Yes, that’s right, I’m taking pole dancing. It was a spontaneous decision when a friend of mine said it was on her bucket list and I blurted out, “I know someone who teaches that right down the street”; we were signed up and in a class within a week.

We went to shake our booties and to laugh our faces off, but I ended up learning more than just “peek-a-boos” and “wall slides”. Here’s a few of my main life lessons…that my pole taught me:

1) Don’t crowd the pole. If you are always up against the pole you are too close to maneuver, you tend to choke the pole and you might as well be a fireman sliding down it as you hold on for dear life. To make the move work best, keep a bit of space. You’re not “one with the pole”, be your own woman.

2) Make it pretty. Thumbs, flexed feet, and open knees make you look clunky and awkward. Be aware of how your body is being perceived, if you had no idea you were doing one of these actions let your teacher point it out, correct it, and move on. Be aware of how others perceive you, a very minor adjustment is all it takes to get your point across of “look at me” vs. “what are you starting at?”

3) Bruises are free. With mastering a trick, there comes some work. The tops of my feet were covered in black bruises the first night until I settled into the feeling of the grip and how strong my arms really were. We all showed up the following week, sore but determined; we tackled the next challenge and the next.

4) Drop it Low, Rise it Slow. Take your time, particularly with the final touches. Why rush the end when it’s your moment. Take the time to relish in the grand conclusion of what you are getting across, especially when all eyes are on you. Sexy comes with slowing down, nothing is missed, everything is deliberate, you can’t mess up rising slowly, you can only look like a pro.

5) Look out, look up. At my latest class my teacher said, “I challenge you to look out when you spin”; turns out I was looking in towards the pole, which, in reality, made me look like I was turning into my armpit…yeah, nice! I did the turn again facing out and the first thing I felt was…well…dizzy. The whole world was rushing past me, not just that safe, cozy, armpit. It was a strange sensation, so much to take in, because there was MORE to take in. Self-reflection is great but open up and look around you, there is more out there, more to look at then just an armpit.

The three poles in the studio all have names. Mine has been ordered.

About the Author

Stephanie Herrera is a comedian, writer, producer, teacher, singer, actor, mother of 4, and shallow philosopher. She runs the Durham Improv & Acting Studio in Oshawa, Canada, is a professor at Durham and Fleming Colleges, and is an award winning performer. / / / (647) 899-3342  Durham Improv Group and Business pages can be found on Facebook and follow @durhamimprov & @antimommy