Guest blog by Christine Anderson
So I had been talking the talk for at least a few weeks about wanting to try Pole Dancing Classes, but I had no real idea where to start. Having just enough knowledge now about various types of dance classes and studios that exist in New York, I know that any student’s learning style and the teacher/classroom style really have to mesh well to allow that student to flourish and feel encouraged to continue. There was no way for me to afford or tolerate going though every possible school’s intro program to decide where I might be happy, and I had uneasy feelings about walking into a strange studio full of platform stripper shoes, desperate housewives — or outrageous exotic dancers that would make just me feel like a bull in a china shop again. So I was a bit stuck in “eventually” land.
Again fate stepped in for me at the critical moment in the form of a work intern who mentioned she had once run a pole-dancing studio. I asked if she knew people or had recommendations in NYC and she gave me only two – one of which was Sacred Studio in Brooklyn. A quick Google search told me it was a 20 minute bus ride from my house (!), but I had never heard of it before. Hmm. I asked if she had been there or why she recommended it, and the response was this:
“I know the owner at Sacred and she is super awesome. Her name is Dara Cole. They also have hot yoga classes. Never been to the studio. But I love Dara and what she is about. Let me know how it goes”
Can’t argue with that – I’m curious! Hey – and a 2 week trial for $20?? All plans cancelled, screw the gym, screw the laundry – I will live there for 2 weeks straight.
Despite that offer of awesomeness I was still completely feeling lazy and nervous, and generating excuses for delay… so I had to promise a friend that I was starting my 2 week trial that Saturday – no doubt – to make me accountable to it (I recommend this method). When Saturday came I still **dragged** my derriere out of bed and took a nervous hike to the studio. I was more than a bit shy - I knew no one. Would I be welcome?
Whew! Thankfully no problem on that count – I was relieved to find a warm laid-back reception, and friendly classmates that loosened me up a bit. I wasn’t the only first-timer, which made me feel way better. I reveled in the bangin’ warm-up and was feeling a bit cocky and riled up again… but then found myself slipping and sliding on that lux black floor and straight down those shiny poles at unexpected speeds during class. So much for all that strength, agility and dance skill I was certain I was bringing to this. How embarrassing!
I can’t tell you how strongly my inner devils coaxed me to “laugh, mock yourself, slip away – give up!” when things proved so much more difficult than my internal picture of me rocking this. Laugh at myself, I definitely did! Still rolling on the floor at myself now!
But one of the undeniable powers of an unlimited offer (especially combined with my own miserly determination) is that there is no REASON to give up. With that $20 I could have already done several loads of laundry, gone out to dinner with a friend, saved up for *something* I need or want… or treated myself to a nice bottle of wine…. So that $20 was NOT getting wasted by any inch I had control over. I was right back heading to class at 2pm on Sunday.
OK, so I’m going to confess to you (in confidence) something both critical and even more embarrassing. Be gentle with me….
When I was first referred to Sacred Studios for Pole Dance classes, I took a quick look at the schedule and teacher bios to get a picture of what kind of people might be leading classes there and what kind of students they might be attracting. I maybe don’t want to wind up in a class of mid-life crisis ladies or hopeless back-room bingo bimbos, right? And God forbid they are all slick pro dancers that will make me feel lame about myself either, right? I want a teacher who can teach to my (over-estimated) level of strength, classmates at my level so I don’t get bored, and a fun friendly community so that whatever comes out is not just OK, but celebrated. With a small local studio you’ve never heard of, you just never know what you’ll run in to.
Roz Mays did not look like my mental picture of a dance instructor, much less for pole dance…. but I’d paid my $20, and had already discovered I wasn’t the hot $#¡% I had hopefully theorized I was. Ok… Bring it, Sacred!
Sacred – in the embodiment of Roz The Diva – not only brought it, but also wrapped it, packaged it, delivered it FedEx, rolled out the red carpet for it, and bought it champagne. There are no words expansive and dramatic enough to describe those classes, so I’ll leave you to sign up and find that out for yourself…..
As I write this now, my legs are covered in bruises; I’m just starting my fourth week of this Sacred Pole Journey and I am apparently plagued with a most moist and slippery constitution that I was never before aware of. But I’ve clambered over the impossible before, so I see no reason to not keep hurling myself at this newest challenge until I stick.
I know you can’t possibly be as shy as I am, so I am sure I will see you in class very soon. Introduce yourself… You’ll know me by my purple legs.