There has been much discussion about the mental side of pole dancing here on The Pole Dancing Shop's blog. Check out "Overcoming Your Pole Dancing Fears", "Pole Dancing Mamas" or "Powerful Bodies, Even More Powerful Minds".
We don't want to knock other forms of working out, but lifting weights or running on a treadmill just can't compare to pole dancing. We don't merely mean the fact that pole dancing is a total body workout. There is so much that can hold us back: Our fear of falling during a spin or invert; our worries about how others might perceive our potentially sexy workout; our concerns about how our pastime might affect our children. Pole dancing is a very mental sport!
However, sometimes you need to let everything go. Get out of your own head and dance. Some of my best dances come when I am alone in the studio with no one to watch or critique (because in my brain, everyone is a critic, even if they never say a word). I think many dancers would benefit from turning the lights down, the music up and letting their bodies move. No judgment from yourself or anyone else. Just dance. In your mind, you might be as sexy as Alethea Austin or as strong as Jenyne Butterfly. They say, love like you've never been hurt and dance like no one is watching. Yes!! Dance just like that. One of my biggest pet peeves when I see videos of my own performances is my habit of pulling my shirt down during transitions. It's a big clue about my insecurities. So what if a little bit of my skin is showing? It is during these solo dance practices that I work on keeping my hands from constantly tugging at my shirt.
Many of us have no dance background. So maybe in addition to pole classes, you may want to consider salsa or bellydance classes. You could incorporate any kind of dance into your pole routine. I recently tried Afro-Haitian dance classes, which had live drummers. It was an amazing experience and now I am planning an Afro-Haitian drum and pole routine for a performance in October.
We all know that we are usually our own worst critics. However, in the pole community, we battle enough criticism from outside sources. Don't let the fears in your own mind slow you down. Quiet your mind and let yourself enjoy the dance!