I’m delighted to bring you another inspirational Member Spotlight: this month it’s Jess!
Here’s a harsh truth: pole dancing can be quite difficult sometimes and it is quite demanding, emotionally as well as physically. However, it is not impossible and we firmly believe at IPDA that anyone can learn pole dance, once they are patient with themselves and keep the joy of learning alive!
Our member Jess will tell you in her own words how challenging pole dancing has been for her and how resilience comes into play, but also how rewarding it has been in making her physically fitter and emotionally stronger! Read her story below!
“Hi everyone, I am Jess and I love pole dancing. I am a 36 year old Australian / Canadian / Swiss, and I work as a Technical Recruiter. I have been pole dancing for a year and 4 months and I actually cannot picture my life without it now!
A few years ago when I was living in Australia a friend of mine invited me to see her perform at a pole dance showcase and I was mesmerized. The strength and beauty of the performances were captivating. I thought ‘never in 1 million years could I do that – I can’t even do a pull-up!’. My friend convinced me to try an introductory course (like the ‘Introduction to Pole Dance’ course at IPDA) and it was so fucking hard and I was terrible at it (I hate not being good at something)! Shortly after that intro course, I finally managed to get out of an awful relationship and I moved to England. I didn’t consider pole dancing again until I moved to Dublin a year and a half ago. Conveniently (or was it fate?) I moved into an apartment very close to IPDA so I gave it another go and I was still terrible at it.
Pole dancing is important to me for a few different reasons. I didn’t know anyone when I moved to Dublin and it’s been really nice to join this lovely eclectic community of people outside of work. There were times in the beginning when I first moved here where I felt so homesick and coming to pole and seeing little progressions and celebrating those with the IPDA members really helped. It’s given me strength – I can do a pull up now! It’s given me confidence both in the strength in my body and mentally (I’m better at giving presentations at work for example – I don’t know why but I feel it’s connected). It’s joyful! Dancing, feeling sexy and learning new tricks brings joy!
Coming back to pole dance after the break and discovering how difficult it is and how bad I was at it was really hard. I nearly didn’t continue! there are a lot of reasons why I thought pole dancing was not for me. I wasn’t strong enough, I felt stiff, awkward and self-conscious. Doing a body-roll and simple spins confused me, which made me feel stupid especially when it seemed like it was so natural for the others.
The amazingly patient instructors and incredibly supportive students are the reason why I continued and I am SO glad I did! Once I embraced the fact that it was ok not to be good at a new trick (or body-roll) right away and to enjoy my body and sexuality instead of feeling self conscious about it, I was free!
I’ve always done yoga and dabbled with the gym but I was still very weak when I started pole dancing. Now I feel so much stronger and I really notice it when I’m doing things like carrying groceries or lifting my suitcase into the overhead storage on a plane. I feel more confident in my body and I even like my jiggly bits now.
My pole goals are to continue to build on what I know and to go upside down more and do trick combos. I will be performing at the showcase in November and I am really nervous about it but its great to have that goal to work towards.
My favourite thing about my IPDA experience is the lovely community of students and teachers. It is such a supportive friendly atmosphere which makes classes so enjoyable. Sometimes after a stressful day at work coming to pole and forgetting everything else is just the best feeling. I also like the feeling that I have about taking control and ownership of my female sexuality. My mum tells me that she doesn’t like the objectification of it but I feel like there is power in embracing it.
To anyone thinking about joining, you don’t have to be good at pole dancing to enjoy it! Pole dancing is the second hardest thing that I have done in my life but it just makes every achievement no matter how small a cause for celebration. It is rewarding and empowering to build strength and flexibility.”