Have you ever had a home away from home? A place you go to that feels like a safe place. A place that you describe as your happy place? A happy place where you feel comfortable and respected. A happy place where you feel…. at home? Well our Pole Studio is described in this way by so many of our members. As an owner I find it quite humbling to hear that this is how people view it and feel it. It isn’t the building, or the shiny poles, or the smaller pole area, or the pretty lights, or the comfy lounge, or the music, or the mirrors. Its the energy, the foundation, the culture that is added to everytime a new poler joins our community. Our studio attracts beautiful people. Well our studio attracts all kinds of people, but the beautiful souls stay and flourish and add to the contagious, positive, uplifting energy.

So, as we head closer to the end of this year of highs and lows; a year where in our town COVID has been pretty much a non event (the virus, not the impact), I watch as, the area fills with tourists, holiday makers, christmas shoppers and the mandates are lowered, we can now see the colour of lipstick and we recognise people without the shackles of their facemasks. As I observe all that is Christmas and the end of another year I become, concerned, anxious, wary, heightened to the news of COVID stats rising in our area. I see my fellow business friends and acquaintenances in our town advise their patrons that they need to close for a few days while they deep clean or advise that they are closing early for the Christmas period because of staff shortages, because their staff have tested positive. I receive text msgs from some of our beloved polers saying they are a close contact and can’t come to class. They tell me they were at a local club where others have tested positive and haven’t been into the studio since then. I wait. A few days later I receive text msgs from some of our beloved polers saying they are positive to COVID and could i put their membership on hold as they can’t come in for awhile. I debate closing early for the year. In doing so, i know that i take away the Happy Place from those who look forward to coming in right up until Christmas Eve and chomp at the bit until we open again post NYE. I want to shout DON’T DO THIS TO US COVID. DON’T SOIL OUR SAFE PLACE OUR SECOND HOME, OUR HAPPY PLACE. Don’t make our polers sick. this is a place of laughter, comradery, applause, excitement, praise, awe, creativity, love and support – there is NO PLACE IN OUR HAPPY PLACE FOR YOU COVID.

But of course, COVID wont listen because COVID dosen’t care. We have given it too big personality, an image, a persona, too much power and too much license to rain on our parades.

So I sit back and as I like to do, work out how I can take back some control. I still wear a mask out and about, I still hand sanitize/wash, I still QR where possible, I still avoid large gatherings. I encourage my polers to wear masks, QR and hand sanitise but I also encourage them to remember their favourite pole moves of the year, show their best pole move photos on our social media with pride, Those videos or photos where those feelings of pride, of confidence, of gratitude, where the bruises, burns and ouchy bits are forgotten and sheer happiness and satisfaction beams through. Those photos and videos which made us laugh, Those pole fails where the fall was their to catch us, but we laughed anyway. Those pole videos and photos where we all moved together to some very cool music (or atleast we thought we were LOL). Those photos or videos where other polers will acknowledge and comment with the ‘wow’, the ‘thats so cool’, the ‘how pretty’, the ‘so strong’, the ‘how did she/he get into that’ and all the other comments of support authentically displayed as only a community of supportive, loving, extra-ordinary people can do. A community that they call their safe place, their home away from home, their happy place and a place, in their hearts and souls, that can never be damaged. So yep we have to live with that thing named covid but in our world, our happy place I say lets swamp it with our positive pole vibes, take personal responsibility for our own self care and continue to scroll through cool instagram moves so we can try them out when the studio reopens post NYE!

Brandy Hicks

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