First Time at the Pole
One of my favorite things to do as a child was to climb. I specifically loved climbing those poles on playground sets and ropes courses. Even as an adult, when I see a pole I try to climb it. This is why I wasn’t too nervous when my friend informed me we would be taking a pole dancing class for her bachelorette party. Secretly, I thought since I already had this skill set, I’d probably be really good. Oh, was I wrong! As the hours crept closer to class, I started to get apprehensive. I don’t know if it was the stigmatization of “pole dancing” or the fear that I’d fall in love with it. Either way, I was growing REALLY nervous.
When we arrived at Modern Day Fitness, the door to the studio was locked. I tried to peer through the window but the blinds were relentless. I couldn’t even catch a glimpse. Eventually the instructor arrived and unlocked the door. Dim lights outfitted the room with mystery but also catered to those who didn’t want to be in the spotlight. Six poles stood strong from ceiling to floor between a wall of mirrors and industrial steel.
We gathered in a circle, and the instructor explained the class: she would count us off by twos, teach us a dance, individuals in each group would compete, and each winner would dance off for an overall pole dancing champion. She counted me off as a “lucky” group number one member, and this was a rare time I did not like being number one. My group had to take the inaugural dance.
The first time I stood in front of the pole, I felt strange. I caught my reflection in the wall of mirrors and quickly looked away only to see my deformed reflection in the pole, I listened intently as the first sequence was taught. Now it was my turn. Katie P and Rhianna gave me confidence as I strutted around the pole and moved my hips from side to side. A slow rumble of awkward giggles filled the room. It was comforting.
When it was time to learn how to spin around the pole, I grew nervous. I held on tightly. In fact, my hands are still sore, and it’s three days later. I even crossed my ankles and feet around the pole so solidly my foot is bruised. I just couldn’t quite master fully letting go and allowing my body to slide around that silver axis.
After we “learned” the entire sequence, including spins, snakes, and back bends, it was time to perform. The other team was handed fake dollar bills and told to shower us with them when we shimmied exceptionally well. Apparently I can snake, because when I executed this move, I got a dollar bill tucked in my pants by one of my best friends. I’m pretty sure I laughed through the entire routine. The second team’s dance off commenced, and I tossed dollar bills in every direction.
I’m sad to report that I did not win my group’s dance off. I did, however, win the worst bruise award and definitely underestimated the skills it takes to pole dance. It did not come naturally. All-in-all, the class was a blast because I tried something new, actually remembered the sequence I was taught and laughed loudly with my friends. Further, it was a legitimate workout. My triceps have never felt so soar.
At the end of the class, we were able to practice on the poles. Our teacher asked if anyone wanted to scale the pole, and of course, I jumped at the opportunity. I used those childhood skills to climb to the very top. I peered down to see my friends looking up at me, which is a rare occurrence. Maybe this is why I’ve always been obsessed with climbing to the top.