Dance has always been my “weakest” area when it comes to pole dancing. Partly because I find following choreography to be like an extremely intense version of Simon Says and partly because I’m super shy when it comes to dancing in front of other people.

Pole tricks? Yes please?!

Slinky floor work or a simple turn? Umm…no thanks.

I’d tell myself “I can’t dance. I’m awkward. It’s just not for me..” I categorized myself as a poler rather than a dancer. And that was my problem – I was creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by telling myself “I can’t” before I even started. The thing is, I do love to dance. But I was more afraid of how stupid I would look in front of others than actually just trying and letting go. I was also judging my dance skills on just one aspect, choreography. Learning choreography is a skill and just because I was slower at getting moves at first doesn’t mean I was going to be a sucky dancer forever.

Recently, I was asked by my teacher to perform in her group piece for our pole studio’s showcase. I thought about the other three girls who were in the piece and thought “Wow they are all really great dancers, why would she want me?” She told me that I can move and when I do it right I do it beautifully, I just need time to practice and let sink it in my body. I also needed to find the movements that worked well for me.

So I can dance? So I CAN dance!

We often limit ourselves before we even start with those two words “I can’t”. Whether it’s dancing or doing some crazy pole trick that seems impossible. It’s easy to throw a blanket statement onto it by saying “I can’t” and give up before trying. If you desire it enough, you will work at it and find what works for you in your own way. It may be that you “can’t” do it a certain way, but it’s entirely possible that you CAN do it your own way. And it’s important to remember, you won’t always succeed the first time or second or maybe even tenth time.

If you’re in the same boat as me, here are my three tips to help you improve your dance (as advised by a not-so-expert-but-wannabe-dancer):

  • Take Classes! If you want to improve your choreography skills take choreography based classes! It really takes some time and patience to get the hang of things especially if you’ve never had a dance background. I have found that one of my weaker areas is getting confused between left and right. Even simple things like doing three steps (right-left-right) I have found to be a challenge, but that’s why I take classes – to get better! It’s also fun to try dance classes outside of the pole studio. One of my favorites was a Bollywood class -who knew!
  • Freestyle as much as you can! Freestyling is a great way to see how your body naturally moves. Dim the lights, let the music flow in and see how it makes you feel. You may start noticing some moves you naturally fall into. Open Pole/Freedom classes are a great time to do so.
  • Film it! Filming your dance/freestyling is a great way to review what you just did – sometimes it’s hard to see what we’re actually doing with just a mirror. You can pick out things you really love or find things that can be tweaked. Also, you may realize you’re not as awkward as you thought.

I can’t dance? It was all in my head and that’s what’s been holding me back. I may not be the best or a great or even good dancer, but I can dance. And I’ll do it my own way.


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