The Reasons People Give For Not Trying Pole And My Responses To Them
As a pole dance instructor lots of people say to me "I'd love to try that but..." and then come out with a reason for not doing it that I see of more as a poor excuse!
I've been teaching pole for many years now (since September 2007) and have heard almost all the reasons imaginable as to why people won't try pole. Some of them are valid reasons but a lot are just excuses and there are several that are very common. Below, I'll set out some of the most common excuses people give for not trying pole and explain why it's not a valid reason! But first here are some thoughts for you -
Some people find the idea of coming to a pole class a bit scary, that's normal although I think it shouldn't be! Everyone is attending for the same reason, to learn a new skill and try out a new activity. Pole studios are normally very welcoming places with a friendly, encouraging atmosphere. I believe that from time to time we should move outside our comfort zones. It's how we grow as people. Some of the best things I've done in my life have been the scariest but I'm so glad I did them. What have you got to loose? If you try it and decide you don't like it then at least you know and you don't have to do it again. On the other hand you may love it! And if you don't really want to try it then just be honest and say it doesn't take your fancy! There are plenty of other activities out there for you to try, there's bound to be one that you fall in love with if you give things a go.
So, on to the excuses and my responses.
Number 1 - "I'm too fat / thin / tall / short etc"
Everyone has some kind of body worry. It's normal. Generally, what you see as being a giant flaw with your body won't even be noticed by other people. We see photo shopped perfection all the time in the media and it just puts into people's heads an unattainable vision of perfection. Your body can do amazing things and it bears the marks of your life.
Your body shape will not stop you from being able to pole dance. Most people find that pole helps them to feel more confident about their body. In the summer one of my regulars pole students said to me that she had never had the confidence to wear shorts out and about before but that pole has given her that confidence and she now happily wears shorts in public.
Some people say to me that they will start after they've lost weight. Don't wait! As part of a healthy diet and exercise plan pole can help you to lose that weight and feel better about yourself.
There is no ideal body shape for pole. We are all different and all have different strengths and weaknesses but these are generally not related to body shape. There are some moves that perhaps a certain body shape might find a bit more difficult but that evens out as then you'll normally find you can do something else more easily than someone of a different body shape. There are so many different moves and styles of pole to explore that you don't have to be good at all of it (although if you work hard you still can be).
For inspiration check out Emma Haslam on YouTube.
Number 2 - "I'm too old"
Most of the people that say this to me are under 50 as well which is most certainly not too old! If you're still able to move about normally then you aren't too old. The oldest lady I've taught pole to was in her 70's. Yes, she had to go a bit slower than someone younger but she still did it and enjoyed it and that's what's most important. For inspiration search for Greta Pontarelli on YouTube. She's a pole champion and is in her 60's.
Number 3 - "I don't have any co-ordination / strength / flexibility"
It doesn't matter! Most people that start pole are lacking in all or most of these areas. It's normal. All of these things can be learnt, it just takes practice. A good instructor will start with the basics and gradually build up in difficulty as you get better and stronger. Here at In The Shadows we expect most people to take at least twelve weeks or more of consistent classes to work through our basic beginners syllabus. Each class you will look at a selection of pole moves and all of our classes also include a conditioning element as well which is really important to help build upon the foundations.
Some people that start might already have some strength or flexibility from taking part in other activities and yes, it will help, but they still need to learn all of the moves and it still takes time. Be patient, enjoy the journey and remember that everyone is different.
Number 4 - "No-one will come with me"
Come on your own! It may seem a bit scary but you'll normally find that pole studios are friendly, welcoming places. Most people that come to my classes start on their own and they soon find that they have made new friends and are made to feel part of our pole family.
So there you go. Those are the top four excuses for not trying a pole class. If you are thinking of starting pole but do have any concerns I strongly recommend contacting your local pole studio and discussing it with the instructor. A good studio will be happy to answer any questions that you have and should be able to put any worries that you have to rest. Go on, give it a try!