Looking on YouTube, it’s not hard to get inspired by the smorgasbord of incredible pole athletes that are out there. With so many talented dancers, how does a novice performer stand out? Sometimes, a little bit of confidence and personal reflection is the key to believing in your own abilities and embracing your own style.
This has been the hardest blog entry I have ever had to write. Not because of my lack of passion on the topic but because it’s one that hits so close to home. As performers, we are constantly trying to find ourselves. We want to have the fluidity of Marlo Fisken, the strength of Derick Pierson, the flexibility of Pink Puma, the booty bouncing vivaciousness of Allison Sipes; but still want to stand out in our own way. Sometimes with so many incredible dancers, we can get lost in a sea of inspiration; searching for our own style and “pole-identity.” All too often, we get caught up in this image of someone we want to be like that we forget to love who we are.
It’s only natural to look up to the polers who have come before us. Personally, I am deeply inspired by the characterization work of Jordan Kensley, Carlie Hunter, That Pole Guy, and Danielle Romano. I find each of these performers don’t just perform tricks, but they put on a show. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent drooling on YouTube over their impeccable abilities to portray characters within their pole dance routine. In a way, each of them act as a muse for me as I create my own routines. When I watch them, I envision myself performing epic feats of strength and dexterity as I flawlessly execute my Iron X into a majestic Star Fish…there’s only one small problem…those are no abilities in my repertoire yet.
As it is now, my body can’t do those things. It’s easy to imagine yourself performing these types of moves effortlessly when you see how easily your pole-idols can do them. The hard part is coming to the realization that you might not be at the same level as them yet and that’s ok. This is when you have opportunity to be creative. You want to think about the things you are already good at as well as the things you need to work on. Capitalize on your strengths and work around your weaknesses. There is no shame in using your unique abilities for your benefit. I promise, all of the major pole stars do and that’s what makes them so amazing!
Remember, it’s important to look at who YOU are, both as a person and a performer. You’re an amazing unicorn. Embrace that. Pole dancing for me has been a perpetual cycle of growing and confidence building. No longer are the days that I feel like comparing myself to each and every new person who walks through the doors of the studio. But it’s only because I have been able to find my strengths and own them. The longer I’m in this world, the more I know that I do not need to be anyone else but myself. Believe in yourself. I promise; you are incredible.