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We all have that one thing. The thing that excites and inspires us and keeps us coming back for more. For some people, their passion lies within a career path while others find fulfillment through activities done in their free time. Whether it’s a hobby, destination, job or person you admire, we all have our interests that serve as lights in our lives.

Sometimes, I find myself thinking negatively about life and the future, where I’m perpetuating this poor mindset that life is nothing but a cycle of wake up, work, sleep, repeat. I despise getting into these ruts as they feel almost impossible to come back from. I feel like I’ll never have it all figured out, so what’s the point? Odds are, we’ve all been there.

What does get me out of this stalemate, however, is putting effort into focusing on the lights in my life. What things bring me the most joy, and when am I the happiest? Even if I’m feeling low right now, what’s one thing I know or do that ceases to amaze me? These are what keep me going, the lights in my life are precious to me.

It got me thinking, isn’t it neat how we all have our own lights? How for one person they could lose themselves in creating a detailed painting where others crave nothing more than to break a sweat. It’s interesting to think about the myriad of passions that flow through the world and all of the different kinds of people that chase them.

I decided to start this series to hear about other people’s passions, interests and lights in their lives. Not only is it inspiring, but it’s also fascinating to hear about what goes into certain careers or hobbies. I hope to introduce readers to new perspectives and ideas for what they can bring into their own lives.

In the first installment of “Light of My Life,” I will be interviewing 22-year-old Emily Orgass, whose light serves as a constant reminder of the power of her body.

When Orgass started taking pole dancing classes in October 2019, she had no idea of the hold it would grow to have on her. From the first class, she was instantly hooked.

The studio she visits offers a myriad of classes such as belly dancing, Lyra, burlesque, aerial sports and more. She explains that the pole dancing community welcomed her with open arms as they do everyone. It’s a place where worries about self-identity, insecurity and shame can be left at the door.

“The studio I go to has provided me with so much love and support, from both teachers and other students,” Orgass said.

She returns to each class with a fresh layer of excitement. Since beginning classes, Orgass has gone through phases of attendance and aims to make it to three to five classes a week. The classes she takes most regularly are level 2 classes for both static and spin pole, liquid motion and S-Factor.

Orgass explained the difference between the classes and what she gains from each concept. Liquid motion emphasizes fluidity in the body both on and off the pole. S-Factor has been the most recent addition to her schedule where she connects with her body and her inherent sensuality.

“While I’ve never been insecure with my body, I’ve never been truly confident in it either,” Orgass said. “I have learned to have fun and take pride in the things my own body can do. I’ve never felt stronger, physically or emotionally.”

She often looks back at videos she’s filmed throughout classes and finds it rewarding to see how her patterns of movement and comfort have evolved. Nailing a new trick is also a fulfilling aspect of the class, the “absolute thrill” of it is a feeling she says she can’t deny. However, some of her favorite moments in class have been when she’s dancing to the beat of her own drum or own song choice. She has become addicted to the art of free dance.

“Being able to pick a song that really resonates with you and taking up the space by yourself is definitely a little scary at first, but when the song ends and you’re left in the middle of the room out of breath, it’s such a high,” Orgass said.

When asked how her life would be different if she never began these classes, she admits that she would probably have continued life similarly to how she is now. Nowadays, trying to take her out of these classes she’s invested in would be an entirely different story. If Orgass had never taken the leap to try pole dancing, she never would’ve made the astonishing discovery of all she and her body were capable of. She might’ve gone about her days in the same way, yet there would still be a piece inside of her waiting to be unleashed. Having her limbs draped around the pole might leave her muscle aches and bruises, but she says that she would miss those too.

Lights, interests, passions, whatever you want to call them, allow us to step outside of the world and into ourselves. Through hours of sweat, serotonin and determination, Orgass has grown a connection to pole dancing. This light has brought her closer to herself on both a physical and emotional level.

“It makes me feel like I’m capable of anything,” Orgass said.

Journalism major at the University of Florida.
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