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The Psychology of Pole Fitness
Well by fitness, I truly mean dancing - Thank you kindly, Hub Pages, for not allowing a more apt title.
But of course, I understand - Topics such as the one I am writing a lens about are some what taboo and negatively perceived by society in general. Everything you are about to read is a first hand account of my newly found passion, pole dancing (fitness). What I do has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with strip teasing associated with 'gentleman's clubs'. I don't need to explain myself to people who choose to remain ignorant but Infact, the origins of pole dancing started in India on a wooden variation of today's modern pole with men, showcasing their strength, agility, endurance and flexibility.
The amount of skin that pole dancers flaunt are a NECESSITY. Skin equals grip. To me and any pole dancer it is so much more than fitness. And to call it pole fitness is a shame really when one takes away the element of dance. I have also heard many of my friends/strangers saying "Oh I could never do that, I'm too this or that." But pole is for everyone. Every race, any age, body type, sex, height, sexuality etc. There are even blind and deaf pole dancers - and women in their 70's doing the kind of moves I am still dreaming of being capable of despite now being level five (which is the most advanced level of pole dancing). Pole dancing is not just for women these days and why should men be discriminated for doing it when they have every right to. The average tensile strength of a pole is 270kg so definitely not a problem!
It is an art. And there are deeply positive psychological changes that occur once you start the journey.
Photo credit due to photographer Alexandra Grechhikina and dancer Tanya Marsheva
Pole Dancing Should Be an Olympic Event in 2016
It's every bit as deserving as any other sport.
Origins of Pole Dance
There are many different origins that have accumulated over time. All of them come with long and complex stories that tend to be irrelevant in modern times - or give off the wrong impression all together such as common stereotypes. So I'm mentioning my favourite which is still relevant and absolutely awe-inspiring to watch - I think that may be understating it though!
In India, pole dancing is called Mallakhamb. As stated in the introduction, Indian men show off their extreme skills on a wooden free standing pole - very different to dancing on today's classic but not limited to stainless steel poles.
Jenyne Butterfly - World Champion Pole Dancer
Many YouTube videos of pole dancing are flagged which I find saddening. Championship performances are generally not age restricted so I don't see what could be inappropriate? With that said, I highly recommend getting a YouTube account and browsing for yourself. This is one of many beautiful performers out there and once I saw this level of pole dancing I never saw it again in the same light. I truly admire and respect the dedication it takes to get to this level. It looks easier than it is, don't be fooled!
How I Discovered Pole Fitness
The best decision I ever made*
I was stuck with the age old question, "what should I get my mother dearest for Christmas?" I don't believe in Christianity let alone celebrate it myself but being brought up with it I've always felt obliged to get my family gifts for the 25th of December.
My mom works from home as a qualified personal fitness trainer/dietitian and has her own gym. I figured she would like a gift that had a unique fitness edge and so having been introduced to the local pole dancing instructor before on a night out, I decided to get in touch with her and buy my mom a voucher for a couple of pole dancing lessons. I must admit, at first I thought of the entire ordeal as being outrageously funny. And then I was invited to join a class for free and see what all the fuss was about - my mother was loving it.
So I became a student at Juliette & Sita's School of Pole Dancing in January this year (2012) being taught by one of the founders, stage name Sita - who I absolutely adore and love to bits! She is the most amazing woman I know and it has to be told to the world :) I very quickly discovered that pole dancing was a serious sport. Being put through a 20 minute warm up which included yoga poses and strength building floorwork and then being gracefully flung into a 40 minute pole dancing session (which often runs delightfully overtime) where I learned the basics of basic moves as well as getting a pole dancing health and safety briefing and a bruise map (example seen on the module photo). The next day I was well aware of having had a workout but I was having too much fun while I was doing it to realise!
For the health and safety of students, J&S forbids the wearing of any body lotions prior to a dancing lesson for very obvious reasons - slippery residue on a pole can cause serious injuries. Beginner students may wear comfortable workout clothes which they must gradually modify as they advance - it is an unavoidable necessity as skin equals grip! The school takes into consideration environmental factors which may have negative impacts on a student's performance so on standby there is always a first aid kit with grip aids, electrolyte sachets and painkillers to name a few!
I am now a regular level 5 advanced student and assistant instructor to the lovely miss Sita, doing classes twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays (the only days available due to the small scale of our school in our tiny little town!) at a local bar which has a pole and kindly allows us to have private lessons since we do not yet have the funds for our own premises - however it will not be long until we will have our very own studio with at least eight poles compared to the one we share between about 4 to 8 students in a class depending on circumstances!
Juliette & Sita's School of Pole Dancing
Some background on my beloved pole dancing school
The website was started this year and Sita does her best to keep it actively updated.
On the site you can find the school's mission statement, student achievements, a gallery of our favourite pole dancers (continue reading the module bellow!) and a whole bunch of helpful articles including a forum, current news and session availabilities.
We are really starting to make a name for ourselves and have been featured in the local newspaper a handful of times now - the latest being for a charity event, the trademarked Pole Unity event. All proceeds were donated to the rape unit and it was a beautiful showcase of student's talents - also what pole dancing is and what pole dancing does NOT look like.
Don't miss out on the fun and fitness :)
Easy ordering on Amazon. I have personally tried and recommend Mighty Grip powder for troublesome days, worth a search!