The Four Things Your Pole-Dancing Teacher Wants You to Know

She’s there early, week-on-week. She’s fiery, resilient, even fearsome.

The class is empowering, friendly, and hang it all, you bloody love it.

But what’s in it for her? What motivates a pole instructor to encourage men and women through dangerous transitions on 45 millimetres of pressure-fit chrome? (Hint: it’s not her meagre teaching fee.)

One pole instructor sheds light on the demographic of pole class and the barriers she wishes you’d just let go of, already.

1. Leave it at the door. Whatever it is, let your pole class be a break from it. Your instructor sees it in almost every student; a problem that has nothing to do with the physical relationship between the individual and the pole.Let your class take you away from it. It’s only an hour.

Or, use it. You’ve endured a crippling divorce and want to feel sexy again? Use it. You can’t engage a specific stomach muscle since your C-Section? Use it. You absolutely want to quit your job, change your name to Helga and reinvent yourself as a Scandinavian lap-dancer? Use it. Your Tinder fling fell off the fucking planet? Use it.

Just don’t let it hold you back. You’re beautiful. She sees that, too. She wants you to wipe the floor with this thing. Don’t let whatever’s going on in your head talk you out of it.

2. The rules are there for a reason. Your instructor gets no salacious or perverted joy from enforcing them. The tiny shorts she asks that you wear are not for ‘showing off’ or ‘shaming my thighs!’ (True story: see point 1 under ‘You’re beautiful’) They are purely for grip. Fabric will not grip the pole. Only skin grips chrome, so the more skin you can apply to your work, the better your chances at nailing that move you saw on Insta.

Forbidding the wearing of body lotion? Similar story. It’s not because she overtly desires or detests your musk. Creams, oils, butters: they make your skin slippery. Slipping from the pole is not only frustrating for you, it’s irritating for others sharing the pole you just greased.

And yes, if you lied about that spray tan/oil massage you had just before class and didn’t have time to shower? She knows it’s you.

3. Try not to be negative. You’re too old? Nah. Your instructor taught a 73-year old man and his 19-year old granddaughter right before this class. He was a retired scaffolder. She was a graphic design student. Age is not the issue here.Your foot is bruised? Why yes, of course it is! Pole dancing is difficult. There will be bruises. (In fact, some instructors like to call them ‘pole kisses’. Others find that term twee and stupid.)

Oh, and some pain is inevitable. There is no pain your instructor will be shocked by. She has been through every burn, every bruise, every twinge, in addition to all the first aid and anatomy classes she’s taken to get here.

You don’t have a strong enough core or upper body? Not yet, maybe. But that’s why you’re here, right? If it was flippin’ cake, everyone would do it.

Share, by all means, but don’t talk yourself out of trying.

4. There is nothing anti-feminist, narcissistic or self-obsessed in looking for beauty through your training. The backlash from extreme photoshopping and airbrushing may have taught you to shun what is hard to attain. Why?It is not ‘asking for the wrong kind of male attention’ to attend a pole dancing class, any more than wearing a miniskirt to a nightclub is asking to be groped.

Furthermore, by training you are not seeking to conform to a male stereotype of sexy (See above, on bruises. If that turns your partner on, maybe think about that.) You are simply seeking whatever it is you wanted to get from the class when you signed up.

Your pole instructor is not trying to teach you to be some sort of wildly gyrating harlot. (I mean, if you asked, she’ll probably throw some choreography together, but you know…) She’s just trying to ensure that you leave her class a little bit better, stronger and, ultimately, happier with something than when you arrived.

And that may have absolutely nothing to do with the pole in front of you, and everything to do with the stuff between your ears.

But the pole can be a start.

— Becky Scarrott

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