Pole dance fitness sparks confidence and empowers women
Last week, I performed as a pole dancer at a mardis gras charity event, and I was reminded of how far my journey has come in terms of fitness and body image. I never thought I would have the body or the confidence to bare so much of my body publicly, or even have the strength to do so many pole tricks.
When I was in college, I hated my body and was obsessed with being thin. I ate very little, and it worked. But I still had no confidence. I thought I was fat and jiggly, and I went to all lengths to keep myself covered. I didn’t wear shorts, ever. Period. I thought I had thunder thighs, and that meant I was mortified in a bikini. Tight leggings? Forget about it.
I remember when I first walked in to take a pole dancing class. I asked what to wear to my first class and was told “booty shorts.” The instructor sounded so natural, like I would of course just have booty shorts sitting in my drawer at home. I was terrified.
Pole dancing has a way of slowly dissolving your modesty. For starters, you really do have to wear tiny shorts and sports bra tops to “stick” to the pole in advanced poses. So you really have no choice but to bare all. Fortunately, most pole teachers know this is mortifying for girls, so we provide dim lighting to accommodate.
In the beginning, I would sneak into class all covered up, and then take off my layers as we started. This is typical of most new students in pole classes. Eventually as you take more and more classes, your clothing shrinks to tinier and sexier styles. Within a few lessons, regardless of your size, you start thinking, I am hot!
That’s the magic of pole dance. You start to believe in yourself when you get to see yourself first-hand dancing in front of a mirror looking sexy.
What makes pole dance different from other workouts in effectively boosting self esteem?
Pole dancing is sexy, duh. Learning how to hold your body in various postures will make any body type look sexier. Looking in the mirror and seeing your image in these beautiful shapes is very motivating. It’s like a moving meditation for confidence. You see yourself over and over in these poses until you finally start realizing, you are sexy!
Pole dancing changes your shape. Pole dancing is not easy, it’s physical and takes a lot of strength and flexibility. If you stick with it, you will achieve results by just having fun pole dancing or by doing intense pole conditioning exercises (using your body weight as resistance).
Pole dancing makes you feel accomplished. When I did my first handstand on the pole, I remember being in disbelief. I never thought I could do that. Every time you accomplish a new trick, you realize you can push yourself and accomplish things you never thought possible. This translates off the pole into everything you do in life.
You wear heels. Pole dancing is one of the only exercises that puts you in heels. Dancing in heels tones your legs, but also makes you look incredibly hot. Women who spend time dancing in heels start learning to be more mindful of their posture when walking. Good posture always exudes confidence.
The community of pole dance is all about empowerment. Instructors and students lift each other up and encourage a positive self image. We applaud each other for every accomplishment. We compliment each other. The positivity spreads throughout the community.
I still get dressed and look in the mirror and see flaws. But after years of dancing, I now have the confidence to get beyond that negative self talk. I’m proud of what I have accomplished, I am grateful for what my body allows me to do, and I am confident. I don’t think twice about wearing a bikini, or posting pole photos on Instagram. I no longer feel the need or desire to look perfect, I just simply want to enjoy life in my own skin.
Nothing excites me more than teaching sexy dance cardio classes, a lap dance routine or pole dancing and helping women on their own journey to self confidence. I very often get to see when the confidence sparks within a student in my classes. The change is real and drastic. And what’s even better, is seeing the confidence spread through a group of students all supporting each other. When you see and feel these positive results, it just keeps you motivated to continue being good to your body and inspiring others.