Tuesday, 4 February 2014

FF #21: try poledance

Having a little bit of birthday now and again is just brilliant. Today it was great to have a little treat instead of coming home from college to study!

Today's FF was trying poledance. I've been wary of poledance for years because of its roots in the sex industry - I think bellydancers tend to be very cautious of 'sexy' performance activities because we're sensitive of what we do being mistaken as saucy or sexy (when in fact it comes from the Muslim world, not best known for women making the most of their sexy.) But several of my friends rave about their poledance classes, and with the obvious gymnastic and upper-body-strengthening benefits, I have really been looking forward to trying it!

I went to the Crags Sports Centre and Ann Goeswell's Goeswell Dance with my lovely friend Kim, who has also promised me that we will hoop a 5K this year, which is FF#22. It was a one-hour class, cut down to about 45 minutes because someone else needed the room -  but that was fine with me because there really is only so much time you can spend on the pole on your first class without your shoulders going into spasm.

Ann's approach to teaching was "there you go, get on with it" - she didn't break moves down much, or over-think them. In the warm-up, I just watched and repeated, over and over again, until I got a rough idea what I was supposed to do. I think I did pretty well! I could only do it when I was copying Ann in the mirror - left to my own devices I didn't have a clue!

Feet firmly on the floor, feeling the fear...
... and doing it anyway! whee!!

Look closely, I am actually *not on the floor*!!
The amazing thing was the FEAR. I had FEAR of hauling myself up on the pole. Taking my feet off the ground using only my arms. Something in my head said I would find myself flat on the floor in nanoseconds. I paused and realised that pausing was useless, best just get on with it. And I did. I didn't end up on the ground. I was in the air, ungainly and inelegant, for serveral seconds. Wow!!!! I overcame a bit of fear! Woot!!

When I learned how to launch myself into moves, I realised that it actually felt like I was flying. Feeling like flying took my attention away from the work my arms were doing and stopped me noticing how hot my hands were getting, how much my pecs ached and the place on my ribcage where I'm pretty sure a bruise is developing, right now as I type. 

Kim says I should practice sitting on the floor in a kneeling position with my toes under my bum and my knees as far apart as I can manage - this is pretty much a core position for poledance! My body currently doesn't even understand that position!

I anticipate bruising and not being able to wash my hair tomorrow.  I think I'll try to go back next week.
Thank you Kim for helping me fulfill FF#21!

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