In my first ever blog, I would like first to take the opportunity to thank Platinum Stages in welcoming me as part of their sponsored Athletes team and giving me this opportunity to exchange with you, our readers and followers, on the stories and topics that concern us, pole fanatics around the world!
While I am writing this blog, I am sitting on the plane to London, which will take me then through Chicago to Portland, United States, then onto Minneapolis, Boston and New York before I return to Europe and take the direction towards United Kingdom and Germany.
Yes, amazingly long journey is ahead of me and this is just the start of my four weeks of continuous travel to three continents. And while I am on this plane, I got to think about the pole and the opportunities to train and to experience new styles of pole dancing that I had previously and that I have ahead of me!
Looking back to when I just started to pole, I can see that I already have trained and participated in courses around the world and that is how my current style has evolved. I first learned about it in Germany in 2008, when one of these ladies who used to work in a striptease club, has started to teach pole dancing in the gym. She had the idea to take the sexiness and fitness that comes with it out of the club and onto the gym floor and give us willing ladies the opportunity to be a little sexy and fit and to learn how to pole dance. While training in the class, you could see how people would try to pass by the door just to get a glance at what we were doing, so curious they were about this “different” class. We were not many in the class at that time but it quickly became THE most favourite course. Even though we will never admit it, I am sure that each of us has envied these ladies who can move so sleek and look so sexy, and wanted to be one of them sometimes.
This is probably why the pole dancing is so successful today, and even though we deny the history and the roots of this type of dance, it would never be that successful among all different types of woman if it would be just acrobatics, for example. The combination of strength, acrobatics, dance and sexy moves is what make us to want to learn it in first place!
After my encounter in Germany, I then properly started to learn pole dance while I was working in Melbourne, Australia, for 4 month. I had the time and energy to dedicate myself fully to learn these basics and my first invert. Looking back I found myself admiring the teacher who looked so flawless on the stage and had these meter long legs that can hook the pole without lifting the body even a centimetre of the floor….and us students looking pretty ridiculous and definitely not sexy at all to invert somehow and cling to the pole for our life. We learned the traditional way I must say, in heels, on tiny spinning poles and probably not wearing a lot too, but it did not bother us. We were between ourselves and we did not see the problem to do what we did and we loved it. We did our best to look flawless, to have the pointy toes and straight legs and perform the move the best that we can – that’s all we wanted. We wanted to dance.
After my return from Australia, I have continued my training in the UK, in parallel to my full time job. I joined a school in Bristol and at first I had a shock. How different can it be, I thought? And wow, it was different. Don’t get me wrong, it was nor better nor worse. It was just different. The school looked like a gym, I felt like I was in the gym, I did not feel I was in a place that thought dancing. The girls were climbing the poles like monkeys, pinching the poles under the armpits while trying to catch their toes at the same time. Spinning was not really on the plan, or any dancing routing and if it did, then 5 to 10 minutes at most. However, I did learn a great amount of technique, I must admit. I had a great teacher, she wasn’t one of those who danced her whole life and who therefore looked so perfect, but she was the one who shown us that we, normal girls without previous gymnastics or dancing experience, can do it, will do it, and will do it safe and properly, and I am still thankful to her for this. I now understand that it is not only important to look good on the pole but also to know your limits, to know how dismount properly and to be safe, as it can be very dangerous if not executed properly.
After some years in the UK, I have then moved with my family to France because of my work. I also had quite turbulent 3 years of my life. I took on a new challenging job, I changed bosses and I became a mother which put my poling activities for some time on rest – as well as my abs. Coming back to poling wasn’t easy, with the challenges of motherhood and work as well as gaining back the strength in the abs and overall core muscles, it was a challenge in itself. But, it’s possible, lot of woman do it and it’s a great feeling once you are back on top of that pole, literally.
I must say, pole dancing in France is just developing, there are not many schools yet, but they do pop up here and there. To get the training you need, you have to search a while before you find the right one. There is this girl who used to be a top gymnast, or the classically trained dancer, or just a girl who loves the pole and decided to make a living out of it….some of them might not be most experienced or best teachers, but all of them are passionate about it. So, you train together, you grow together and you become one pole community which is passionate just about that – pole dancing.
Finally after some years, my dance style has become as different as all these countries I have been to – it has a bit of sexiness from Germany, the elegance and fluidity from Oz, the strength and clean technique from UK and a bit of novelty from France – but its mine, and this is all that matters.
Finally, pole dancing can be done anywhere, and while I am on the move I am hoping that I will get a chance to train in the US,UK or Germany, in one or the other school which will hopefully be able to accommodate a traveller who needs to keep training, keep learning new things and keep smiling J
Hope you enjoyed the blog, stay tuned for more news on training abroad – part 2, pole uggs – another fashion myth? Is it possible to convince a mother not to judge before she sees it….