A Telling of My First Pole Class

*This is an archived post from my last blog Smile, Sugar. I have lightly edited it, but it is mostly unchanged from it's original writing and posting in early summer, 2016.*

When the lights dimmed and the beat of Make it Rain by Ed Sheeran sauntered through the air, I fell in love with the poles around me. I hadn’t touched them, spun on them, climbed them, but I knew I was in love. It was an aching, a yearning I had never felt. My skin tingled so much I swear I was glowing in the dim light. I followed the breathing exercise my new instructor was guiding, but she didn’t understand she couldn’t calm the exhilaration the beat was seeping into my veins.

I don’t remember the moment my best friend asked me if I wanted to go to a pole dancing class. I don’t remember if it was a phone call or a text or how she pitched the subject. I don’t remember ever saying to her hey, I want to take a pole dancing class. That sure is something I want to do. I just remember thinking Arrie, what the actual f-

Yet there I was, in a black-walled pole studio tucked away in the back of a lingerie boutique. I didn’t have my best friend by my side. I was alone, out of my element, afraid, and in love.

I had never done anything like this. I danced when I was a kid, and I had done theater for years. Performing wasn’t new to me, but being sexy… that was. My body was a prison that had reshaped into a pretty little figure. I liked being in my new body, but moving in it, dancing in it, being sexy in it were things I didn’t know how to do.                                                                   

We moved to the poles seemingly forever after the rhythm of Make it Rain stopped vibrating through the air. A little part of me was hoping I would be some natural with the pole. I had been having fantasies where I would spin effortlessly and be some sort of Aphrodite that people could only ever lust for.            

I was not – at all. My first pole trick was the Firefly, and I was bombing it. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my ankles around the pole right. And I had no momentum. And I was thinking too much. And I was gripping the pole too tight. And I kept watching the other girls nail it. And I watched my instructor start to teach them a new trick. And I watched the other girls nail that one. And I was still gripping the pole too tight. And I still couldn’t get my ankles around it.

And my instructor asked me to do the Firefly for them to see how I was doing.

My next attempt at the trick was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. The top of my foot was turning black from beating against the pole and my spirit was already shattered. I had failed.
I was no natural and certainly no Aphrodite anyone would lust for. As they carried on practicing, I couldn’t hold back the hot tears that began pouring down my face. I slipped into the bathroom and tried not to heave with humiliated sobs.

It wasn’t long before the instructor came after me. She smiled and told me how great I was doing and how she was proud of me for being there. She told me I was brave for going by myself and how I could get the trick with practice. She gave me all the warmth in the world and the courage to step back into the studio.

I wish I could say I got back out there and nailed the trick, but I didn’t. I still couldn't get it. I went home afterward defeated and black-footed. It would have been easy to say it clearly wasn’t for me and never go back, but I had to. I wanted to do the Firefly, feel songs like Make it Rain move through my body, become what I imagined I could be. I couldn’t do that if I gave up. I’d already fallen in love.

*Context: As previously stated, this post was originally shared in early summer, 2016, and it was written about a class I had done back in May, 2015. This post was my sort of coming out on my blog as a dancer. I felt it would be appropriate to share again here since I've had yet to discuss my dancing. The voice is clearly very different from the one I have in my other posts here on TCFL, but I thought it was best to keep it true to the voice Smile, Sugar. than completely altering it.*

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