A Reluctant First-Time Pole Dancer Gives Brass Vixens a Try
I’ll admit I felt uncomfortable about trying pole dancing. I understand the empowerment angle and re-appropriation of misogynist constructs, but pole dancing doesn’t fit my sense of sexual empowerment – no judgment for those whom it does. It’s a bit too hetero-normative. And if I’m really honest, it brings up insecurities about my body – I don’t have a “stripper” or “burlesque” body. Next to these women, I feel like the eternal girl. Suffice to say, I felt out of my comfort zone. But, now in my 40s, I’m more comfortable with insecurities and discomfort zones, and more able to let my curiosity guide me– so, why the hell not?
After scurrying nervously to our poles, Lady Kori of Brass Vixens warmed us up and eased us in with floor exercises –hip sways, core work, stretching. Then it was right for the pole. With encouragement and skillful instruction, Lady Kori guided us through a series of moves. At first, I was unbelievably stiff and awkward – I hated seeing my wooden figure in the mirror. My “dip” was flailing and out of control. I really felt like that eternal girl now, but one in gym class – awkward and unsure, not a sexy woman flaunting her sensuality. My low-to-begin-with enthusiasm dampened even further.
I’m not actually sure when, but at some point, the series of moves honestly started turning into a flow, and I became totally engrossed. I fell out of my self-consciousness and into long moments of concentration as I kept repeating the steps over and over – excited and motivated to master something completely new. Then, all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of myself as I swung by, and realized I was doing it.
Like magic, I could windmill, I could slide my back down the pole, and spin around in the “pin-up” pose. And it was totally fun. I did feel like that eternal girl again, but this time, like one losing herself while spinning on the merry-go-round, feeling free, like she is flying. I closed my eyes every time I spun and just let my body follow the centripetal force that my arms and hips created in relation to the pole. It was awesome.
With the jubilant recognition of my new found skills, my self-awareness returned and I panned out from my own experience and looked around the room. I saw we all could do it – sure, we struggled and it was far from perfect, but it was there. The building block steps had taken shape and with it, sexiness emerged in quick moments. I couldn’t deny, pole dancing is sexy. I resumed my practice eager to get back to it. I watched myself as much as I could. I wanted to catch those glimpses of beauty and see the sensual lines of my body that we all have. And as I watched, I could feel the playful eternal girl with me, and remembered who I am: the sexy and experienced woman, who tries new things, makes her own choices, and lives the life she wants. And I felt the exhilarating bliss of freedom and flying.
About the Writer
Suzanne Paddock is a freelance writer in Toronto, Canada. Her interests draw from cultural and gender studies; from health and well-being to sex and sexuality. Suzanne believes in the value of a life examined and rooted in kindness. To contact Suzanne, please email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Brass Vixen
With three spacious studios in downtown Toronto, Brass Vixens offers fitness classes including pole dancing, burlesque, hula hoop, aerial fitness and more. For more information on Brass Vixens, visit their website, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, and like their Facebook page.