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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As a ballet dancer, the idea of pole dancing has always been intriguing to me. I love the idea of testing my body to move and perform in unique ways. Pole allows me to do this. Not only am I able to strengthen my body, but I am able to move in an artistic and expressive manner. I can swing, spin, and soar.

I was pretty nervous for my first pole fitness class, but I was also very grateful that my local yoga studio had begun offering the art form. With my background in dance, I was more prepared than I thought I would be. The class consisted of yoga stretches, cardio, and, of course, pole dancing. We learned how to climb, spin, and conquer complicated footwork through a routine that would be built on during the following weeks. While it was tiring to work muscles in my arms and core that I hadn’t used before, it was rewarding. I felt good, strong, and empowered. I wanted to take another class as soon as I could.

Even though I had a background in dance, it isn’t necessary to explore pole fitness. As long as you have an open-minded attitude and a motivated spirit, you can challenge your body. After all, pole fitness has a performing aspect to it. Even if you are not dancing for an audience, you are performing for yourself. YOU can embrace the artist in you and look amazing as long as you are willing to try. Personally, my instructor is pretty laid back and is there to ensure that everyone enjoys themselves over the course of their journey. Pole fitness typically provides a loving environment that accepts any type of dancer, with or without a background in dance.

Of course, I was hesitant to begin pole fitness for other reasons. I am not a “scandalous” girl, and I didn’t know how much risqué would be required of me. When I tell people that I practice pole, they are shocked and don’t expect it from me, but pole does not equal scandal. It equals strength, movement, and art. It is about learning to love and accept your body and being willing to help it to grow. Sure, pole can be painful sometimes. It can leave you with brush burns and bruises, but it can also make you stronger. After my first class, my body was left shaking and my arms were sore for three days. After my third class, I was only sore for about one day. You won’t believe how quickly you can improve and how fast your muscles will adapt.

That being said, my respect for dancers has grown. Like I said, I am a ballet dancer at heart. Ballet dancers can be seen as very different from pole dancers, but, when it comes down to it, the two are not that different. Both wear skin-tight clothing because it is easy to move in. Both challenge themselves and require spirit. Both perform for either themselves or for others. I had never considered that I might enjoy other styles of movement such as hip-hop, tap, or acrobatics, but all of them are connected by similar goals. When I have the chance, I hope to explore aerial yoga, cabaret classes, and even ice skating. I want to see what I can accomplish with my body before it is too late. I want to move, impress, and perform. I want to maintain the skin that I live in and keep it strong. I want to be strong, and I don’t want people to get in my way. You can be this way too, as long as you have a motivated mindset and a desire to grow.

Allyson is a junior at SU, studying Luxury Brand Marketing and Management. Outside of the classroom, she can be found writing articles, teaching ballet, watching anime, creating tik toks, and singing showtunes.
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