Following on from our previous blog here where we shared pole stories from some of our Beginner polekats, in this blog we’ve asked some of our Intermediate, Advanced and Exotic girls to tell us THEIR stories.

“My journey from beginner to intermediate at The Pole Project”

Although an intermediate, Lindsay also gave us her insights as a “nooblet poler and aspiring pole fit ninja”…

  • How long have you been pole dancing?

About a year and a half now.

  • Has The Pole Project been your only pole dance experience?

No, I went to a couple of classes elsewhere about a year before I found The Pole Project. It felt more slow-paced, but it was a good starting point for me to fuel my new-found obsession.

  • What was your first impression of the studio?

I immediately got a good sense of community. This is what drew me towards the studio most. It just seemed like everyone knew everyone, like a family reunion. Everyone catching up and having a laugh. I knew instantly that this was the crew I wanted to spin with.

  • Has your view of the studio changed since you first started here?

Not really. I always find it difficult to become a part of a group of any kind, so it took a while for me to feel part of the gang but as instructors and fellow polers got to know me I felt more and more comfortable and confident in my skin. Being the introvert that I am, I tend to wait for an extrovert to adopt me.

  • What is it that you love about pole dance, and how have your classes at The Pole Project shaped those feelings?

I love that it’s something not everyone can do, so people are super amazed and impressed with even the smallest of tricks. It is really challenging and requires a lot of work, but that just makes everything more rewarding. I love that I can be free and confident during pole time and I always walk away filled with so much joy and energy.

The Pole Project has given me this space to grow and become more confident in myself, always there to aid and push me towards achieving my personal goals.

  • In your journey to intermediate level, what are some of the struggles and successes you’ve faced in pole dance?

Pointing toes! It was and is something I have to actively think about so that I don’t look like a frog on a rotisserie. I’m also not very flexible, so I’ve struggled quite a bit with that throughout my practices. These are my biggest struggles.

I feel that at the end of every class comes success, it could be learning a new move or perfecting it, gaining confidence or even (in my sad case) being able to touch my toes for the first time. There’s always progression and in that you find success every week.

Piper recently moved over from another studio and had this to say about her pole experience…

  • How long have you been pole dancing?

I have been pole dancing for two and a half years.

  • Has The Pole Project been your only pole dance experience?

No, I started at another studio and moved over about a month ago. I’m loving it!

  • What was your first impression of the studio?

The Pole Project is a beautiful, friendly and amazing studio. The people are so kind and supportive and will help you through a lot, and the space itself is aesthetically pleasing and very organised.

  • Has your view of the studio changed since you first started here?

At first I saw The Pole Project as a very big, professional, scary studio where all the best pole dancers practised. I feared I wasn’t good enough. But now I see that it’s a place of love and encouragement, where the instructors just want you to be the best you can possibly be.

  • What is it that you love about pole dance, and how have your classes at The Pole Project shaped those feelings?

I have always struggled with loving myself, for multiple reasons, and pole dancing was a way of starting a process of learning to love myself. The Pole Project has brought that to new heights, truly helping me see how incredible my body is – to be able to do such amazing things. The community also truly helps with other aspects of my insecurities.

The classes here have made me feel proud of myself by helping me overcome my fears and is developing my strength and belief in myself.

Pole dancing has always been something I’ve used to make myself happy and lessons here never fail to make me laugh, make me smile and make me honestly feel stronger than I thought I’d ever be able to feel.

  • In your journey to intermediate level, what are some of the struggles and successes you’ve faced in pole dance?

I’ve been a very slow learner, trying to be careful so as to not hurt myself. So, after a year of pole I finally achieved my first invert and I plateaued soon after. I struggled to get stronger, to develop my skills and dancing abilities. I was set even further back after a terrible fall which left me injured. I lost a lot of strength, a lot of progress and a lot of self-confidence. I started working on it again and since joining The Pole Project I have developed so rapidly that I can’t believe I’m the same dancer I was last year.

Even though I’ve had to deal with a lot of challenges to get here – such as a lack of muscle tone, social issues and feeling scared about letting instructors down – I’ve also experienced victories of performing in front of my school and improving my self-confidence.

 “My ride to the top – the path to advanced at The Pole Project”

Our advanced student, Benita, was also asked a couple of questions…

  • How long have you been pole dancing?

This month will be three years.

  • Has The Pole Project been your only pole dance experience?

No, I started at another studio but after two years I moved to The Pole Project.

  • What was your first impression of the studio?

To be honest I was quite intimidated. I didn’t know anyone at the studio, so all I knew was what was on social media. I just saw how good everyone was and it seemed very competitive.

  • Has your view of the studio changed since you first started here?

In the beginning I felt a bit out of place because I wasn’t sure what class I would fit into, but as soon as I got here everyone was so friendly and made me feel so welcome. My experience is that everyone is very supportive, and they keep motivating you, which is why I believe everyone at the studio is so good!

  • What is it that you love about pole dance, and how have your classes at The Pole Project shaped those feelings?

Everything!! What isn’t there to love about pole dancing?!

  1. You don’t need a “gym buddy”. I’ve never felt like I needed a friend to go with me for motivation. At the studio there is always someone in your class that understands the struggles and motivates you. You also have so much fun in class that it doesn’t feel like exercise in the moment – although you’ll definitely feel it the next day!
  2. It builds everything – from your self-esteem to every muscle in your body. A lot of non-poler people ask me about being in such little clothing, but to be honest I don’t even think about it – no one in studio does. You just get to a point where you need skin contact otherwise you’d fall off the pole, and after a few months you start noticing how all your hard work is paying off when you look in the mirror at a toned body.
  3. I can be having the worst day ever – and sometimes I don’t even want to go to pole – but there is always something in class that will make me feel 100% better.
  4. Lastly, something I thought I would really hate are the bruises, but now I see them as little trophies.
  • On the path to advanced, what are some of the struggles and successes you’ve faced in pole dance?

My biggest struggle is working on my flexibility. I’m not naturally flexible and I spend most of my time working behind a computer, so the hardest thing for me is trying to find motivation to stretch. Sometimes I can’t get into a move, not because I’m not strong enough but because I just can’t bend that way.

My biggest successes are getting the moves now that I always wanted to when I started pole dancing. One move that I always wanted to get was Fonji and at the moment I am so close to getting it right. Looking back at old photos makes me feel like I have accomplished “the world” and makes me excited to see what I’ll be able to do next month or next year. 

“What a trip! Learning the art of exotic dance at The Pole Project”

Then about exotic – this is what Robynn had to say…

  • How long have you been pole dancing?

About four years.

  • How long have you been taking exotic classes?

A year and a half – not nearly long enough!

  • What was your first impression of the studio?

I thought it was the most beautiful pole studio I’d seen yet, and this view still holds up! I also thought that to dance at The Pole Project you already had to be good and strong. I was intimidated (but how silly!).

  • Has your view of the studio changed since you first started here?

Absolutely, the instructors and classmates form a sisterhood (with a few bros). I haven’t felt intimidated or out of place since my first lesson. I’ve grown exponentially in terms of physical strength and I’ve made lifelong friends.

It’s a beautiful, supportive, nurturing, feel-good, safe space.

  • What is it that you love about exotic dance?

Unlike other classes where the focus is on strength and tricks we learn and practice performance and choreography, which is super important. Exotic gives you the opportunity to release the sexy wild beastess you didn’t know was pent up inside of you, it encourages “letting go” in a safe space, and it increases self-awareness, body positivity and all round confidence.

  • Have your classes at The Pole Project shaped those feelings at all?

Definitely. The instructors have created an incredible atmosphere for students – this is unique! I haven’t experienced it anywhere else. It’s not just about learning a sexy routine, wearing and feeling your sexiest is encouraged.

  • What are some of the struggles and successes you’ve faced in exotic dance?

I’ve always danced my heart out and let go. That’s how I know that exotic is where my heart lies. That being said, I recall struggling with remembering choreo and timing, and executing the moves properly. Exotic tricks are very different to pole or hip hop or contemporary and floor work is a lot harder than it looks, not to mention the added weight of the heels!

  • Has your instructor at The Pole Project helped you overcome any of those struggles in any way?

Yes, Kathy has seriously pushed me… She’s thrown some tall challenges my way (ummm, Pole Provocateur Professional division! Say whaaaat!?) but at the same time she gave me her total support and with loads of practice, learning new choreo and remembering is hardly an issue for me anymore. I’m open and excited to learn new tricks instead of approaching them with fear. My default fear setting has been transformed.