Pole dancing has been all about falling in love and coming back to myself. I remember on the very first day of class last October, the owner of my studio asked us all why we were there. We were sitting in a circle on the floor, probably full of nerves and uncertainty. Without hesitation, however, I boldly said, “To reconnect with my body. To come back to myself.” It was the truth. I have always been a dancer but I thought the art of pole dancing would really allow me to find that bridge between the outer and inner. Express what I couldn’t bring to words through movement. To me pole dancing has always seemed incredibly primal, intimate, sensual, and even sacred. So it's no wonder I found my way to it. At the time I joined the studio, I felt like a shell of myself. Just a blank slate ready to redraw and repaint my soul.
More recently after watching a freestyle of mine, one of my pole sisters commented that my movement transcends the space and time I'm in. I was so humbled to hear that. I told her it makes sense that it does, because my movement's coming from a deeper place than meets the eye. I challenge myself to learn the technical holds and tricks, but there's no question that my mind, body, and soul love to freestyle and explore exotic floorwork and "low flow" movement. One of my pole besties and I have a joke that if we were to combine ourselves we would create the ultimate pole dancing beast queen. She is PHENOMENAL at what we call "shady knee holds" (and I am not). If you turn on anything somewhat trappy or erotic sounding, I come to life. See? Teamwork.
But more importantly, as I look back on my 8 month journey through pole dancing, I have the gift of seeing myself emerge. I can see myself reconnecting with a part of me that was dormant for quite some time. Perhaps it was the mental health struggles. Perhaps it was spiritual illness. Perhaps it was just LIFE. But I share all this to inspire others to not let anyone or anything stop you from something that brings you pure joy and allows you to be yourself unapologetically. Your mental health is your wealth, always, so never compromise on that. Pole dancing isn't everyone's cup of tea but it sure fills mine up. And I don't plan on stopping anytime soon so buckle up, M2M Gifts followers.
Photo By: Jessica W. Levin of Chicago-based Collective, Moon Rise
Follow my pole journey on my (personal) Instagram account, @polemamayackie