Let’s get real for a moment. Too often as a studio owner, I post pics and videos of student nailing a trick, dance routine, etc. Its pretty and cool. But behind that one pic or clip is the reality. The struggle, the failures, and the determination. It’s important to show the real us, flaws and all too.
I am building up my studio to be a space of positivity. Especially as it relates to body positivity. I am actively engaging in the hard conversations to understand how we define and identify as a body positive space. It helps that I am currently plus size. People see me at the forefront of the studio and my current body size and shape and that helps support that claim. I teach pole. I own a pole studio. And I’m currently a plus size pole dancer. I’ve been up and down in weight my whole life. I’ve always exercised. I’ve always enjoyed exercising. But life sometimes throws you curve balls and i handle it how I do. The thing I love about pole is it can be anything you want it to be for you. And it makes me feel like I’m glowing. I don’t see the rolls, the fat, or the lack of definition when I pole dance. That happens before and after. But I haven’t always been plus size. And let’s be frank I don’t want to be. I want to lose weight. Why? Not because of some impossible societal standard or to make someone else feel less uncomfortable about me in pole shorts. But because I feel better. I’m less achy and more alert. Running gives me so much joy. And let’s face it. The joints don’t like me too much with the extra pounds when I run or dance.
So what does that mean if I lose the weight? Do I lose my cred as someone promoting body positivity? Do I no longer get to feel akin to those that struggle with their size and shape? Does that mean I’m not as in love with my body and accepting of my body because I want to drop the weight?
Not even a little. I will always have the plus size girl mentality even when I’m not. My weight will always be a part of this journey in life. Just because I want to shed some weight does not define how I view myself and others. I see someone who sees the beauty in every person that gets up and tries to connect with their body. I see someone who finds joy in what her body is capable of at every size. And most importantly, I see someone who recognizes their worth and that it is not defined by a jean size. So do I want to lose weight? Abso-freakin-loutely. But does that mean I despise my body and am not body positive? Nope. Not even a little. So you won’t see us talking about all the weight you will lose in pole dancing. We will talk about proper conditioning to make sure you are prepared for pole in the safest manner possible. We will talk about strengthening your body to achieve those amazing pole feats. But it will never be about weight loss. I’ve been my skinniest, my healthiest, my least healthiest, and my heaviest while pole dancing. It can give you a great workout and it can make you strong. But it will do the one thing that no workout I’ve ever done can ever claim. It can transform how you see yourself beyond mirrors, scales, and clothing size. It will show you the strength and endurance that you are capable of withstanding. It has taught me more about myself then any therapy session I’ve ever had and it has opened up my perspective of beauty, specifically feminine beauty, that has always eluded me before. It’s not been an easy journey. It’s been hard, it’s been uncomfortable, it’s had mishaps and tangents that have gotten me off track. But this is what I come back to. This space is where I always find me again.