Even before I moved to Australia to start being a student again I had it in my head that I wanted to give pole dancing a try. I thought it was going to be just another sport, like moving from artistic gymnastics to swimming, or from swimming to running, as I had already done. Then I went to Sydney Pole, my home away from home in Sydney… Because I sometimes feel I kinda live there.
Sydney Pole is probably the only place I’ve ever been to where it’s totally ok to be butt-naked and have NSFW conversations in a totally relaxed environment, without anyone looking down upon anyone else. It’s more like a weird dysfunctional family than a fitness studio, where everyone encourages everyone else to come out of their shell more than just dance.
For everyone who doesn’t know me (I sometimes think that only my mum reads my articles), although I can be very self-confident in my everyday life, I can get quite derpy when I have to dance and act feminine. Call it the residue of spending my teenage years dressing in men’s metal band t-shirts and swimming instead doing, dunno, ballet.
Sydney Pole is giving me the chance to get better in what I was lacking in and to hype up the quirkier sides of my personality. I have always loved a challenge, and pole is more challenging than any sport I’ve ever done. You get better at it, but you need to practice a lot and expect sore arms and big bruises the day after. It incorporates the best crazy acrobatics of artistic gymnastics with fun dance moves.
I was bored of the same old workouts, so working towards improving my strength and trying not to look like I’m gripping the pole for dear life is really rewarding. Doing pole I feel I can be myself while working towards a common goal, as I move with everyone in the class from level to level.
I have never been very girly and I have always somehow struggled to have loads of girlfriends. At Sydney Pole this has changed: the studio has such a friendly vibe that everyone, boy or girl, tall or short, skinny or curvy feels welcome, part of a team and ready to rock on the pole.
After taking up twerk, pole dancing, chair and lap dance and burlesque I can confidently say I can now move and use muscles I didn’t even know I had. I have learned how to dance and spin on the pole in 6 inch heels without killing myself. I have moved from looking like a slightly wooden white girl to a person who can somewhat twerk in a club (there’s proof – some dudes filmed me). But more than anything, I’m having the time of my life and I feel like I have a space I can go to whenever I feel like a need a confidence boost, some fun or a good sweat. Try it: it’s addictive.
Pictures & Words: Carolina Are