I arrived for my first level 7 class 10 minutes early to a room full of laughing ladies. I know if I had gone downstairs to level 1 the vibe would have been completely different. Not because of different personalities but because as you progress through the levels your relationship with your classmates move from awkward across the room stares to knowing each others’ menstrual cycles. You cheer each other on when you get your first inverted crucifix and reassure them that no, they won’t land on their face. And then offer them a helping hand if they do (oops). Pole dancing requires confidence, and you will not land a move if you tell yourself you can’t do it. You really won’t. The class can sometimes sound like an Obama rally, “Yes you can! Yes you can!”
Plus by the end you’re basically hanging out in your underwear. You’re already baring all to these girls, opening up just makes sense.
Except today I’m the new girl. Again. That’s one downfall of skipping levels, I also end up skipping out on friendships.
The first class is usually the same. After I nail a move for the first time I hear, “It’s not faaaaaair! You’re just tiny, that’s why you can get everything so easily!”
Which to be fair, is true. The smaller you are the less weight you have to lift. The taller you are the more gravity works against you. I’m 5ft on a good day and 90lbs soaking wet. So yes, pole dancing, like gymnastics, comes easily to me. I can’t help it! At first I tried to hide in the background, I hated seeing how frustrated these girls would get struggling with a move that I would always get on my first try. I went as far as doing the moves on my weak side to show I’m not perfect. I just felt really guilty. I started focusing on helping the girls by giving tips but then I was worried I was coming off as patronizing, or rubbing it in that I was better. It was all getting to my head when one day a girl asked me how I got so strong and muscly.
“I’m really not, it’s just an illusion! It just looks like I have a lot of muscles, you have them too. It just shows up more on me because I was small to begin with. I’m not that great.”
“No, stop it!!” my teacher shouted. “You are one strong cookie and you are awesome so just fucking OWN IT!”
The other girls nodded in unison.
“Yeah, at first I really wanted to hate you, but I can’t! I actually like you and you motivate me to work harder. Will you be my teacher?”
After that I let go of my hangups. I learned to just say thanks and not diminish my abilities for the sake of others’ feelings. I still feel bad sometimes, but if a girl is going to get jealous there’s nothing I can do about it. I just gotta work hard and do my thing and help others when asked. And cheer everyone on. I also make sure to point out things that they kick my ass in, mainly flexibility. I am not flexible in the slightest and I have been severely slacking on stretching. So watching me attempt the splits with over a foot of clearance usually puts a smile on their face.
So anyways, I got to meet a new group of girls today and they all seem like a lot of fun.
And we learned…..the Brass Monkey! I love leg moves more than anything and I think this will be a new favourite.
Here is the Brass Monkey coming out of a Straight Edge. Keep in mind I did this 5 minutes after coming home on a cold pole which is why I’m sliding. Plus my outside leg looks bizarre. In class my teacher kept pushing on it, “Why.Won’t.You.Go.Down!”
Oh, does it require flexibility to do that? Not going to happen. At least not today.