(From March 2016; Updated 2020)
**#1- ITS NOT EASY**-I walked into my first class class, sat, nervously... When the instructor asked what our "Pole Goals" were, I protested that I wanted to compete in USPDF"... Simply clueless! I had no idea that these women that I had watched on YouTube (for the most part) had been active all of their lives. Lots of these women had dance experience, training in fitness, or were even gymnast/circus-trained. I saw an appreciated someone's work, and didn't have a clue as to how much work had been actually put into it.
*#2**- ...Kinda bounces off of my first reason: **IT HURTS & IT'S SCARY**-
Let's be clear: I was never the type of girl to shy away from a challenge, or the crybaby when I got hurt while playing with the kids; but there's something "sobering" about falling to the floor out of a cross ankle release (just because of a little moisture); Or using your skin from your most tender body parts to challenge the rules of gravity, or rely on those body parts or your gentle skin to support your entire weight.
I get tons of new bumps, burns, and sometimes broken skin and bruises that I've earn while learning pole. As sick as it sounds, I wear them like badges of honor.
**#3- EVERYone's BODY IS DIFFERENT**- My first instructor had no prior dance experience, and was my all time favorite. She had to tell me to visit other studios, because I never wanted to leave her. I would show up every Thursday, prep my mat, an look at her with big eyes filled with admiration, ears and brain receptors ready, body prepared for her whipping.
Although she claimed she was not flexible; and maybe in her mind, she wasn't. In my mind, she could fold like a piece of paper. Everything she did looked effortless. I KNEW that if I stayed with her, I'd be on top of the game. I would try to flex and fold as she had, and I even began to believe that she became annoyed with me because she thought I wasn't trying hard enough. I tried so hard. I believe now that I've done some permanent, physical damage to my left inner-knee attempting to push into a split. The greatest thing I learned in her class that everyone had individual strengths and limitations.
**#4 Desire should never out-weigh patience, and proper training-
And I mean this from the start of warm up. When you first begin poling, you're most excited by a trick you saw. Rarely is the focus on Grace or creativity; but, how do I get myself into that upside down move?
Any great instructor will teach you how to properly exit from something before allowing you to get into it. I mean, their main job is to make sure that you were safe.
And in a lot of cases most of the warm-ups that are created for that lesson are geared towards conditioning and preparing your body for what's you will learn in that class.
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I was a great faker. I knew how to make it look like I was doing those leglifts correctly, however I knew that I was resting my heels on the floor in between reps. Do you think this helped or hurt me when it was time to learn how to do a chopper?
**#5- Train Both Sides!
For vanity reasons, you might just start looking different on one side. Plus an imbalance in your muscular system is just not good. Also you might want to incorporate something in your dance that might require you do it on your offices sign. You just want to have your mind and body ready for it.