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Bumps & Breakthroughs

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Well, it’s done! The video has been recorded, 2nd time was the charm. Oddly, doing that recording was far more nerve racking than performing live. The thought that footage of me would be on-line made feel a tad queasy! The run up to recording was challenging.

As I said in my last blog I’d spent time working on the basics and was feeling much better about them. The challenge came in that some of my tricks were quite simply absent and I just couldn’t get them at all. Which was more of a problem since two of them were in the routine due to be recorded. This blip caused me to spend a couple of weeks training with gloves, not something I’ve done before but my grip just seemed to have vanished. It’s very odd how training sometimes goes like that. It can be so frustrating and soul destroying when a skill appears to up and leave you. Luckily I’m now back not using gloves and everything seems to have settled down.

The other difficulty was that in addition to a couple of tricks, my confidence had up and left the building. At one point I asked if someone else could learn the dance and be recorded, someone younger and thinner.

I won’t repeat what the head of our school said, but suffice to say a change wasn’t an option. Doing pole has been so good for my confidence. I’ve been quite honest about being a formerly big girl and struggling with how I look on a fairly regular basis. For some reason, being recorded made those old issues come flying up to the surface and loudly so.

I’m very grateful Anne pushed me and wouldn’t let me back down from the challenge. Now that I look at the video I can honestly say I’m happy with the routine and how I performed it. It’s the first time I’ve seen video of myself and not spent ages critiquing how big I look or whatever other fault can be found.

In getting ready to write this blog I thought a lot about whether to be so honest about the confidence and self-doubt thing. My decision to be open about it comes from the fact that a lot of the girls that practice struggle with this issue and it’s one we’re not too open about all the time. Most people that know me would presume I’m fairly confident. I love to perform and don’t get nervous doing so. Generally, I keep these demons well hidden.

Thankfully, I seem to have come out of my slump. It just highlights the fact that learning and growing isn’t always a straight line to a destination, it’s a varied journey. Last week I managed to complete three things I’ve been working on and not been able to get. I even managed an accidental ballerina (picture to follow). The really big one was getting upside down; it’s been such a challenge for me. It’s not perfect yet but it’s getting there, my legs are finally lining up in the right place. Part of the difficulty has been my muscles working out what they need to do but a big part has been me just thinking I’m too heavy to manage it.

Once I let that go, it got easier. Ironically, the video, the thing I was so worried about was a big part of what helped. With the support of great teachers and fellow pole students I’ve been able to get through a slump in my training.

Now I just need to get on with learning the set dance for competition in April, choreographing an Argentinian Tango on the pole, perfect our duet, work on improvisation skills, oh and fit in a spot of ballet fitness too…

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