I’m happy to tell the world I’m a pole dancer, it’s something I’m proud of. But that wasn’t always the case. The fear of being judged lurked behind my shoulder as I know many people have a taboo idea of what it is because they don’t really take the time to understand it.
I am a professional in Human Resources, what will my colleagues think if they find out? I’m a wife, what will my in-laws think? And my own family? Will they understand? I’m a Mommy, what will other Mothers think, what will my kids say about it?
I’ve heard stories of kids from Pole Dancer Moms being bullied and teased because “your mom is a stripper.” Which we all know is far from the truth. But kids are kids, and adults are adults, and we don’t know what we don’t know.
It took me awhile before I “came out” as a pole dancer - all due to the fact of being judged.
So we’re pole dancers, how do we get over this stigma people think? We work hard at our tricks, endless hours perfecting our technique, working on our flow to become flawless. We spend hours on conditioning and doing flexibility classes so we can get that nemesis trick that just has us stuck. We’re dedicated, we persevere and we work hard to perfect our craft.
So yes, we’re pole dancers. We live in a world where Pole Fitness still isn’t respected by many as a sport.
When someone judges you, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of getting hurt and angry. Which you have every right to those feelings, feelings are just feelings, they are not right or wrong. However, I would like to encourage that you take those feelings and use them for something good. It’s okay to get all worked up and angry over the fact that someone might reference “stripping” when it comes to what we do. But take those emotions and use that energy to make this an opportunity to educate. Explain what you do, why you do it, and what does it do for you?
We cannot change the understanding of what it is, unless people know. And to your surprise, once you talk about it, explain it and show some videos, people typically are accepting of it. Because you educate on what it is you’re doing, and WHY you are doing it.
Some may not understand, but that’s okay, be confident in what you do, because there’s no shame in it.
I’m not saying you need to announce to the world you’re a pole dancer and post your progress all over social media, that’s not for everyone. Maybe you keep this pole journey to yourself and that’s okay. But I want to arm you with the tools incase there is an opportunity to educate. Let’s turn misconception into something positive rather than feeling insecure about something we love.
We may be judged, but let’s not judge back, let’s educate. Who knows, maybe that one person ends up being your next pole buddy in class because they see what joy it’s brought you. I’ll leave you with two quotes that go hand in hand for you to ponder on for this week:
“Live your life for you, not for anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from being yourself.” - Sonya Parker
“I will never apologize for being me. You should apologize for asking me to be anybody else”