, only support.
4. Learn to feel comfortable in your own body
Pole dancing teaches you to be comfortable in your body, to revel in it, to love each and every curve (…or lack thereof)! There are women of all shapes and sizes. At first, we all wear the standard workout gear: a pair of sweats or yoga pants and a t-shirt. Then within just a few weeks, the shorts start getting shorter, eventually shoulders and bellies are revealed. It’s honestly an amazing transformation and such a wonderful thing to witness and be a part of. Women are strutting their stuff and feeling good about themselves!
We are inundated with daily cultural messages that we are not good enough (till we buy this face cream, lose those 10 pounds using this new diet, have it all perfectly together, etc.). It is so refreshing that after a two-hour class you can walk out and feel sexy just as you are.
5. Which brings to my last point, the permission to be sensual and feminine.
Many of us are not comfortable being sexy or sensual. If you are anything like me, those were just not words that I ever used to describe myself. I was more comfortable with words like cute, but not sexy. Sexy is dangerous. And that my friends, is what makes it exciting.
In this class you have permission to be feminine, sensual, and unabashedly SEXY. You can let your body move, and be moved, by the music without thinking about it. There is no following an instructor or dissecting how you look in the mirror. Let your hair down, shake that ass, and just let go.
Somehow, it connects me to a deeper part of myself that I was never able to access before and there is a wellspring of strength and creativity there. And it feels so great, like I am finally coming home into my own body.
There you have it. Now you know why you won’t be getting me off the pole, or out of my class, anytime soon. I look forward to that Saturday afternoon the whole week – the low lights, the music, and two hours spent simply having fun with other women.
– See more at: http://www.singingbirdhealth.com/blog/2014/05/5-reasons-you-cant-keep-me-off-the-pole#sthash.Yd9sdKgN.dpuf