Updated: Jan 2, 2021
Pole dance (aka pole fitness) has a number of benefits, including decreased stress, increased strength and flexibility, and community. One of the greatest benefits is increased confidence. In this article, we’ll talk about my challenges with confidence and how beginning pole dance classes helped me. Pole dance has had similar effects on others’ lives and can help you gain confidence too!
Throughout my undergraduate years, I was a pretty confident person. I was working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, volunteering in cardiac rehab and at a community centre, teaching fitness at the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging and through the City of London. I graduated with Honours and was accepted into a Masters program to study cardiac rehab with a scholarship. Things were good.
I moved to a new city, lost the networks I’d developed in London, became a novice at everything, worked with people who didn’t understand my introverted working style, and I just struggled to fit in. My confidence plummeted and I began to hide. Despite a ton of hard work, little of it was recognized. My scholarship was not renewed for the second year of my Masters, so I had to work extra hours at my job, which made me even more invisible. I felt awkward around people. I even felt uncomfortable at the gym and searched for a new workout.
My sister had been to a fitness conference and learned about pole fitness. I watched the DVDs she had purchased and was awed by the graceful, sensual strength. I found a pole studio near me and decided to try some classes. I was super nervous leading up to my first class. I was a nerd. Who was I to take a sexy dance class?
After my first pole class, my worries were gone! The classes were designed so all the spins and tricks were attainable with some work. The sense of achievement was so invigorating – especially since I was struggling so much in the rest of life. These gradual accomplishments helped me gradually build confidence.
As I built more confidence in the studio, I opened myself up again. I hid less and my work began to be noticed again by my supervisors. I defended my thesis with ease, received an extremely supportive reference letter from my supervisor (who had a year earlier stopped my funding) and was accepted into my first (and only) choice PhD program. I started a new chapter of my life with growing confidence.
There will always be moments in our lives that challenge our confidence. Whether you’re a new mom, changed relationship status, starting a new job, moving to a new city, etc. My confidence has been challenged many times over the years and I’ve been grateful to have pole dance and my community to help me pull myself out of a rut and build myself back up.
How you can build your confidence with pole dance and sensual movement?
At Volair, our classes are based on our signature confidence framework, which guides through a cycle of awareness, intention, practice, progression, and reflection. If you’d like to learn more about our framework, have a look at our blog post all about it.
Want to continue the discussion? Comment below, or sign up to get weekly fitness inspiration and tips right to your inbox.