How Pole Dancing Helped Me Love Myself More

Trust me, I know how it sounds.

How It Started

In the beginning of this year, I set out on my very first "resolution" of sorts. 

I wanted to "connect to me more".

That's how I worded it to people so it didn't sound bad, but what I really wanted was to do was to connect to my femininity more. I wanted to connect to the parts of me as a woman that I felt so disconnected from. Being more sensual and loving my body in that manner.

It was hard for me to even realize that this is what I wanted because there is so much shame put on women when they outwardly speak about or act on these things.

Being sensual. 

As the year progressed and I found myself ending a relationship so I could really find myself more, I came across a few podcasts of women talking about being sensual and connecting to their power as women. They talked about sex, love and desire and feeling in tune with your femininity as a woman, but doing it for yourself--without needing to act/think/say anything for someone else.

The Struggle

I struggled with this for so long. A man would think long blonde hair is sexy, so I would wear my hair long and avoid wearing it in ways I liked. A man would think dresses are sexy, so I would wear a dress.

I really had no sense of loving all  of the parts of me, for me and me alone.

I had been swirling around with the idea of pole dancing for a long time. Of course I didn't want to say anything because I felt shameful in wanting to do it--like the idea of me wanting to take these classes meant that I obviously wanted to learn how to do this to impress someone. When in reality it was for everything but that reason.

I finally signed up for the class with my best-friend, Alyssa. Nervously, we walked on into class.

There were 5 of us in class total. The teacher asked us why we were all there, some girls were there as part of a bachelorette party. Another just because, and when It got to my turn, I simply said "I want to get uncomfortable and connect to my body in a new way.". Well, I was in for some uncomfotableness for sure.

We started by learning how to "sexy walk". This is where I felt such a a huge disconnect for my body. Our teacher coached us through running out hands seductively over our body and I felt so odd. I realized this is because I'd never done this, I'd never touched my body in this way and the thought of it made me feel like I was doing something wrong. 

So I explored my body, nervously in front of 4 other women. This teacher was a bad ass though, she made everyone feel so comfortable, which in turn made me feel more at ease and more open to exploring myself.

We continued to learn some moves on the pole. We learned a few spins, the fireman, the lazy stripper--it was exhilarating. She played a more seductive sounding playlist, and even though the room was filled with laughter and nerves all at once, it became freeing to openly feel sexy in a room that was full of women trying to do the same thing. There was no one there to impress, no men, or no guy I was interested in.

It was just me (and the other ladies) connecting to our bodies, for us.

While the other women may have just been there for fun and not have experienced it the way I did. I left feeling open and ready to explore my body more.

How I'm Applying What I Learned

I've been really into dancing for the past four years. I encouraged my clients to punch their fears in the face during a challenge four years ago and I told them to do so through public dancing, since then, it's become an amazing outlet. Not only that, but a way to connect to my body in a different light. Typically my dancing is more fun and free. This this past year though, my dancing has helped me through my sexual assault, through letting my sadness and hurt out and also through letting my excitement run through my veins.

Now, I'm playing songs like Skin by Rihanna, and a bunch of stuff by Niykee Heaton, then I put on an outfit that makes me feel good. And I dance. I explore my body and my "sexy walk". 

Yeah, it for sure felt weird for the first 10 seconds, but now it's my favorite form of immediate self-love.

Loving my body FOR ME  has got to be one of the most powerful things I've ever done. Connecting to this inner feminine power is electrifying and intense and I'm loving every second of it.

Every time I feel shameful about how I choose to connect to MY body, I quickly try and release those feelings by replacing them with words like "I'm safe in my body". and "I decide how I love my body" or I go to "this is love".

Shame is not a place in which I want to identify some of the most beautiful and magical parts of me.

And sharing these things with the world is another place that feels vulnerable to me, but man, let me tell you this. There have been some amazing women who have changed my life:

These women have inspired me and allowed me to finally feel like I can confidently tap into these parts of me. And If I can inspire another woman to do the same, well then I'm doing it right.

If you want to experience your own power fem dance party, here are some of my favorite songs to get down to:

  • NBK-Niykee Heaton
  • Infinity-Niykee Heaton
  • Skin-Rihanna
  • Woo-Rihanna
  • Needed Me-Rihanna
  • Goddess-Banks
  • Eyes On Fire-Blue Foundation
  • Crazy in Love Remix- Beyonce
  • Bloodstream-Stateless
  • Make Me- Britney Spears
  • Fuck With Myself-Banks
  • Body Say-Demi Lovato
  • My Song 5 (Feat A$AP Ferg)- HAIM

Go on girl, get down with your bad self.

P.S- If you happen to be in Columbus, Ohio...Studio Rouge is where I took my class and where I plan to take many more!

xo

Rachel