Lauren's journey - pole kisses, triangle splits and self-discovery
When I first heard a pole studio was opening in my neighbourhood this curious and excited girl decided to pop on in to see what it was all about. I was greeted with open arms and a half renovated studio by the excited new owner (Alex). We sat down to discuss signing up as a founding member, and I got the grand tour of the studio. From there I went along to the Altitude Drury opening day, where I watched one of my soon-to-be instructors do an impromptu performance. I was stunned and amazed by how she could dance like that, and I got even more excited at the thought that one day that could be me!
My first class was a stretch class and boy, what a triangle I was (splits)! I had absolutely no flexibility at all. My second class of the week was Level 1 pole. I had no strength and I couldn't grip the pole, but I did have a sense of rhythm and was able to do some sexy pole walking. I remember waking up the next morning feeling like I’d been hit by a bus, or like I’d spent hours pegged by my arms to the washing line - I could barely lift anything! What surprised me the most was how much pole worked out muscles I don't think I had ever felt before.
A few weeks along my strength was getting better and my splits looked a little less triangle like, but I could have played connect the dots with the amount of pole kisses that were all over my body! I mixed up my classes a bit with beginner spin, and even tested out my first exotic class.
By the end of my first month living the pole life I was chosen as Student of the Month! I was quite surprised that they’d chosen me but at the same time super excited and honoured to have been picked. This is what I love about Altitude - being a part of a place that gives back to their students and rewards their achievements.
As weeks and months went by, I found my progression was a bit up and down. I'm sure you’ll all agree that you have your good days and your bad when it comes to pole. You have days where you smash out move after move, and days where your grip sucks, you’re fatigued, and everything hurts. But the thing is – you’re still doing better than sitting on your couch at home. Every class counts!
I got to a stage where I was ready and eager to get up the pole and get upside down. What amazed me was the difference between Level 1 and Level 2 – Level 2 felt like day one all over again, where you can’t do a lot but you want to keep going so you can do more.
Just when everything was going well and I was smashing my way through the Level 2 curriculum, my pole journey was halted due to a concussion. No pole for me 😭 But this didn’t stop me from participating in my first ever pole photoshoot, and even performing in my first ever showcase (with some limitations of course).
I lost a lot of my strength and stamina because of my injury, so at the beginning of this year I made it a goal to make a comeback. I was becoming addicted to seeing improvement and progression in my pole journey, and inspiration from Instagram (some incredibly talented dancers on there) made me want to progress even more. In order to do that I focused on regaining my strength, l stepped up my membership and was also consistent with my classes and attendance. I was starting to really see big improvements in myself and I even got a taste of Level 3. Wow, how far I had come in this amount of time!
Then HELLO Lockdown!
I was incredibly annoyed to say the least (I'm sure I wasn't the only one). No pole for at least 4 weeks! It was back to the drawing board for me and what I was able to do. Ya girl was an essential worker, so I spent more time in scrubs than attending virtual classes.
When we got to Level 2 and out of lockdown… oh boy was I soooo excited to be back in real life, at the studio in the flesh! And seeing that cold stainless steel squeaky clean pole for the first time again! 😍
I realised I was going to be starting back at the beginning again, but hey - I've done this whole ‘start from the beginning again’ thing twice now. It doesn't take long before your body adjusts back to where you left off – you just have to be a bit kinder to yourself (just like my instructors said).
Now that we’re a few months out of lockdown, I’m sort of feeling like myself again. I’m currently working towards the upcoming testing month – hopefully I can pass the level tests! I’m also working on combining moves together a bit more for (maybe) another performance in the future. Watch this space!
What a journey it has been, and a journey that still continues. From where I began my confidence has bloomed, my negativity towards my own body has been let go. I finally feel comfortable with who I am. From a girl lost and drowning underneath uncertainty and an inability to express who she truly was and what she was capable of, to a woman who discovered not only a passion for pole but the amazing uniqueness of who she is.
This is me: a mother, a wife, and now a pole dancer.