I recently passed my two year anniversary at Flirt Fitness Studio, and it sent me on a little trip down memory lane when I got my anniversary email on February 21. I was trying to really remember how my intro class felt, and how my first class was, and all of the growth that’s happened between then and now. I recall being frustrated that I wasn’t amazing at pole dancing after just 4 weeks, and learning patience and love for my body. I recall being nervous around all of the higher-level students and the instructors that weren’t my Sunday night pole mama (thanks, Ally, for being my Sunday night pole mama for an entire year).
The nostalgia of remembering my days as an anxious beginner was overwhelming, as I started thinking about how many parts of my life had changed in two years, just because of pole dancing. What was it like when my schedule didn’t revolve around when my favorite add-on classes were offered, having not yet met pros and attended their workshops, and not owning fourteen pairs of cheeky pole shorts with matching tops (taking up a whole drawer of my dresser at this point)? Most importantly, though, what were my first impressions of this entire world of pole dancing? It’s hard to remember, because I was so caught up in trying to get “good” at it.
So, I did the obvious thing any blogger would do: I found some lovely beginner ladies and I asked them about it. Level 1 student Melissa and first time Curvaceous Kitten student Meghan had a lot to share with me about what it’s really like to be a beginner and to be new to Flirt Fitness Studio…
26 year old student Melissa was just looking for a fun way to workout, and reached out to a friend who she saw was taking pole dancing classes (yours truly) on Facebook. Despite the impending fear of “looking like an idiot,” Melissa came to an intro class and signed up for a Level 1 class afterward. She was incredibly nervous to walk into her first class, but excited to try something new and leave her comfort zone.
32 year old student Meghan echoes similar sentiments: after a google search inspired by curiosity in pole fitness and a Flirt Fitness Studio promo video, she signed up for her first Curvaceous Kittens class. Meghan admits she was ready not to show up to her first class, feeling anxious about being in a new place with new people. Her fears? “Feeling ridiculous and that I don’t belong.” Her motivations? “Trying something completely different and out of my comfort zone.”
Reading the responses of these two women made me remember sitting in my car in the parking lot of Flirt Fitness Studio before my first intro class, thinking “Am I really going to walk into a room full of strangers and try to pole dance?” I was trying to live up to a New Year’s resolution to be adventurous. The nervousness almost caused me to put my key back in the ignition and drive right back home; I didn’t, though. Neither did Meghan and Melissa.
Upon walking into her very first Level 1 class, Melissa reflects: “I never once felt judged. It’s incredible to be able to see myself in the mirror and not be self-conscious or worried that someone is going to make fun of me.” Meghan says her first Curvaceous Kittens class consisted of everyone getting introduced to each other and learning more about Flirt Fitness Studio; getting comfortable with each other and with the space before jumping in and getting started. After a couple weeks in, they’re both feeling comfortable and learning a lot about themselves and about pole. Both share the sentiment that they look forward to class every week, and that they’re excited to get poles at home so they can practice more often!
Despite feeling good about their decisions, there are of course the beginner growing pains. Meghan voices concerns about not feeling strong enough for some of the moves and recognizes she has to be patient with herself; Melissa openly acknowledges that you can’t grow if you’re always comfortable: “It’s called ‘growing pains’ for a reason.”
Both Meghan and Melissa are looking forward to learning more tricks, getting stronger, and continuing to build their already growing confidence. Meghan specifically shares her hopes to feel sexier as a curvy woman. Melissa says, “I want every woman I know to be able to the huge boost of confidence I feel in class.”
They have some words of wisdom for individuals who are feeling nervous or tentative about trying a pole class…
Melissa says, “Level one is just that. Both instructors I have worked with are so incredibly patient and uplifting. The class is so incredibly relaxed, there is absolutely no pressure to do the skills perfectly. You can tell they truly love what they do and their confidence is contagious.”
Meghan adds, “Pole at Flirt is so incredibly exciting and empowering! It’s harder than I expected…but it’s totally worth it. If you are hesitating for one reason or another, just jump in feet first and do it!”
It’s a guarantee that every single woman at Flirt Fitness Studio, whether they are Level 2 or Level 10, has a story about their days as a beginner: feeling too nervous to walk in the studio on day one, falling out of a fireman spin the first time they tried it, feeling intimidated by dancers with more experience than themselves, requiring multiple sessions to build the strength to climb to the top of the pole…every single person was a beginner at some point. Even your favorite poler on Instagram had to go to their first ever class and learn how to do a basic fireman spin and overcome climbing for the first time. Imagine Marlo Fisken falling out of her well-balanced shoulder stands or Dan Ronsen slipping out of his now perfect jade split, and the years of practice that went into those skills before that. We’ve all been there.
The truth is, though, that being a beginner is all about the exploration and the joy of trying something brand new. The celebrations that come with every learned skill and the challenges that come with your newly-discovered nemesis tricks (mine was a reverse stag in Level 1) are all part of the process. When you get stuck and being a beginner sucks, remember that this is something you’re doing for yourself, and you deserve to put in the work for YOU. When things are easy, breezy, and beautiful: celebrate your success and be proud of yourself.
Soon you’ll find yourself two years down the road, making up choreography to every song that comes on the radio, or putting yourself in compromising positions on your pole at home while FaceTiming friends from your classes and asking them, “Does this look like the thing Jordan Kensley posted yesterday on her Instagram?” I’m only speaking from experience, here.
Melissa left me with a really lovely comment on her experience so far, and I’ll use that to wrap this up:
“Being introduced to Flirt Fitness Studio has been a saving grace for me. Of course there are some people that don’t understand it; but for the first time, I don’t care! The class is completely for me, myself, and I. Since I can remember, I have been torn down by others and myself. It’ just the beginning of my journey with Flirt, but already I have felt such a huge improvement in my self-love.”
Embrace your beginner, embrace your novice, embrace your amateur…you only get to do it once!
Until next time,