Pole is for every BODY
by Kia Roberts, Esq.
Pole is for everybody!! But that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating or less challenging for bigger bodies. I have been on my pole dancing journey for 1.5 years now. It has been very frustrating and challenging for me on most days, especially recently. I am consistent in my training, but most of the time, it feels like I make little to no progress compared to everyone else. It can be frustrating to always need modifications because of my body’s physique and where my strength lies. Accepting that I need more strength because I have more meat on my body and that it will take me longer to execute a trick, or that I may never achieve certain tricks because of my body, is hard to swallow on most days. It feels lonely because I am the only person in class who looks like me, which makes me feel like a lone wolf, even though I have the support and encouragement of my classmates and instructors.
However, I love pole dancing. I am proud of myself. I am the healthiest, strongest, and most flexible I have ever been in my life (your girl can do front splits and a forearm handstand!). I feel the most free, happy, and confident in my body than I have ever felt before. And there are advantages to having a curvy body. My pole sit doesn’t hurt, and my supporting arm for a Jasmine spin is strong. Additionally, while learning pole tricks, I focused on my flexibility, which has given me a newfound love and appreciation for my body. I also focused on my flow and explored other aerial disciplines like hammocks to condition my body and experience inversions.
I am proud that I can do so many things on and around the pole with my body. I have the opportunity to do something that most people don’t. I achieve things I never imagined I could do. I can climb a pole even when I am terrified of heights. I can do a Jasmine spin and a Remi sit. Or simply dance around a pole in 8-inch heels on my toebox with coordination and balance! These are all achievements.
So, even though it can be frustrating, more challenging, and sometimes lonely, I choose to celebrate the small victories. I remind myself that I am getting stronger every day. I acknowledge that I am becoming more confident and learning to love myself and my body in a new way. I remember that there are other aspects of pole dancing I can focus on and excel in, such as flexibility, aerial silks, hammocks, lyra, chair dance, low flow, and more. I reassure myself that I will be able to achieve certain tricks, even if it takes longer, and modifications are a beautiful thing. I embrace the fact that my body allows me to accomplish certain tricks with ease. And most importantly, I remember that I love my journey and I love pole dancing!