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Doubles pole dancers with one covering the others' eyes.

You can say “no”

Psssst… you don’t have to do everything your instructor tells you to do.

You can say “no.”

Only you know what your body is *actually* feeling.

If you feel unsafe, not ready, or if a movement is just not working for you on a particular day, you absolutely can say “no.”

You can also ask for another option. You can try another teacher. You can take a break. You can leave the studio or turn off the virtual class. You can try again another day. There is a HUGE range of acceptable answers that don’t mean that you “have to” do something that you’re really not ready for.

If something doesn’t feel right, speak up! …Which can be hard in a group setting. So, at the very least, pause and pay attention to how YOU are feeling. Maybe you just need a moment to collect yourself. Maybe you need some water. Maybe you’re just too slippery today. There are a million reasons to take a pause and give yourself some grace and compassion for where you are that day.

I see a lot of students with good intentions push themselves too far too fast. They think their teacher “knows best.” Or they don’t want to “fall behind.”

I see other students who desperately want to learn a new move and they prepare appropriately in class, they have the access to the appropriate range of motion and/or strength required for the movement, they have a spotter, they have a crash mat, and STILL decide that they are not ready to attempt a particular movement.

And that is ok!

It doesn’t mean you’re a “bad” pole dancer or a “bad” student who isn’t willing to “put in the work,” “push past,” or whatever other fitness platitude you may have heard in the past.

You are an adult, and you can decide how your movement journey goes. Maybe you need a coach that will “push” you to make you “better.” Maybe you need someone who gives you permission to be soft.

A “good” teacher will respect your wishes in the moment. They may provide suggestions to improve sensation, options to do something slightly different, or encourage you to put this movement aside for now or forever — whatever is best for you!

Different stuff works for different folks and remember, participating in movement is always YOUR choice.


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