After teaching so much pole dance over the last couple of weeks I have really been able to see what a difference it makes to the people who attend class. Oftentimes people come to class after a hard day or a long week at work and are usually feeling quite tired and unmotivated. However, this soon changes and they end up leaving with a gleaming smile that fills the room. As a teacher I find it amazing to see such a large shift in small space of time. It amazes me and fills me with joy every time I see a beginner climb to the top of the pole or if someone nails a new move that they have been working on. Whilst a happy smiley face is an advantage in itself, pole dancing can offer other benefits including variety of training, psychological and physical wellbeing and boosted self-confidence.
You Can’t Get Bored
One of the number on complaints about sticking to an exercise program is that it gets boring. However, if you’re in the right class for you, you can’t get bored. There is always something new to learn, something to perfect, a trick that could be made to look stronger or higher up on the pole. I will be honest, during my first session, I was thinking to myself “I can’t do this” mainly because I was trying moves that were above my beginner level. However, once I learned some basics and got over the initial “pole hurts” mindset I was hooked. Once I had mastered one move it would lead me to another, then another, and before I knew it bought my own pole and started practicing at home in between classes at the studio. There are studios everywhere around the world who host an array of different classes from flow pole choreography, heels workouts, and beginners, intermediate and advanced level classes so you are bound to stay entertained.
Like many other forms of dance and exercise, pole dance has a powerful psychological effect. The fun factor really creates an atmosphere that produces a certain level of comfort that enables participants to be themselves whilst working on something new. The sense of achievement from learning a new move is sure to keep you buzzing for a few hours after class. In fact, without actually knowing it, each time you attend a pole class you are exercising something called achievement motivation. Achievement motivation happens when one constantly push themselves to attain success in any activity for greater success. Despite successes or failures, simply trying makes you stronger. Not just strong on the pole, in all aspects of your life.
It goes without saying that pole dance is hard, physical activity, however, this is not necessarily a bad thing. In order to create change and to improve, the body to be challenged and pole dance can definitely do that for you. A typical pole dance class will burn around 400 calories per hour which is similar to that of an aerobics class. Furthermore, because your muscles are activated on a more regular basis your posture, flexibility, strength and cardiovascular stamina will all improve. Of course, for us diabetics it has the benefit of increased insulin sensitivity and easier to manage blood glucose levels.
I remember my first class I was wearing a pair of longer shorts and a t shirt because I was a bit shy. However, after some time I am now confident enough with my own body to be able to spin around in bright lights, in front of other people, wearing hot pants and a sports bra. I see it in other people too. Most beginner’s classes are full of t shirts and long shorts, but as the level goes up the clothes become less. Yes, you need skin to grip the pole as the moves get harder, but I think it also has something to do with how confident we feel as time goes on.
Whilst on the subject of confidence I will always say that pole dance is extremely empowering. Pole dance gets a lot of slack for being overly sexualized, but like I said before I don’t think it’s a bad thing if people want to explore their sexuality through movement with the inclusion of a pole. It’s an exciting experience to get to know your own body so if sexy, stripper pole dance is something you want to do then you should go for it. If not, I assure you that you will still feel empowered if you go to a general pole class.
With a combination of all of the above, who wouldn’t want to pole dance? If you are reading this post and have never given it a go I urge you to try. Don’t say “I’ll go to the gym and build up some strength first” because you have to remember, the pole is your gym so just go and you will build up your strength in class. Pole dance gives you the opportunity to progress at an incredible rate if you commit to it like you would a program at the gym or with a personal trainer. Do it and feel the benefits today. Not just for diabetes control, but for YOU.