Stalled? Or not?

LatinPoler Previous Paid Member
Feb 12, 2017
Hi ladies,

I’ve been mulling over this topic lately so I decided to finally vent myself here.

I used to go to a great studio that was all about tricks. I could barely keep up, but many times I felt pushed to try a new trick because it was on the syllabus, and I usually managed to do it, because I’m determined and strong… But even if I could do it, that didn’t mean I felt 100% comfortable, with a solid base, safe.

I’ve never done gymnastics in my life, so being upside down was anti-natural for me and I really struggled with elbow stands, handstands and some inverts (I’ve asked for help several times in this forum, by the way).

This situation reached the highest point when I was encouraged to try the Butterfly. I had signed up for a lower level class, because I was tired, but the instructor knew my level and pushed me to try. I felt terrible. Physically and mentally. Many other times I signed up and then cancel, because instead of fun, it was kind of stressful for me. Of course the feeling was great when I nailed something, but the journey was painful - in all senses! Please don’t misunderstand me, the studio was outstanding, amazing teachers and facilities, but maybe the pace and expectations were a little too pressing for me.

In January I changed cities. Now I live in a bigger city and there are more studios, more options. I mainly go to flow and exotic flow now, which has always been my thing. I’m also following a couple of Instagram challenges and Veena’s Caterpillar program, based on her advice to me for managing the damn Butterfly. If we add the flexibility training and that I run, there is no much time left to learn new tricks.

As a result, I have barely learned any new trick in the last two months or so. I’ve learned transitions and flow instead (and streaptease ;-)). I've improved my Caterpillar and bad side climb, bat and basic invert. I’ve had more fun indeed. But I’m feeling weird, as if I were going backwards in my pole journey. As if I had stalled.

Also, I realize that when I post something on Instagram or even here, the tricks or flexibility posts grab in general more attention than the flow videos. So it seems that flow is not valuable? Less valuable than tricks? Am I wrong with my approach to pole? I’m kind of confused to be honest.

Lastly, about posting, I don’t post perfect videos. I’m not a professional poler, so I don’t bother to cut what is not that pretty. Maybe that’s weird too…

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!
VeenaFirst there's no level that any pole dancer has to reach, unless competing is the goal. Even if you decided that competing where the goal, you still need to ask yourself, "who are you poling/competing for?". Are you pole dancing for yourself, or others? Why does it matter if you get more or less response and views in social media? If you do something for the approval of others it can totally take away the joy and fun.

Something else about IG and other social media is that algorithms change with out you knowing and this can affect who seeing what and how much interaction you have. This means judging how much people "like" what you do on social media by number or reaction, is a sure way to start to feel behind or uninteresting to others. My numbers changed this week dropping and I am not seeing the my regular group of ppl in my feed so I'm guessing there was an IG change. Even though social media is the ONLY way I get new students I try not to stress about numbers. I just keep posting what I like and this keeps me from falling into a cycle of "am I good enough?".

If you love the sexy side, do it. If you like tricks, work on those. As I just said, trying to figure out what others want from you will kill your joy, been there, done that. I've gone over a year in my time without learning anything new and I'm still here loving what I do. I learn new stuff when I feel like it might be fun and when I have the time to train more often. I stop doing that when it stops being fun or when life gets too busy to put in the time needed to safely train for harder tricks.

I want pole to be FUN and to be a great way to workout and feel fulfilled.
Feb 12, 2017
LatinPoler Previous Paid MemberThanks Veena! Yes, I agree. It's somehow natural wanting to please everybody, or gain their acceptance, but if there's no fun and becomes stressful... it's not worth it! Sometimes I also think that I should disappear from social media, but I like it, I like watching other people, so want to add my two cents too :-) I think it's fair, it should go both ways.
Feb 13, 2017
emmasculatorDon't worry about what you think people will pay attention to more. You do this stuff for yourself, not to garner the approval of others! Also measuring progress in terms of number of new tricks is not a good metric. It misses so much stuff, like for example fluidity, confidence, flow, breathing, being able to think....err pole on your feet....etc. I actually go to the studio you went to. I'm so sorry that was your experience. Ive learned the when the fun things start becoming stressful then its time to mark a change. I starting taking more of their flow classes (sadly there is only one a week now), and that felt really really good. You are more than enough exactly as your are and exactly how you wish to be. Do what brings you joy!
Feb 13, 2017
robinska Previous Paid MemberI recently went to my first pole competition, where they had different categories...dramatic, entertainment, and exotic. The people there were just as excited, if not more, for exotic as any other kind!! Don't second guess what you enjoy bc of other people!
Feb 13, 2017
LatinPoler Previous Paid MemberThanks for your comments! Emmasculator, I did not miss a flow or floorwork class if I was in town, they were my faves. But as you said, they were not frequent. It's a great studio and now that I go somewhere else, I can corroborate that my base is solid, thanks to what I was taught there. It's a great studio. But anyway, I always felt that I was learning so slow compared to the ladies that started at the same time as me! Robinska, good to know! I wish you good luck with your competitions. I don't plan to compete as of now, but if I ever did, it would possibly be in the exotic category :-)
So, I will keep doing what I like. Now I'm feeling up to try tricks again, believe it or not. Frankly, I think both things are necessary, tricks and flow. It's also true that my recent relocation was a little hassle, so it was not the right time to put more pressure on me with learning advanced and scary tricks. I just wanted to relax and dance. Now that I'm settled, it may be the right time to continue with tricks.
You ladies rock!!!!!
Feb 14, 2017
robinska Previous Paid MemberOh I didn't compete! I just spectated! But it was so much fun just to go! Maybe someday I'll compete... But if you're looking for validation for loving exotic look and see if there are any competitions or performances near you! It was so worth the price of admission just to be in an auditorium full of people who love pole and who cheered everyone of every ability and style!!! The one I went to was a PSO competition but I know there are other organizations too!
Feb 14, 2017
emmasculatorI actually don't think tricks are necessary. Don't get me wrong! I love them....in fact I do too many of them.Buy flow and continifty can be found in any type of movement! I've seen amazing routines, routines that left me speechless that had no tricks. Just floorwork and spins. There was one Fontaine bradbury..or however you spell her last name routine that was completely trick free at a competition and won either sponsors choice or people's choice. I honestly think all one needs to generate a good routine or flow is just doing whatever make you happy and doing it well ;)
Feb 14, 2017
LatinPoler Previous Paid MemberI *find*
Feb 14, 2017
LatinPoler Previous Paid MemberI wrote another comment and it disappeared! Well, I wanted to say that I agree, I find nice flows mesmerizing, extreme trick astonishing but not mesmerizing. I think it boils down to playing your strengths, whatever they are. Thanks ladies!
Feb 15, 2017
Goat on a Pole Previous Paid MemberLatinPoler! I just (I think) found you and started following you on instagram ! (my name is @kinderrose ). I've found that my trick learning sort of comes in waves with everything that Veena said. Another thing that I found really helpful is to work on something else (flow, for example) but then just strength train for a month like with Veena's caterpillar program or something else. Then, when you do want to come back to acquiring new tricks you're often at a new "strength level" so all you have to worry about is the technical aspects, not technique and strength at the same time. And then leave those tricks or a while, smooth things out with flow and more strength training, rinse and repeat.

I too did not start out with a gymnastics background, or much of a dance background, and I am not intrinsically strong at all. It's been a challenge to get every inch of my progress that I have thus far, and I'm just starting to play around with the caterpillar and butterfly.

If you want, I'd love to be pole-buddies! Maybe we can pick a move from Veena's collection (beginner or intermediate for me probably, but maybe something you haven't tried or haven't perfected or want to work on transitioning into/out of. There's a LOT in there!) every other week or something. And then work on it and post up on instagram tagging each other. Just an idea. :) Would need a good hashtag..
Feb 16, 2017
Goat on a Pole Previous Paid MemberAlso how far are you in the caterpillar program? I did it once through, and now I'm back and on Day 5 but I keep having to take breaks due to work shifts and vacations.
Feb 16, 2017
LatinPoler Previous Paid MemberGoat, thanks for your feedback! Yes, I can see you on my followers list. I'm finishing up the Caterpillar program, in Day 24 I believe. I could do a baby Caterpillar already, as I said I was seeking confidence in the position to progress to more advanced moves and I’m feeling much better already. I’d love to be pole buddies, the issue is that my schedule is quite busy and hectic, a lot of travel, etc. so I don’t think I can commit to anything else :-( You know what? Maybe because I'm feeling stronger in my Caterpillar, I'm feeling up to trying advanced tricks again... maybe a new training wave is coming up!
Feb 17, 2017
Traceybatt
This is the best side splits warm up I've ever done. Really helps warming up the hamstrings and hip flexors before going into splits. Wondering why my instructors never taught us this!
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