Read: I made love with a pole.
That’s how gracitude, or g-tude, was born. I very briefly explain it here, but this first EVER post will have all the juicy deets. Buckle up, and enjoyyyy the ride.
For those of you who have been following along my pole journey, I actually started long before taking classes at this amazing studio.
My dance journey began with classical ballet training under the hot Arizona sun. Years later when I moved to Chicago, I ended up adding all other sorts of dance, and I kind of fell in love.
Of all genres, jazz became my favorite– hip rolls, body rolls, and butt loads of sass. We warmed up to Rihanna, Britney, and Lady Gaga. As exhausting as all of it was, I absolutely loved it – nailing every little move was ridiculously satisfying. Every single time.
Soooo what did all this training lead to? My first pole experience…at the middle school playground.
It’s Britney, Bitch.
Fast forward some years and I somehow ended up in Shanghai, China – the breeding grounds for open mindedness, letting loose and having fun. Somewhere towards the end of senior year I found out about pole dancing classes and was mind blown that these classes even existed.
Like, YES, I wanted to transfer my playground skills into a real studio. I knew I had been preparing all these years for something. YOLOoOoo!!!
“Dad, want to help me find this pole studio? I think I want to try a class.
The studio was en route a subway line I’d never taken, so naturally, I asked my father if he would come with. I was probably a little cray cray for having the balls to ask my parents if I could go, but all I can say is BLESS UP.
Supportive parents are a godsend.
Pops came with and then off he went to a nearby coffee shop. Byeeee!
That pole class was freaking hard. I mean, I wish I had recorded it because it must have been comical to watch at the time. I can’t even remember what went down, but I remember being like, “screw this! why do people even do this”.
At that time I blamed it on the humidity. Pole wasn’t supposed to be so freaking hard, right? Like all it is, is body rolls and looking hot n’ sexy, right???
You guys, I thought pole fitness, AKA flipping myself upside down, was supposed to be easy. That is ridiculous! Years later, I discovered pole is an incredible combination of total body strength, flexibility, and musicality.
But because I was so discouraged from that single class, I said, ADIOS, C U NEVER, and went on my way.
I went onto college in Texas, transferred schools, and ended up in this beautiful Indiana college town.
Indiana became the birthing ground of my newfound love for pole fitness, gratitude, health, and wellness.
As a transfer student living off campus, I put all my efforts into meeting people and getting involved. The first group I joined was CHAARG – an amazing nationwide organization and community for women to embark on incredible fitness journeys with one another.
Long story short, Indiana University’s CHAARG chapter had an event at Wild Orchid Aerial Fitness & Dance; we got to try aerial yoga, pole dance, and aerial hoop/lyra. We were all totally awkward, but had a blast.
THEN, the next semester I went through Greek Recruitment AKA srat life, which surprisingly brought me one step closer to gracitude, and pole life.
Yes, I became a little basic as a result of Greek Life, but you know…I had to reach the peak of Mt. Basic before chilling and coming down.
Srat life was the whole reason for pole. The human who eventually led me to Wild Orchid Studio started out as a fellow pledge class sister, and soon became a close friend.
Basically, long story short, this girl had been on her pole journey at the studio and LOVED IT. She was literally always excited about class and talked about her newfound upper body strength, the great people, and alllll the hair flips. (I live for hair flips & sass.)
However, I was positive-o pole dancing wasn’t for me.
- My personality ain’t got sexy back
- No upper body strength
- Too “taboo”…Ugh, what would people think?!!?
It took a bit of convincing, but I finally caved.
September 2015 – I bought a 2-week unlimited pass, started going to classes, and was hooked.
Reasons why I caved?
- My apartment was literally above the studio. (lazy gal things)
- Hair flips
- Ugh, YOLO. Literally I had nothing to lose. If I hated it, I wouldn’t have to go back.
I kept it super low-key at first and was damn positive these two weeks would be quickly forgotten. But shit y’all, I was SO wrong!
WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG
Holy jeez I was so wrong. I signed up for a membership immediately after my two weeks were up.
Despite my massive lack of arm strength and how unsexy I was, I felt my mind and body beginning to change. It was like…super addicting…
In addition to all these new feels, I discovered an amazing link of my newly acquired pole tricks and dance technique. I became obsessed with linking dance flow and pole. On top of all that, I discovered an international pole community of badass people on the IG; I thought it was so incredible how all these people were connecting through posting videos and what not. I wanted in.
I set my mind to pursuing this newfound passion of pole dance, and less than a year later I began teaching.
After two short years of poling, I have learned an incredible amount about myself. I have become more capable of self-reflection, self-love, and self-care.
Pole has done much more than physically strengthen me; it has pushed me to the greater depths of loving and caring for the wellbeing of other people.
Here’s what else my pole journey, up to this point, has contributed:
Because of pole, I value personal journeys. I understand that each of our chapter 10s are incomparable to one another.
Because of pole, I challenged mental and physical limitations. I applied this new strength into “real life” challenges.
Because of pole, I met some incredible humans. One of them led me into joining one of Bloomington’s dance companies.
Because of pole, I taught students and completely stepped out of my comfort zone.
…I made a bestie. I explored things outside Mt. Basic. I found my own health & fitness. I learned to accept opportunities and to learn from them.
Most importantly I learned that expressing gratitude on a daily basis, and having the grace to be open to change as life throws curveballs is ridiculously invaluable. bippitybop! grace + gratitude = gracitude.
Okay, HOLD ON…I realize that above all is this: we can allow ourselves to be human and negative, but acknowledging that we have the power to BE grateful and to take power over our thoughts is ridiculously invaluable. grace…and…attitude. BOOM. Baby is born – gracitude.
aaand to further explain “attitude”: it holds both the positive and the negative – it gives us a free range of emotional expression.
So there you have it. A longgggg ass story to understand how gracitude was born.
Long story short?
I made love with a pole.