Reflecting on 2012
I’ll be travelling to North Carolina, Texas, and Canada in January for workshops! If you’d like to sign up, please check out this link for all information.
Also, tickets for the Flight Club Pole Showcase in NYC are now on sale for our next show in February! If you’d like to support us, please buy a ticket and come to cheer on our performers. There will be an afterparty at the bar next door as well.
At the end of each year, I spend some time going through my calendar to see where the last 12 months went.
This year was a blur of transitions for me. I ended a long-term relationship, ended a long-term job, moved apartments, got a new job, started grad school, stopped teaching regular pole classes, flew over 25,000 miles teaching touring workshops, fell out of love with pole, and fell back in love with it. This blog became more popular than I had ever, ever thought it would and brought me amazing opportunities and more importantly, led me to meet amazing, inspiring women and studio owners all around the country that help me to keep my passion and sense of true community alive.
If I am being completely honest—and I always have been, so why stop now, right?—2012, from a pole perspective, forced me to really internalize a few things.
While I have a voice in the international network of pole dancers, that voice can be a heavy responsibility. You can categorize things, events, people, whatever, as good or bad, but as long as you learn from them, and bring yourself one step closer to acting with compassion and honesty in all that you do, they leave you better off than you were. People are all fallible, they have bad judgment, they make mistakes. We don’t all have to agree. We don’t all have to be friends and sing kumbaya. We don’t even all have to like one another, and if you have your eyes open and watch carefully, you will see things that bother you, upset you, or that you morally or ethically disagree with. Learning how to accept and deal with them and not let them drag you down—that is a skill in and of itself.
The difficulty of finding a little niche that you can sit in happily may be a tough job. You may be the only booty popper in a room full of balletic. You may be the only one who likes to do athletic in a room full of emo. You may be the only one who wants to wear heels in a room full of modern dance. The responsibility of a teacher, studio, or dancer is to honor what makes them unique, what they do best, and what is in their heart—and the values and identity of those three entities may never align. You may not fit in at your studio, you may not fit in at your class, but being different—while difficult—means that you should never compromise who you are, because what you have is special and unique. By honoring our differences, we elevate and expand what is possible. You can pole dance to become exactly like someone else, but then you will never be happy. You can never dance like anyone else as well as you can dance like yourself.
Relatedly—I am responsible to myself to make sure that I take whatever steps I need to in order to keep my relationship with pole healthy and happy. It was a tough year to be a non-trained dancer who isn’t all that bendy, dabbling in pole “recreationally” and not feel a little down in the dumps sometimes about myself!! I need to remind myself to keep a positive mental attitude, to avoid comparison with others, to invest time and energy in exploring types of movement and strengthening and training that will keep pole fresh and fun and new for me, 6 years after my first fireman spin. I need to push myself out of my comfort zone to work on my weaknesses, and also learn how to expand on my strengths and individuality. It’s not the responsibility of any one studio, or any one instructor—it is my job, as a student, to be an open-minded and excited learner. And as a teacher, being a good learner—one who is passionate about pole—becomes even more important.
What is the biggest takeaway you have learned from this past year? Was there a life or pole revelation that you had? Was there a pole goal you accomplished, or want to set for next year? Did you have a favorite blog entry? Please share in the comments!