Body insecurity is more prominent among us in the poling community because pole dancing often involves wearing something short, attempting tricks that test your flexibility and strength, and exposing your weaknesses.
I struggled with my body image for a long time and shied away from wearing pole shorts and tank tops because I felt I wasn’t sexy or needed to cover up my flaws. But if you’re like me, you’ll soon find that the pole welcomes everybody, whether plus-sized, thick, slim, slender, or skinny.
I know it can be a real issue dealing with self-confidence, especially as a beginner. This is why I’ve taken the time to write this and share some tips that have worked for me and my students.
Focus on How You Feel About the Pole
We all feel a little self-conscious sometimes. You can catch yourself thinking you’re too big for the pole or that your pole outfit isn’t giving the vibe you want it to give.
All of those are valid but secondary. Your focus should be on the pole, why you’ve picked an interest in pole dancing, and how amazing you feel when you do pole.
Think of all the good that pole dancing brings to your life, and use that energy to power yourself into doing what you love.
The deeper you fall in love with poling and practicing, the more confidence you’ll feel, and the better the results. Your confidence levels will be pumped higher when you practice and master new tricks and see how it’s shaping your body.
Read Also: Pole Dancing With Cellulite & Stretch Marks
Surround Yourself With Positive People
Poling is a great way to exercise, build strength, and improve fitness.
It can be hard at first, but it gets easier over time. Surround yourself with a positive support system urging you to keep going.
You do not need friends or partners that tear you down or make you feel less of yourself. If your friends are going to write you off because they don’t like how you keep fit, then honestly, good riddance.
Surround yourself with emotionally intelligent instructor(s) and pole friends.
“Relationships are fun and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be looking for one, but you’ve got to get to a point where you’re comfortable with yourself outside of a relationship. Be who you are and own it – people will either be into it or won’t, and it’s okay either way.”
“Spend more time building yourself up and working on your self-esteem. Therapy is helpful if you’re interested in trying it. Make more pole friends and surround yourself with people who support you and like you for who you are.”
Read Also: How Hard Is Pole Dancing? Pole Dancing FAQs
Follow More Pole Dancers on Social Media
Social media has helped demystify many things, including the assumption that big girls cannot pole.
Whatever your body type, you will find polers with similar body types on Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok.
Follow those polers and watch their body transformation. It can help shape your expectations while encouraging you to practice pole trick variations that fit your style.
You should note that I haven’t asked you to compare yourself with them. Rather, draw inspiration from their routine, and build your confidence.
Always remember that you can do just about anything – as long as you don’t give up.
Here’s one of my favorite performances by Kristy Sellars
Read Also: How to Choreograph a Pole Dance Routine?
Film Yourself & Improve
Filming yourself performing pole tricks may be cringe at first, but you’ll come to love it soon. You can always delete those videos after watching them.
Filming is a great way to introspect and self-reflect. It helps you identify areas you need to work on while gently nudging you in the right direction.
You’ll quickly learn to take feedback from yourself without being too harsh. You’ll also learn to appreciate your journey and progress better.
Lena, one of my pole students, said: “I delete it as soon as I’m done watching it, but it’s helpful because I always feel like a lump of potatoes on the pole. It never feels. Super effortless or smooth to me. But when I’ve filmed myself, it often doesn’t look as bad as it felt.“
Celebrate Little Wins
It’s easy to get lost in the ocean of pole tricks you’re yet to learn, and you forget to appreciate yourself for the amazing ones you’ve mastered.
While it’s okay to be ambitious, it’s also okay to appreciate yourself for those little wins.
“There are things that make me want to shoot myself, but there are also moves that are genuinely fun or that feel more natural to me, and I make sure to sprinkle those throughout my practice, especially when I start getting frustrated or feeling especially potato-like.”
The idea is to play on your strengths while using the highs to complement the lows – just like music!
Read Also: Fun Pole Party Games For You & Friends
Be Patient With Yourself
Patience is one of the key aspects of poling. Nobody becomes an expert in a day. You have to constantly work towards perfecting it.
By being patient with yourself, you’ll learn more not to compare yourself with others.
Get this – you’re doing better than most people anyway. They just aren’t vocal about their struggles. So, chin up, you’ve got it!
Remember that many videos you watch or pole tricks your instructors perform have years of practice behind them. They weren’t born with it, and they put in the work to get there. So, you too can do it!
“It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, and we’re all guilty of it. You have to go inward, tunnel vision for yourself only, and find whatever beauty you can make. You know how you have to work and train just to get the strength and flexibility for things like inversions? Well, you have to work and train your mindset too.”
“One thing really amazing performers do is figure out what works for their body. They HAVE to step out of the way they see their own body because, oftentimes, it’s laced with too much bias from their own insecurities and training history. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and that’s totally okay! It would be so boring otherwise.”
Read Also: How Often Should I Pole Dance?
Find Your Style
We are all completely different polers, and that’s what makes our community unique.
Notice how your instructors attempt different tricks differently? That’s because the best instructors have adapted pole moves around their strengths.
There are many variations of a single pole trick that you’d wonder which is the original and which is a variation. That said, you need to find your voice, strength, and style!
Step back, envision the pole move, play the trick to your strength, and you’ll be amazed at how perfect it’ll turn out.
Remind yourself after each class that you are amazing. You showed up to class! You rocked your walk, your basic climb, whatever trick. Potatoes or not, you’re a damn good potato, and what’s better? You’re a pole dancing potato.
I hope this helps as you take the brave journey to self-love and building confidence.
I’m an Artistic Model, Dancer (Pole Dancer, Ballet, and Contemporary).
POLE THEATRE FRANCE 2018
EXOTIC GENERATION RUSSIA 2019 & 2020 (HARD)
POLE THEATRE UK 2019 & 2022 (CLASSIQUE)
I share everything I know about pole dancing and stripper poles to help more people excel at it.