Share the love

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I have recently had to opportunity through some truly amazing women to share my love of pole with others and hopefully help them to love it as much as I do.

Pole has helped me through some of the worst times in my life and I am honored to share it with others.  I truly do not know if I would have made it through intact with out my pole family.

I seriously want to jump up and down with giddiness and joy. 

What do I want pole students to get out of it?

Everyone is different, and that is awesome.  Each of us moves our bodies differently and it is amazing, this is where the artistry of dance comes in.  We could all be given four tricks to do and the same music to do them too and yet all look totally different.

Pole is a sport- but it is also an art. If you aren't into the acrobatic tricks-- that's fine there are endless things you can do.  Walking can be amazing to watch- its all about artistry. 

You may not get every trick.  This is fine!! A lot of us have tricks we don't do for a lot of reasons. It doesn't make you less than anyone- it makes you--- you.

Love yourself and your body. Your body is part of you--- it is not *you*.  Your body doesn't define you.  I never got this until I was really involved with this physical sport-- ironic huh?

Be kind. Not everyone responds to tough love. I don't. I will get defensive and put up walls to keep people out. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Sepember 11, again

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This day always kind of sneaks up on me- then all of a sudden that day stares back at me from the calender. My breath always catches in my throat. That day. That day changed so much. So very very much.

It was such a beautiful day. It was a gorgeous day in New York and in Chicago.  It was so amazing clear.

As the wife of a firefighter, and the mother of 5 kids, it is closer to home- even though I was not directly impacted.

It was such a beautiful day and it was such a sad tragic day.

Pole dancing competitions

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pole dancing is no longer a "Gentleman's" Club attraction.  It is now a fitness activity.  One that I adore.

As pole dancing has grown more popular, competitions have become more common.  Women I started poling with are entering (and winning!) competitions.  Women I dance with and train with are champions. That is super awesome.

I do not compete.  I will not compete. Let me say, I do not hold it against anyone if they choose to compete or perform or whatever. Let me tell you why I choose not to compete.

Personally, I can't let myself compete or I will end up doing it all wrong.  I will end up getting really upset if I don't win and it will suck the fun right out of it.  Pole is about fun- to lose that would be so sad.

I do not want to do that to myself.  I will also measure myself against other dancers; from skills to appearance.  I will critique my feet, my thighs, my belly, everything.  I don't want to do that, so I don't put myself in a position when that is likely to happen.

Another reason I don't compete or perform is; I don't want people looking at me like that.  Pole has a really sexual side to it. That is fine.  I just don't want myself to get caught up in it.  I don't want to be looked at like that.  If other people are cool with it-- go for it. Its just not for me.

Pole is for me. Its my time. I have no desire to let someone else or a competition get into my head and take that time from me.  It is the time when I can focus on being me, not a wife, mother, etc.  It is time for me to get out of my head and turn my brain off.

Sometimes the truth is hard to face

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I used to pride myself on not being racist.  Then one day I had to face a really uncomfortable truth.  I am racist.  I am not color blind. My experiences as a white girl from the Chicago suburbs have impacted my worldview- I certainly do not believe that black (African American people are (insert negative adjective here).  I think we are all people- but I have to admit- even though it pains me to do so- that I have certain privileges that others do not.

One day, someone I don’t know questioned if one of the women I look up to most in the world for her intelligence, her pride, her willingness to discuss any topic honestly was called racist. 

Admittedly, I know absolute crap about the day to day experiences of black Americans- and I was (and am) concerned that I would stick my foot in my mouth again, or that my words as a white woman would not carry weight. Still I said something.

I said (typed) that my friend is not racist.  She is proud of her heritage (as she should be) angry that white do-gooders so often co-opt her very real day to day experiences in a self-serving manner, “Look at all of the good we are doing for these poor black folks” and it is crap. Complete and total bullshit. 

Honestly, I know exceptionally little about African cultures or day to day experiences of an average black person.  What I do know is that they are justified in their anger.  I know they do not need my help- they are quite capable.

What little I do know about African culture is amazing and beautiful.  Their cultures (the very few that I have learned about) have innate power, beauty, and incredible authenticity.   The last thing they need is my help.  White people have scripted Africa as a whole and people of color as marginalized people who require the saving of white people.  That is NOT true.  They do not need saving- they need to stop having this stupid script played over and over!

What I can do is to work in my community to help heal the wounds that we caused and continue to cause.  I can share within my community my respect for the black experiences, and help my community to realize that we really messed up- then hopefully work to earn the black community’s trust back.

I can never ‘get’ it though, saying otherwise is the worst kind of dishonest.

Let me be clear I do not hate black people (African American), Hispanic people, or anyone.

Pole positivity

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

One of the things that attracted me most to pole was Kristin's dedication to positivity. She has a studio policy that students and instructors are not to be negative. 

I have never experienced a woman being negative towards another woman.  In class we are always cheering each other on and encouraging each other.  Clearly, I cannot speak to other women's experiences, but I tend to be negative towards myself.  I will say "I can't".  I will be self deprecating.  I will neglect my strengths and compare myself to others.  Often, I don't even realize it is happening. 

Well, now I noticed it.  And I will stop it. Pole is so much more fun, as is life in general when we focus on our strengths and abilities rather than what we are still working on. 

It is so easy to fall back into the habit of negativity towards myself.  I hardly even notice it is happening, until I see my attitude being sour and grumpy.

I am putting this out there as a reminder to me and to anyone else who reads this- you are amazing as you are.  You are strong. You are beautiful. You are smart.