Of all the fitness related activities I have ever done I would have to say Pole is the one that has and still does, capture my attention and fill me with excitement. I look forward to every session. I wear my pole kisses with pride. I search through You Tube for seemingly effortless shapes to create and gravity defying combinations to add to my pole goals list. I love watching pole. I love teaching pole. I love dancing on the pole.
The question “but why”, is one that has intrigued me for sometime. In my 30+ years as a fitness professional I have taught and/or participated in all kinds of fitness related activities. Some that were just passing fads in my community like Slide and Kangajump. Some that I’d rather forget (see previous examples), some that have stood the test of time (Boot Camp, BodyPump, Yoga etc). My favourites were always indoor cycling classes, functional body movement and my pilates fusion classes. Strength, grace and flow. So I have worked out that’s where my love of pole comes from. Its the combination of strength, grace and flow. Of dancing in the air. Of creating effortless grace and flow while maintaining strength and stability all while challenging the body with aerial skills that are actually quite dangerous at times.
What intrigues me about pole as well is how physics based it is. To understand that the velocity, the momentum, the fulcrum, the lever, the push and the pull and of course gravity will often result in the success or failure of a move or a combination. Gravity is often the winner but that’s ok because the floor is always there to catch you. Then there is the choice of pole type to consider, the choice of grip, the temperature, the humidity, how hydrated you are, the moisturiser you used that day and the acceptance that on some days your inability to stay on the pole is literally out of your hands and is just plain frustrating but we still come back, again and again.
What intrigues me also about pole, is the perception that is still prevalent, from those outside the pole community, as to what actually happens behind the doors of a pole studio or pole class. Whatever you want to call it, pole fitness, pole dance, there is an interesting curiosity of this type of ‘activity’ afterall isnt that what strippers do? No disrespect to these professionals intended as once you have taken your very first pole class you gain a greater appreciation for their work. However, in this day and age where gymnasts, aerial circus artists, competitive aerobics participants are admired for their skill, their strength, their grace and flow, the assumption is that polers pretty much spend their time grinding the floor, the pole and themselves all while wearing next to nothing.
Witnessing, not long ago, a Poler win Australia’s Got Talent helped lift the profile of pole somewhat, as does, I’m sure all the interviews with polers and pole studios and the documentaries that often come out for public viewing. However, I still know polers who don’t tell their families what they do two nights a week, or if they have told them, the responses range from shock, horror to curiosity and yes some intrigue as to what they will actually be doing behind those doors. Then when they start purchasing those cute little pole outfits or, shock and horror, the pole pleaser 9inch stiletto shoes, then they know their worst fears have been met and (insert applicable name here: mum, sister, girlfriend, nanna, aunty, wife) has gone down the road of sin and debauchery. Its intriguing where the thoughts go.
One of the other things that intrigues me about pole and the pole community is how very cool it is to belong to it. I have never experienced a community of people who are so supportive and caring of each other. They become your cheer squad, your best friends, your support crew, your BFF, you main insta fan, and they will even catch you when you fall, emotionally and literally. Its because you have this commonality. This absolute love and addiction to this amazing sport where one day you will be slipping of the pole for the 20th time, the next day you will be finally getting your nemesis move with everyone celebrating your win and then they’re with you at that Friday Night Fun class where you will be getting a bit cheeky together, wearing not much and those 9inch pleasers.
So I say, lets keep them guessing. Let’s keep the intrigue and the curiosity going because you know what, they are missing out and we are having all the fun, the comradery and the pole kisses (lol). Then when their intrigued gets the better of them, then of course we will welcome them with open arms and cheer them on with their first pole climb and Ta Dah moment!
Written lovingly by Brandy Hicks (aka Jacqui)