We are always seeing health and diet advice everywhere around us, and the biggest recommendation? Exercise! ‘Exercise,’ they said. ‘It will be good for your heart,’ they said.
Personally, I find exercise to be the most boring and painful activity on the planet, next to eating glass and watching paint dry. I can’t sit there and cycle on a stationary bike without constantly checking my watch to count down the seconds until it’s over, and the last thing I ever want to do when I have spare time is go for a walk.
But this doesn’t excuse the fact that exercise is kind of necessary to keep our hearts and muscles working well into old age. So, I joined a burlesque and pole class.
You might be wondering, at this point, why I’m writing to you about burlesque and pole dancing?
Well, here are some pretty good things that come out of pole and burlesque that you need to know.
Starting an exercise routine is hard. Keeping it up is harder.
When you’re learning a dance routine in ten weeks, missing just one lesson can put you really far behind. There are people who will help you though, so it’s important that you make it to the next class and ask for help. Not to mention the way that several people may rely on you to take your regular position between them so that stage positions don’t get mixed up. You’ll usually have several questions about where you were last week from your teacher, too.
I lived through my entire life under the misapprehension that my body was simply not built to be strong enough to lift my own body weight, or that I was never going to be light enough to hold myself up on a pole using only my thighs or the crook of my elbow.
I was wrong.
I can do the first thing, and I expect to learn the second very, very soon. And a little secret? I’m only five weeks into my first term.
Not too shabby for someone who couldn’t do a single chin-up.
I might not be thin, and I might not be the most graceful dancer out there, but that comes with experience. Every week, I get a little more graceful and a lot more in love with myself. I feel better, I have more energy and I find myself practicing at home so that I can keep up and show my instructor how keen I am.
I have only been a member of my current school for a term and a half, 15 weeks in total, and I have such amazing friends from the experience.
We dance in the most open, supportive environment that a woman could wish for.
We share jokes, have costuming get-togethers and spend a lot of time attending events together.
This one is another one that comes with time. Stamina is what you need to go from a caterpillar to a carousel kick and then a shoulder mount prance, and then repeat it to a song you’d never actually be able to keep in time with.
Pole dancing is hard, I’m not going to lie.
But when the lesson is over, all I want to do is keep climbing and swinging.
Not only will your skills improve every week.
Okay, maybe not EVERY week, there will be some moves that you simply can’t do for weeks at a time. But you’ll see a huge improvement in the tone of your body, your posture and even when you walk.
Progress is quick, it is amazing and it makes you so proud.
One of the most fantastic things about taking burlesque and pole is that I get to mix with so many different ladies from a range of backgrounds. A lot of them are mums, some of them trying to meet other mums, some of them trying to get fit and some of them just doing it for the fun of it. Whichever mum you are, be aware that there are women in the classes who are your age or older and that they come in all shapes and sizes, so there is no need to be shy.
The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t give up because you feel insecure or like you are wasting yours or the teacher’s time. You are missing out on a truly amazing experience and the chance to join a sisterhood that welcomed me with open arms when I was brand new to the community. Pole dancing is not a race, it is not a competition and it takes time and skill to be comfortable enough to do advanced classes. You might stay in beginners for a while, and that’s okay too. Trying to do moves that your body just isn’t ready for is only a recipe for disaster.
Most schools offer payment plans and casual classes or mini terms to introduce ladies who aren’t sure about attending and if it’s for them.
Trust me, it is. And you’ll love it.
Would you ever try pole dancing? Share with us below.
Image source Shutterstock.