This is the transcript of our Episode 9: Sharing Your Pole Dance Journey & Building Self Confidence from Pole On The Call that aired Thursday, March 13, 2022.
Cris Rivers and Mændy Mac talk about safe ways you can share your pole journey online, no matter how shy you are, or if you need to hide but still want to share, and also how to build self confidence! Let us know how you like our episode and share with a pole friend!
Hi everyone! Welcome to episode 9 of Pole on the Call! I’m Mændy Mac!
And I’m Cris Rivers.
And today we’re going to be talking about building self-confidence and sharing your pole journey!
Yeah so excited!
So we we’ve had a couple students and people online ask us about this, and it’s very it’s a good question because it’s so important. There’s so many things to discuss. So I guess we’ll start with the, let me see, should we start with the building your self-confidence or sharing your journey? I guess maybe sharing your journey because sometimes sharing your journey helps build your self-confidence in a way?
Yeah we can talk about like let’s say I mean from personal experience, I feel like my self-confidence definitely boosted once I started taking class.
So before maybe you don’t feel as confident, but you know you just keep going. There’s nothing like going to a pole class, especially if it’s your first time, or even if it’s been a couple, and you’re just feeling like I’m not getting it. I can’t do it. And like, looking at someone who A, is either newer than you, or B like, completely different body type than you, and they’re just killing it. It really does, even at me as an instructor sometimes, I’m like damn, it can bring you down! And I want to say it’s human nature because we’re just prone to thinking —
It’s our ego!
Yeah yeah definitely, our ego. We’re just prone to thinking that way. So I’m hoping like some of these tips will help you like, to kind of start thinking about it in a different direction.
I know for instance I started telling my students before my class, you’re here for your workout, you’re here for your dance. If you want to look at other people, by all means enjoy, be like yes I want that, but that’s not the concern. Focus on your workout, focus on practicing and perfecting your craft. Yeah it might not be as good as someone else, that’s just today. And I think as instructors, we should kind of remind students this. It’s hard because we have so much on our mind but sometimes we forget what it’s like to be a student.
Yeah and I think the unique thing about dance in general is like, all artists you, use tools, and our tool is our body. And we all have different tools, so the comparisons you know, sometimes that’ll keep us from from feeling confident in ourselves. But just remember that you have your own tool to work with, and it’s your responsibility to figure out how, how to you know, get in tune with your body. And I think also in doing that you become more confident because you’re like, oh yeah like I have a bicep, and I can feel it — like it’s really there, it is strong!
Facts. And always remember just like she said, as you’re getting used to your body, there’s gonna be things that you can do, that person that’s killing it can’t do. It’s crazy how it is. It’s just whole it’s just the pole journey. And also just because you can’t do it that day doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do it next week, or the week after. It’s really it’s really hard it sucks you never know. Sometimes you’re killing it, and then one day you just have an off day and that off day can really bring you down.
Or it could be seasonal, like me!
In the winter I cannot pole dance! Yes and I just accept it. I just do conditioning mostly
And the accepting can be hard, I know. This winter for me and for other pole dancers were hard. Especially going on social media and seeing other people, you just, you do get wrapped in yourself. So it’s like that, definitely seasonable.
Yeah yeah, but how can you fight that?
Respecting your journey!
Yes respect your journey! I know personally myself, I record everything. I take pictures of everything, and then sometimes when I’m in a rut I look back at everything just to see how far I’ve come like on my past performances, tricks that I have worked on, like repeated so many damn times I’m so tired of them. And just it’s nice to have that recording just so you can see yourself. Because sometimes, if you think about it, you don’t see it. But if you actually have that proof and you’re watching it, you can say yeah look at me! Compare a month ago, compared to now. So I definitely recommend that as one way, record yourself and track your progress. Because you’ll be surprised with the improvements you see. Even small things that we see as instructors, but you might not see as a student.
Yeah I’m gonna say too like sometimes the the progress is really small, so tracking it by videotaping and taking pictures of of your progress will really help you see it, and and that is really empowering too!
Yes! Another way that helps me kind of build self-confidence is my appearance! And goodness I hope this isn’t like egotistical to say but —
You can love your body!
Yeah! There’s, there’s truth, I learned — I watch a lot of Queer as Folk — and I’ve learned that there’s truth that when you like what you’re wearing, and how you look at something, it completely changes your self-esteem. So sometimes, like if I’m going into a class and I’m really not feeling it, I’ll like look through my drawer and I’ll find something sexy. Like today I taught a class right before this and I was like I was kind of down because I was just slipping, like, now the students were [ __ ] incredible as always, but in my head I’m like, as an instructor it’s for me embarrassing to slide down! So how do I fix that? Look at what I’m wearing!
And now I’m ready to get ready to record these tutorials which we’re doing after this — and stay tuned for that! But there is truth, and how you look, what you wear can really help. So maybe putting on that sexy outfit to class is what will make you feel better! Yeah I’m not getting my jasmine today, but I’m [ __ ] looking amazing not getting my jasmine! Things like that. It’s really weird but it really does help and work. Do you want to add anything else, or?
Yeah, about the confidence thing. A lot of times you know, you say like, we’re saying now, that outward appearance helps you feel better on the inside, but also like the opposite can happen too! Sometimes you don’t you’re not feeling good on the outside and then you’ll come in and work, you know inside, into your body, and you like strengthen. And then afterward you feel better! Yeah it just transforms you. So they will they work both opposite ways.
Yes I’m so glad you said that because I’ve had countless students and I’m sure you’ve had two that say thank you for this workout I really didn’t want to do it and I didn’t want to come in but I’m glad I did because now I’m just tired my stress is released...... and even though they didn’t kill their goals they came and felt accomplished because they came for that hour........ tried their best and they worked out.
Yes and they made their goal..... yeah yeah...... I always say when students come in and they’re even myself too when that happens and you’re like oh yeah I had a last day yes you always have to congratulate yourself for showing up for yourself because you did the thing you still trained your body even though it was...... you know .....not what you expected and then next time you come in you’ll be you know more stronger your body will remember what you did yeah and hopefully it’ll all work out next time ........with that being said like Maendy always says it is a journey so if the next time you come in and it doesn’t work it could just be the day....
Yes uh it could be the weather there could be so many things ......yes I think it’s so important to enforce that especially with students because sometimes they like...... they get so discouraged when they’re like what the hell I got this the other day why can’t I do it today and it really I know me as a pole dancer it really took a lot to say it’s just sometimes the [ __ ] day it’s not you at all it’s the weather it’s the pole it’s your body maybe your periods coming and you don’t know it maybe you’re angry and you just don’t know it it could be really anything so if you don’t kill it when you come in that’s okay.
Yeah that’s so true everything can affect it it’s really it’s really sad be patient yeah be patient with your own body and you know be really mindful too just you know listen definitely .........this uh tool that we have to to dance with yes and another way to help build your self-confidence is to start poling with your friends and your family .....with encouraging friends...... yes....... not toxic friends.
Glad you said that’s not true people who are encouraging because sometimes I have friends that you go you get a workout and you’re just like I don’t even know why I brought you like because I did not enjoy this workout at all....... so like she said make sure you bring encouraging friends because that is a great self-esteem booster just people who love you and who care they they’re doing the same thing and supporting you and you’re all supporting each other.
I know I feel amazing and it helps others too right that’s another thing about the like we talk all the time about the whole community supporting but I definitely had my self self-confidence boosted because of the whole community yes and the support that I received from just like everyone liking how I move facts and I know personally as instructor and maybe all you other instructors and I know definitely you feel it there’s nothing like when a student starts and they keep coming and they progressively get shorter with the shorts yeah you see like them open more and there’s and they and they notice that they’re actually getting the trick and lifting their feet off the ground it’s such a beautiful thing when you actually get to see it.
Yeah I think like..... my...... what I always say about my personal story was I didn’t I was very timid and shy and like kind of a weak person and then I started pull and and you know I didn’t really think that it would change me or anything but it started getting stronger and as I felt my body being stronger it helped me feel stronger as a person and so now I’m really thankful for that transformation and I think that a lot of people have a similar story so agreed anything else another way ?
I do have another way to build self-confidence definitely document your journey..... do you want to go into that more?
Yeah I guess yeah ways you can safely document your journey because unfortunately people are still silly when you bring up the fact that you are a pole dancer so like the ways you docent your journey could be more personal not out in the public but ways that I like to docent my journey are on instagram and you can set your your profile to private or have it public and it’s great because you can connect with other pollers and like share with everyone and that helps to of course you know share your journey because it’ll be a log and then also you can communicate with others and learn and grow from everyone yes would that be said I love sharing my well it’s a love hate relationship actually and I’m also big on instagram.
I just started tictoks which is a whole different ballgame...... I hate it but I’m learning ....... but instagram is definitely where I built a lot of my HIV and Pole following and they’re very mostly welcoming but sometimes because of your job and because of your family....... you just are like nope instagram’s not happening or facebook is not happening or twitter is not happening how do you get around that
Some ways I’ve seen and learned are people still want to pull people still want to share their journey and you have every right to it sucks that you have to hide it but if you do have to hide it you can like she said put your profile on private you can create a whole separate profile that none of your family friends know about it’s like your hidden secret yeah with a fun name you can be like a whole alter ego yes.
We all have..... I love having our own little hidden secrets but I know some people who even when they post on their profile or if they have that hidden profile just to still be safe they’ll like do some they’ll do stuff with like a costume on a mask or now with video editing you can edit out your face or a whole dark silhouette scene there’s so many different ways for you to actively share without people finding you.
I’m not saying go out and do it because this is a personal choice but there are ways to do it privately and still get to support you maybe in your like we have a facebook group at our studio you can have like a whatsapp private group at your studio just so you can still have that community and sharing and documenting without it being out in the in the open.
I think it is important for sure to like at least videotape for yourself I know it sucks because I really wish we could all share our journeys because I personally love watching them and I know other people love watching them yeah and also the more we do the more we normalize it yes yeah and the more we show our authentic selves we’ll help others do that too and de-stigmatize it.
Yeah but it does take a lot of you know sometimes people just can’t whatever job they have let’s stop getting those tick tock fans because I’m tired of getting mad from tick tock and I heard it and we’re all shadow band on instagram at this moment like all of us I think my shadow ban being lifted I didn’t think it lifted.
I’ve got...... I’ve gotten better it’s it’s a really a fine line because you want to produce..... you want to put out something that you created and not only do you have to worry about like your family or friends seeing it if you don’t want them to see it now you have to worry about shadow band but that’s a whole different episode .......we’re not going to get into uh but other ways like Maendy said ..... if you’re a post studio or if you have co friends add them to like a whatsapp group or a facebook group or even like an instagram messenger club.
I know you can do that and share it with them because they could be highly supportive because you have every right to share it this is your journey and people want to see your story. People need to see your story and like how awesome will it be like we look back when we’re old and be like yeah remember when we poled it....... yes remember when we did that crazy jade split into the aisha .
I love it...... so there’s many so many different ways to do it like wear a mask wear a costume or video edit your face out do a black silhouette or don’t record your face at all just do the body uh motion create a whole new account I do think everybody should share it can help build self-confidence but also be careful because if you go on that instagram binge it can also deter you when you see other people posting amazing [ __ ] and you’re just like well why the [ __ ] can’t I do that?
I’ve been trying so it’s kind of like how do you say what’s that terminology? a double-edged sword that brings us back to the you know the confidence of you know when you have your stuff online but don’t don’t compare yourself to others but also like be inspired by others and be happy for others yes .
There was something else that I was going to say you can continue you look so bad there’s something else I wanted to say before she remembers her.....when you’re building your self-confidence I found what helps me and I know this might sound cliche it’s affirmations I don’t know if mainly here I know Paulinas heard I know my problems like coach Jamie has heard it.
I repeatedly tell myself I could do it I could do it and they’d probably like to get it like what is wrong with him but it really does help and even if I can’t do it I’ll say I can’t do it today but I know I will do it and for me it helps this this might be different words for you but those little affirmations when you start your day or even when you’re doing the whole damn hour class they really do help if you’re talking to yourself that’s okay some of the best conversations I have of myself but build your own self-confidence sometimes other people just suck and they’re not going to do it for you so guilty to damn self.
Yeah yeah yeah right like if you you know if you don’t have a good support group like hopefully you do but if you do not and you take your videos you know to watch them and be like yeah look at yourself clap for yourself like because you know anybody that comes into this studio or any cool studio is awesome or anywhere that there is a goal like even if you come for one or two days you’re like beaten like everybody else who’s never had the courage to even try because of the stigma because of it being so stigmatized so you’re already ahead of the game just like coming out to a cold class .
And a lot of times too we’ll have to remind students and ourselves that you know we’re dancers we’re athletes we you know we’re trainers you know training for a goal we work really really hard and we have to give ourselves a lot of credit yes another way to help build self-confidence and to even share your journey is start journaling it start writing it all down like for instance I write all my I have all my class lessons and all my competition pieces and story books [ __ ] written down and it’s cool to like kind of sometimes go back to it and see what I’ve done what I’ve experienced what I still have to work on and it’s a beautiful way to keep track of it like okay I got this I’m done with this let’s go on to someone else.
I can work on this and then that goes back with the recording if you record you can really look and say ah it’s my knee hook I’m getting robber ah it’s my under arm that needs to be here you really have that proof to kind of yeah I thought I had a nice line but I did not yes that was an awful point to talk about so many times there are like combos that you come up with.
Yeah I’ll always record my combos and I’ll put them you know on my youtube channel so and I’ll revisit them years later i’d be like wow let me do it again and then you come back I mean you you have the same body but it’s a different body when you come back to the combo so you can really see how much you’ve grown and progressed.
I find for me sometimes the most awesome videos I’ve ever made are like the [ __ ] ups that’s really what we need to talk about that fails yes and being you know afraid of being being perfect all the time all the time you don’t have to be perfect like no one is perfect even your idea of perfect is not perfect because you don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes so yeah and don’t let the the perfect instagram combos that you see deter you from your own progress and I guess that’s our thought as dancer so.... I’m putting it out there and pulling the call let’s start posting more of our fails because it’s real.
Yeah especially for people who don’t do pole they could start appreciating it more than people are awesome people love the fails ..... because I know sometimes I want to see it feel like I follow a lot of pole dancers and I’m like I love your beautiful work but sometimes I want to know that you’re like me .......like you messed up....... you know what I’m saying so shout out to Pole Fails.
Yeah so all of us if you’re listening and start putting those pole fails because we’re all human . People want to see them don’t do it on purpose though like that’s not cool not like accidental recording it’s not like I’m a [ __ ] up on purpose just so I can post actually I joked about that because I did submit one to Pole lols and they were like oh this one’s too cute we’re looking for more uglier and I was like I’ll try better next time.
I didn’t even know you could submit stuff I was just first oh my god there I always I love it oh my god I have to make an episode.
So yeah..... so some of the happiest moments are those recordings of fails when you’re like oh my god I didn’t mean to do that but it actually kind of came out nice yes there’s a few on my my phone right now where I’ve [ __ ] up my choreo and it ended up being cool.
So I’m glad I have it on video because there’s no way you could recreate that [ __ ] up facts oh my goodness this is such a tough topic guy I know sharing another thing about sharing is like afraid of sharing these you don’t want people to like steal your content which is a real thing but you know always if you are sharing you have to understand that there’s always going to be someone who’s could possibly just take all of your stuff and like put up a fake profile yeah so just be mindful of that you know just things to think about that is a very good point and also don’t assume someone stole your combos.
There’s so many tricks and combos I know I found myself like hey I just did that the other day..... don’t...... you gotta just get that out of your head. It’s not like that..... .....it really is....... .yeah........ it’s literally always just going to be a coincidence like our all of our bodies can do all the....... you know .......facts ......the things that you can end up with any combination.
It’s so hard with all that copyright crap...... it really is .......yeah yeah...... another thing let me see with sharing maybe you can’t share with your friends or family but how do we fix this for the future we all have to start making an everyday conversation ..........and this is something I preach with my hiv community and it needs to be preached with the pole dancing community too.
Especially here in America particularly, because the UK uh Asia and Russia and all of them they’re really accepted .....yeah they are pretty yeah they start as children ........yes here here this is what happens if you’re in America ......what do you uh [ __ ] this is hard because most of your dancers but what do you think when you hear pole dance ?
You automatically get a stripper in your head........ I got a stripper by stripping days and that’s just because of society and what we see on tv. So how do we fight that?
We talk about it .....we make it mainstream .......we say hey this is what I do .... look at this coolness or hey look at this amazing person and what they’re doing . They’re not stripping they’re doing an incredible dance or workout .....
And stripping is still valid too..... like you have to also change the stigma about that because it’s so ridiculous.
Yes I’m so glad you’re saying...... so ridiculous...... not gonna get strippers at all. I started stripping but that’s why we should talk about it the stripping and the pole dancing .......yeah people don’t know that like your friend is a stripper you know I’m like once you reveal that I mean honestly like they might think differently of you but they might not.
You might educate them and then you know they’ll change their mind view and then you know that’s how we change the world and I guarantee you the majority of those strippers are paying for school or paying to save for a house or something they’re not just like it’s a job...... yeah it’s a job and they’re making lots of money being braver than most people out there.
Yeah so talk about it.... talk about it...... I know don’t go out right and say hey mom I’m a pole dancer because they might be like what but you know different...... their way is like hey what do you think of this cool trick this person did? ...... and then they’ll be like oh yeah that’s cool and then you leave it alone maybe another day what do you think about this.......... oh yeah that’s cool .......kind of bring it in slowly.
Yeah I definitely heard students uh having both happy and sad stories about when they revealed to their families about what they’re doing but and you know it may maybe not be your entire family that would be upset maybe like your aunt thinks it’s pretty cool and you know you have that connection with your aunt and yeah yes.
I with that I will also beg you...... if your family does find out and they try to stop you....... I know I’m not there to help or........ don’t stop especially if it’s in your heart ..........yeah yeah it is your life, I know it’s your family and you..... we all want to please our family but pole dancing is a stress relief. It helps with depression, anxiety, it helps keep you in shape, it helps with your health, helps build your confidence.
Yes and if you love it, why are you gonna stop? Maybe compromise, maybe I know like with my mom I don’t post a lot of my pole stuff on facebook because we have all our religious family up on there.
Personally I don’t care, but she asked me can you kind of tone it down and if you do don’t put my name on it, so I respect that and that’s okay because most of my following is on instagram anyway...... so maybe sometimes I compromise but don’t [ __ ] stop.
Yeah and maybe once your family sees how you know your confidence is changed and you are glowing because you’re doing .....doing what you love they’ll hopefully come around you know because they’ll see like this thing really had a an impact on your life and they should respect it. as you do start competing because then they’ll really know you’re serious what you’re about to compete..... uh most people...... hopefully be supportive I’m like what you’re in a competition .....yeah I’ll support you but if not that just might not be people you want to surround yourself at this time...... just please don’t stop!
Your Pole family is here,. facts ...... here they are everywhere is there anything else you want to add or touch on?
Yeah I guess that in that aspect yeah just know that as you know pole dancers we are not in charge of educating.... but when we have the opportunity and we feel comfortable to do so we should educate others .
Yeah just to get rid of the stigma all around definitely because it’s fun it is awesome it’s a great workout it improves includes cardio flexibility and strength you’re gonna have to go to a gym. Yeah and also like grace like balance yeah so many things ..... body awareness ........goodness ......
I know we just like spilled a bunch out at you about sharing and building self-confidence . It’s hard...... self-confidence is a sticky topic ......yeah and it could you know takes you know your pole journey is years ....you know..... if you allow it to be in your patient with your body .
So ....like ....if you you know when I first came into pole class I had the long shorts on . I ....you..... know. I had a tank top on I didn’t really want to show my my midsection .......but over time I realized that my .....you know ......I’m using my body for these awesome things and it doesn’t matter what I’m looking like because my body does these really cool things.
So then.... I .....you know you know ......you’re surrounded by people who are also you know really ..... you know ......welcoming of how our bodies are moving in this space so it’s just it is it’ll change it changed me. I don’t want to say that it’ll change everyone but like if you allow it I guess it could change you definitely definitely goodness I don’t even know what to add we just threw a lot at you if there’s anything else you think would help with people in building self-confidence or that might help you .
Definitely feel free to share it with us so we can maybe share it online or touch up on it in a future episode yeah and even if you have like we have our Monday motivation quotes and pictures if you want to send us in a picture of yourself and even if you wanted to send a quote that you would like you can post it and you know that’ll build everyone’s self-confidence and seeing how awesome you are .
I definitely want to start sharing all of you beautiful people so please send us those pics and those quotes..... if you don’t send us a quote that’s okay you can send it to our instagram which will be in the comments or also our email address which will also be in the comments and also if you don’t have a Pole community you don’t have any poll friends send us your videos send us your pictures and you know we’ll we’ll be your little pole family.
we can yeah we can track your progress.... we’d love to see your progress it might yeah we might not enter right but we’ll get we’ll walk we’ll watch it .
I actually just had someone start hitting me up sending videos I was like oh thank you so much and they send them to me and I’m like I can’t watch them right now but I I’m gonna watch them.
It’s pretty cool.... I like.... I do like seeing