One of our studio values is Joy. When I purchase KO, I spent a lot of time determining what my studio would stand for. What do I want someone to feel when they chose to be a part of our studio? I examined what pole dancing had done for me. And one of the biggest things is it brought me joy.
I am not a joyful person naturally. I envy those people that just radiate joy in all things. Those that can find bliss in life.
I am a closeted emo by nature with a bad temper that has taken almost 40 years to control. I am not patient naturally. At first, I found these feelings shameful. As a young adult, I was working in a very masculine-driven industry and any responses viewed as female-derived were degraded and put down and dismissed as being too emotional. So I hid those emotions. I hid all emotions, really. Anything that didn’t fit into a joking, light hearted interaction was stuffed way down and lit on fire to crumble to dust inside me. I was to be like “one of the boys” if I was to make it. Now this time wasn’t a complete waste. I would never encourage this time of behavior, but it did show me the masculine aspects of my personality that I quite enjoy. I embraced a side of myself that I had been told wasn’t ladylike. But my emotions were suppressed. As if “getting over it” really was as easy as taking a deep breath and moving forward.
I’m grateful for these last few years, because I have really been doing the work to make room for my emotions. And I’m grateful for the general movement in society that now holds space for those grieving, hurting, and feeling lost. Mental health and help has become a much more common discourse and stigmas are being torn down. I am grateful for it. But I worry too. My business mentor had a discussion a few days ago about while it is important for us to hold space for those living with fear and pain, especially right now, it is just as important to hold space for those with joy. And she’s right. People who are feeling joyful, celebratory, and pleased with life have just as much right to their feelings as those that are feeling dark and immersed. In our quest for educating the world on their right to feel pain, we should include the world’s right to feel joy. I know how easy it has been for me to see someone on social media that is radiating joy in their current situation, and all I can think is they should be more sensitive to those who are struggling right now. And yes, there is significant struggle right now. But why does one person’s struggle suppress one person’s joy?
Our studio is a place to feel joy. Joy in our bodies, joy in movement, joy in sexuality, joy in our community. Let’s not leave joy at our studio doors when we leave at night. We celebrate each and every student’s successes as if they were our own so abundantly in our studio, let’s bring that to the world! I know my reactions to people’s joy usually comes from a place of jealousy within. And that’s my own personal battle to work through. But I am determined to feel joy in my life. And when I see a friend who has something amazing to celebrate, I will celebrate with them. Because even though I may naturally be dark and twisty on the inside, I know what joy feels like. And that is worth holding space for celebrating.