I’ve been pole dancing for 2 and a half years and from the moment I started, I’ve been overcoming fears. When I first started it was the fear of the unknown. I wasn’t sure what to expect of pole dancing but I had visions of girls gyrating around a pole. That wasn’t the case at all. What I realised very quickly was that shorts and a vest top were the norm and it wasn’t quite as dramatic as I had imagined.
The next fear was a fear of the pole itself. The first time I spun around, I came away feeling very self conscious. Do you remember that feeling? When you have no idea what you’re doing...it’s scary isn’t it?! After a few classes I stopped feeling like a complete fool and started to get a hang of the basic spins.
Soon it becomes second nature and then the next hurdle to overcome is the invert. I was petrified of falling off the pole and had images of me finding my way to hospital with a broken limb or two! The girls in my class made it look effortless but that wasn’t the case when it came for me to try. It’s a scary thing to throw yourself upside down when you’ve not done it before and it certainly doesn’t feel natural. After a few attempts I managed to invert. I kept practising, got stronger, and after a couple of weeks I was pulling myself up into the basic invert on my own and not screaming like a mad woman in the process!
My first fall on the pole gave me my biggest fear. I fell from a straight leg Fallen Angel when trying to drop into a Brass Monkey. I landed on my elbows as I hit the floor but other than a sore back for a day or two, I was lucky not to do myself a serious injury. Since then, I’ve had a huge fear of anything which requires a straight leg Fallen Angel. I recently decided that I want to overcome this fear after avoiding the move for a long time.
With some help and support I attempted the Fallen Angel. The first few attempts were very cautious and I was losing grip in my legs. I didn’t give up, and eventually I started to get a little more confident. I got to a point where I knew I had to trust myself and believe that I could do it and as soon as my mentality changed, I was able to do the move confidently, without falling. I’ve kept practising and now feel much happier with it and I’m not afraid to do it anymore.
What has been your biggest pole fear? How did you overcome it? With hard work and determination you can achieve anything you put your mind to and you can overcome your fears, no matter how big or small they are.
by Sarah Stallard / @MrsStallard