Competition. Performance. Just hearing these words used to make my palms instantaneously sweaty and feel a bit nauseous. Now, I’ve accepted the idea of putting together a routine and doing it in front of a group of people. It’s time to push past my fear and go big or go home.
When I first started pole dancing, most of the questions/comments that I got were “But it’s different from stripping right?” and “I heard it’s great exercise!” Now that I’ve been pole dancing for a year and a half, the question that I get asked most frequently is actually “Do you compete?” At first I would immediately shake my head and tell them that I was nowhere near ready to put together a full routine. Or sometimes I would tell them that I had issues with excessively sweaty hands and feet and that dancing for 3 to 5 minutes without wiping down the pole would be difficult if not impossible for me.
Now that I feel more confident about poling in general and I’m able to somewhat manage my hyperhidrosis, I really feel like it’s time to just go for it. Of course, tons of worse case scenario thoughts have run through my mind. What if I get up on stage and I can’t do anything because I’m too sweaty to grip the pole? What if I slip? What if I mess up or forget the routine? But, I can’t use fear as an excuse for not trying.
I’ve recently come to the realization that pole dancing, for me, is more than just learning new moves – it’s about learning how to combine both dance and pole tricks in a cohesive manner while expressing a particular emotion to a song. It’s about flow, grace, and making your movements look effortless. These are all things that cannot really be achieved until you start working towards building combos and routines for a performance/competition.
There are only so many pole spins and tricks you can learn. But there is an infinite number of ways to put these moves together to form a routine. It doesn’t take much skill to learn a new move, have someone snap a beautiful picture of it, and then immediately fall out of it. It’s difficult, however, to put the same move in a routine along with other moves and transitions and make it look just as good.
I’m not saying that it’s not fun for me to learn new tricks and post about them – there are days where that’s all I want to do. But, lately I’ve been enjoying freestyling, putting multiple moves together in a combo and dancing it out to a song. And this is how I really know that it’s time for me to take the next step.
My competition is May 30th and I am really excited and ready to work hard for this. Obviously, I’m also absolutely terrified, but I know that this type of challenge is exactly what I need right now.