Are We Bitches?

[This piece was previously published on the now-defunct Bad Kitty Blog.]

Quick, answer this question:

Which studio is your home?

You probably had one clear answer. And, if you had to explain why that studio was the one you considered HOME, I bet at least some of the answers would look something like:

“It was where I started.”

“Everyone is so friendly!”

“I’m really close with the other students.”

“I love my teachers. They’re so supportive!”

Those are all great reasons! For me, I know that even when I don’t go to my original studio as often as usual, I still consider it home. It was where I began, but also, it’s where I feel accepted and comfortable. I have good friends there, and I love the vibe – it’s as if magic fairy dust has been sprinkled into the walls, blocking the outside world from coming in.

This special energy can be hard to find in other studios. Maybe it’s because nothing is going to match your Home Studio, but maybe it’s more than that. I’m lucky enough to live in a city with a preponderance of studios to choose from. There is an embarrassment of riches in this community, and many choices one could make as to where to spend their pole time. I’ve taken classes at eight of the major studios in the LA metropolitan area, and I like different things about all of them. But I definitely have my reasons for returning to some studios over others. It’s been a lesson in learning how to navigate within a community without my wolf pack of pole sisters to protect me. I’ve had to learn how to work in new environments, how to adjust to the different levels of instruction offered at various places, and how to not take it personally when a studio doesn’t live up to its expectations, or if people aren’t super welcoming.

you cant sit

I forget, though, that not everyone is used to moving around into new spaces. I was speaking to a friend of mine, who was excited about the chance to try a studio new (which shall remain nameless). During her first class, she watched with dismay as the students did not greet her or celebrate the wins of others, and the instructor failed to welcome her or support the other students in an open and friendly manner. Both of these experiences were the polar opposite of life at her usual studio and left her with such a bad taste in her mouth. She decided to not continue with the remainder of her classes at the new studio.

I know that feeling. I’ve experience the same thing, and I’ve heard from others that it’s not uncommon. It got me to thinking: As pole dancers we have a tremendous opportunity to empower ourselves and others, but have we evolved? Do we breed exclusivity in the name of empowerment, only to blind ourselves to the fact that this type of empowerment is often built on the disempowerment of others?

Are we still in high school?

mean girls

Think about it: we all want to be better, we all want to DO better, but in the pursuit of that, do we exclude people who ultimately want the same thing? How is that empowering to anyone but you? And, really, is it actually empowering to you? I would venture to say that excluding others and failing to celebrate their victories is the road to disempowerment, rather than empowerment.

And, I don’t just mean, celebrate the victories of your friends. Take a moment and remember what it’s like to be The New Kid. Look around and reach out to someone you don’t know. Cheer for all of the victories you see. Offer to spot someone who needs it, but hasn’t asked. Compliment someone on a move they were trying, even if maybe it’s got some room to go before it is perfect. Give back. Share. Banish the bitch. You’ll be stronger for it. We all will.

 

 

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About Danielle C

Actress, writer, consumer of too much sugar, cat mom, dog auntie, pole enthusiast, amateur foodie, local explorer. Often mouthy, occasionally political.

Posted on April 15, 2019, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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