1) IT'S MORE THAN JUST FITNESS
Despite the obvious that it's a form of exercise, there are so many other reasons that pole dancing is good for you. Before I started pole I was one of those girls who was never happy with her body, I used to look in the mirror and dislike what I saw. Pole has certainly changed my opinion of my self-image. Now I'm not going to pretend that I'm perfectly happy with my body because I'm not (who ever is?) but now instead of seeing the negatives first I see the positives and feel that my body is a work in progress.
I'm amazed by what my body can achieve especially for someone whose 40th birthday is only a few months away and feel sexier now than I did in my 20’s.
2) IT CHANGES THE WAY YOU SEE YOURSELF
Let’s rewind back to a time before I pole danced, a time when I truly believed I was overweight. If I wore leggings I would have worn a top long enough to cover my ass and the only time you would have seen me in shorts was on holiday or on the beach. I never wanted to draw attention to my (what I thought was) huge behind let alone make a feature of it but since starting pole I have discovered a new found love for my body and my booty. My bum has definitely changed shape, yes I still have plenty of junk in the trunk but I am learning to embrace that and look at the plus side - pun intended!
3) IT MAKES YOU APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE
I also discovered that pole dancers seem to be a little bit obsessed with the booty, not just their own but with everyone else's! LOL there is even a day especially dedicated to showing off your ravishing rear to all that want to see it and that day of booty worship is known as #Sundaybumday - what other sport creates a day once a week that honours the tush? There isn’t one! This day is not just reserved for the so called stereotypical rear of the year! No no this day does not discriminate, it’s about confidence and empowerment, dancers building each other up not pulling each other down (and also a great excuse to legitimately perv at one another). Before I pole danced, never in a million years would I have shown off my bum so confidently in public let alone plaster it all over social media for the world and his wife to see. But pole has taught me to not be so hung up about it and learn to love and work with what I have and to twerk my butt off (literally) if I want it to look even better.
4) IT BUILDS SELF CONFIDENCE
Being in a class of ladies and sometimes guys of all ages, shapes and different physical ability you see that none of us are perfect, we all have our flaws and yes even skinny girls can get stretch marks and have cellulite. We all get bloated from time to time, sometimes some students may not shave their legs or their lady garden is a little over grown but you know what? None of us care about all that. When you see another poler perform a pole trick for the first time or nail a move after months of trying you’re not looking at their body shape, the belly rolls (which we all have when we bend forward) or even possibly their untrimmed body hair growing from their pole shorts. OK we may all have a giggle at the face of pain or as I like to call it 'my having a poo face' but we are laughing with each other not at each other! What we really focus on is the achievement and that self-satisfaction of knowing they worked hard to get there. In all my 39 years on this earth I have never taken part in anything where there are so many encouraging women boosting and supporting each other and that alone is a good enough reason why pole dancing is good for you!
5) IT GIVES YOU A SENSE OF BELONGING
But the goodness doesn’t stop there. All other exercise disciplines I’ve ever tried to commit to in the past (unless its team sports or you are lucky to have a dedicated gym buddy or PT) have been rather solitary journeys so fairly quickly I would lose my drive. Most training sessions you do, you go, you focus, you work out, you go home. Yes you leave feeling a sense of achievement but never with a sense of belonging like you do when you leave a pole class.
6) IT'S CHEAPER THAN THERAPY
Each lesson for me is like a therapy session and many will tell you they feel the same. It’s a place you go that you don’t have to look perfect or get it right first time, no one judges you for progressing at your own pace. Most of us realise very early on that our pole dancing limits and our body strengths and weaknesses are an individual thing and not something to compare to anyone else.
7) IT'S SELF MOTIVATING
We all have our nemesis moves and it still surprises me that I can pull off some quite advanced pole tricks yet I still struggle with some basic spins! But that's just pole dancing and something we have to accept if we want to continue this amazing ride. You see with pole it's not always about the destination it's the journey that really matters. Seeing transformations no matter how small drives us to want to do better.
8) YOU LEARN NEW THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF
We not only learn from our instructors and from the other polers around us but I truly believe the greatest lessons are learnt from ourselves. We learn what we are capable of, what scares us, what drives us, what our limits are and how we cope under pressure. Self-discovery is a wonderful thing and something some of us won't even notice is happening most of the time. Being a competitive person one of the most valuable lessons I've learnt is that my only real competition is me. Pole has taught me so much about myself, good and bad and that can only be a positive thing.
9) IT'S EMPOWERING
The road to self-discovery and learning to be comfortable in your own skin is one we all face and only now as I approach 40 am I starting to feel happy with who I am. Now some will probably say this is something we all discover with age but I have confidence in the fact that pole dancing is hugely responsible for that mindset and one of the reasons I wish I'd found this form of expression in my 20's.
10) IT'S OPEN TO EVERYONE
Pole doesn't discriminate against size, age, race or sexual orientation. The only obstacle that stands in your way is you thinking you don't have what it takes! If you've ever fancied it, go for it. Take the plunge as I promise it will be life changing. OK maybe not as life changing for all but it will certainly change your life for the better even if it's just giving you somewhere you go once a week to work out and have fun with like minded people.
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11) IT BECOMES A POSITIVE WAY OF LIFE
Pole dancing is so much more than fitness or being part of a community; it becomes a way of life, an addiction for some. Life can be tough sometimes and we all need positive things in life to focus on. If you've ever fancied it go try a taster class or if you're a little more reserved book a private lesson. Don't worry what others may think or be put off by the silly stigma attached, go and find out for yourself! Go be part of something great, do it for you and I promise you will be proud to call yourself a pole dancer and if nothing else you will never look at a lamp post or scaffold pole in the same way again! And if ANYBODY ever questions it just tell them you're doing something that's good for YOU!
IT'S GOOD FOR YOU IN SO MANY WAYS!