Forums Discussions How limited will I be because of my background?

  • How limited will I be because of my background?

    Posted by poledanceromance on April 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    The more I learn about my pole idols, the more I realize most of them have a background in dance or gymnastics, something that makes their dancing aesthetically pleasing to me. I don’t have any of that. I mean, I can strength train and practice transitions all I want, but none of it makes up for a lifetime at the barre. Is it even physically possible for someone like me to be a Jenyne without the lifetime behind it?

    I guess I was never really being honest with myself about pole. I know if I ever have to confront the notion that I can’t ever be as good as I want to make myself happy, I won’t do it anymore.

    poleprincess89 replied 14 years, 1 month ago 31 Members · 39 Replies
  • 39 Replies
  • amy

    April 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    are you saying you will only be happy if you are at the same level as the 2009 US champion and 2nd place world champion? pole and aerial acro is jenyne’s FULL TIME JOB! she has silks in her house! is your goal to perform and compete in pole at the national level? are you poling every day? are you stretching every day? flexibility can be earned by anyone with enough work, and so can strength…. if you have the time and energy and commitment for it. i did a workshop with the contortionist who works with alethea and all the bespun girls, and she was talking about stretching your back for 2-3 hours at a time if you want to gain flexibility. JUST YOUR BACK. if you didn’t get those hours in during childhood, then you will need to work that much harder now that you are already an adult, if you want to ‘catch up’.

    i have NO background in dance, ballet, or gymnastics. i can’t do a split and honestly i dont work very hard at getting them. i pole dance because i enjoy it and it’s rewarding to ME, and i’m pretty typical type A over-achiever so this was a realization i had to come to a while ago. i dont have to be the best at it, or even the top 1000 in my state; i don’t care at all about competing because i have yet to be convinced that competitions necessarily judge by the same criteria that i feel are important. i am rewarded by the effort that i put into pole dancing because i see improvement in myself and my abilities as they change over time. i learn about myself and improve as a person by virtue of the people i meet and the confidence i have grown. i hate to lecture but if you can’t have fun doing it, and you’re basing your enjoyment of it on how good you are compared to national champions, then i think you should think carefully about your perspective and why you are pole dancing.

  • chemgoddess1

    April 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Amy is spot on.

    I only aspire to be the best that I can be, whether it be in my daily life, my job, as a wife or on the pole. I am sure that I could be better at it if I devoted more time to it, however other things in my life would suffer. I am not willing to do that. I am sure that my house could be spotless too however I choose to live instead of spending all of my time cleaning.

    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain or bitter,
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

  • poledanceromance

    April 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    something that makes their dancing aesthetically pleasing to me. I don’t have any of that. I know if I ever have to confront the notion that I can’t ever be as good as I want to make myself happy, I won’t do it anymore.

    This was intended to mean I had not realized, until recently, the typical background behind the aesthetic that I like. And therefore worried that the appearance that pleases me is not attainable. Obviously that’s not what I conveyed with my post, since the resulting criticism seems to imply that there’s something wrong with my outlook, and I really don’t think there is. I was asking about physical potential. Perhaps I should have put this in health and fitness.

    The short answer, yes, I want to see exactly how far my body will let me push it while I am young. I had eventually competing and performing in mind from the very first second I considered purchasing a pole. And I don’t think there’s one single thing wrong with that.

  • amcut

    April 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm


    That’s like saying you’re not going to invest unless you’re definitely going to be the next Bloomberg.
    Or a hefty girl saying she’s not even going to bother losing weight unless she’s sure she can have Gisele Bundchen’s body.

    Anyways. You probably could get as good as Jenyne. But by the time you got there, she’d be 200303030x better. Not to mention it would take you a LOT longer than it would a properly-backgrounded girl. Not that this should be a deterrent. I don’t think it’s WRONG that you want this, I do think it’s really effing silly, though. Not that you started with the intention to compete- but that you would quit if you couldn’t be the king.

  • chemgoddess1

    April 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I had a huge post and it went poof….

    Have you ever watched Amy dance? For having no background she moves beautifully. For all of the bad things people have to say about S Factor she is proof positive of the beauty of that movement.

    If you are dedicated to pole and that is a goal then you know the end result, you just need to figure out how to get there. Go back and watch Amber’s and Karol’s and Aleathea’s old videos and see how far they have come just in a year. I think this time last year Amber was struggling with her handsprings. I have seen amazing transformations of people when it comes to bodybuilding, this is no different.

  • Veena

    April 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    I don’t have a gymnastics or dance background I had strength but that went away while preggers with Henry!! … in fact anything I have ever done was self taught, first. I still can’t hold a handstand on the floor, but I"m working on it.

    Always work towards your personal best….there will always be someone better than you, it’s just the way things are. Work with the strengths you have, maybe its strength, leg flexibility or even the ability to entertain…everyone has some little thing that they can build on as their strength.

    If this is something you have a passion for and want to do then go for it….don’t compare yourself to others…. but watch tons of vids, not just pole, but anything with movements….ballroom, modern, gymnastics….study them. Then VISUALIZE yourself moving in the same manner…..visualization is a HUGE help for me!!! And you must be confident in the fact that you CAN do the move or can move with fluidity. The human mind is extremely powerful, and I believe you can do anything you put your mind to!!! Go for it.

  • Mary Ellyn

    April 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    How boring would this be if everyone danced EXACTLY like Jenyne!

    I have a bunch of pole idols…Jenyne, KT, Becca, Wendy, Alethea, Michelle Gravity and yes Amy to name a few (Amy probably thinks I’ve become her own personal stalker! LOL)

    Can you imagine such a huge difference in styles? I don’t want to dance LIKE any of them but they all have something that I enjoy watching and every once in a while something that I try to incorporate into my dancing but in my own way, my own style.

    It took me a while to come to terms with the concept that I won’t dance like my pole idols but now I realize I don’t want to. Once you stop comparing and trying to match up to someone else, your dancing will get better.

    Like I tell my students all the time, if you can’t dance like Shakira, don’t try! You’ll look much better just being yourself!

  • SissyBuns

    April 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Hi PDR, first I wanna say how much i fuggin heart you.

    Ok, secondly. I can’t say whether or not you’l ever be the caliber dancer of the Jenyne Butterflys. No one can predict that. And even if you don’t…that’s ok. You’re gonna dance your own way and be your own kind of poler, and if people pick up on it and adopt it then sweet! If they don’t than so be it. I don’t have a single shred of any type of traing, personally. But I know one thing. I sure do love to dance. And that’s all that matters right? For those of us starting from scratch, yeah…maybe it might take longer to pick up grace and fluidity and transitions. But it doesn’t mean you’ll never be as awesome as you wanna be. And to even consider quitting because you’re not sure you won’t reach that standard is ludicrous and you better have that notion out of your head before I get a hold of you!!!!

  • miss fern

    April 16, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Okay … there is how it works:

    1. Yes, your pole idols are at the level they are at now because they have a dance and/or gymnastics background.

    2a. You do not need a dance and/or gymnastics background to be as good as them.
    2b. You only need it to be as good as them AS QUICKLY AND EASILY as them.

    (Note: I’m not saying it’s easy for them, just easIER than it will be for you.)

    But the fact of the matter is you can definitely achieve that style. I have no dance background but I started taking jazz lessons one year and you’ll be suprised how quickly you start to look more graceful and professional. I’m not a jazz dancer by any means, but it has improved my flow and aesthetic in pole dancing tenfold.

  • workingfire

    April 17, 2010 at 12:05 am

    If gaining more flow and just general ‘dance’ skill to incorporate into your style is something you’re trying to obtain, maybe a good route would be to just go try some other forms of dance? Maybe you should go out and take a few classes and see if there’s anything you like, and start bringing what you learn into poling.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that not having been a dancer at a young age will have thwarted you from obtaining that kind of grace etc., but it might be a bit more difficult to get into the swing of things. On the other hand – don’t assume that dancers have it easier. While they do bring a lot of that previous dance movement into their poling, one girl who I spoke to who had been doing ballet, tap and jazz for eight years said that pole was one of the hardest types of dance she’s ever tried, partially because it was so different from anything else and her previous training made it hard to get the hang of certain things. So while long-term dancers might have <i>some</i> things easier, they surely have some unique struggles that you probably would never face!

  • poledanceromance

    April 17, 2010 at 12:21 am

    To defend myself once again *sigh, why does everything I say get taken the wrong way* this is also not about wanting to "dance like" any specific person. There are a lot of "Jenynes" on my list, but she’s one of the only ones I could be guaranteed wouldn’t read this and I didn’t want to embarrass anyone. One commenter here is on it. I can’t "dance like" them all at once. C’est imposible.

    This also wasn’t about wanting to be #1. Just about wanting to be able to achieve, with my body, what people who compete at that level achieve.

    This was primarily about realizing that what I enjoy watching in a dancer might be things I couldn’t ever do.

    This was just about being worried my body would be not physically be capable of dancing well on the whole, from tricking up top to licking the floor, like if I hadn’t done it by a certain age there would simply be no learning it.

    2a. You do not need a dance and/or gymnastics background to be as good as them.
    2b. You only need it to be as good as them AS QUICKLY AND EASILY as them.

    i fuggin heart you.
    I fuggin heart you more. <3

  • moonflower

    April 17, 2010 at 5:29 am


    I think he reactions here are from misinterpretation of your comments. I didn’t think you wanted to be like ONE person, or to give up if you can’t be #1. Reading your comments, I just see a little bit of despair from someone who might have some perfectionistic ( I so totally made that word up) tendencies. I understand that you don’t actually want to be just like your idols, you just used them as reference and other member took it literally. What you probably mean is, you want to be as good as your ideal self. I go through the same feelings too.

    I’m in the pole rut (plateau) right now, up until this point everything has been easy to moderately challenging for me and I’ve been progressing quite well. But now, I"m at a stand still. I feel as though I’ve maxed out my strength, flexibility and grace all at the same time. I can’t get the allegra for more than 2-3 seconds and i leaves a painful rib that stays for weeks, even though it comes to easy to others. I’m 3" from the floor with the side splits (the one with legs on either side) and haven;t moved for a while. My movements still look amateur and sloppy even though I practice almost everyday. My left foot point inwards when I point my toes and it drive me nuts and throws off my line unless I make a very conscious effort to point "out". I can only do a elbow stand sans pole half the time, the other half I flip over and end in a crumpled pile. I try so hard, but I feel as though I’ll never be as good as I want myself to be. I’m pretty hard on myself. I doesn’t mean I’m not doing it to have fun. I’m having LOTS of fun. I just like to set my goals high and achieve them. I have a feeling you are the same way.

    This thread prompted me to go watch your videos. You are really good. And honestly if you lied and said you took dance as a kid, I will believe you. You might not have a dance background, but you have 22 years of experience moving your body, and it shows.

  • CheeryBomb

    April 17, 2010 at 10:17 am


    I don’t think you would be limited at all due to your background or non background in dance, gymnastics, etc. Does having that make things a bit easier, sure. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t try to take yourself to the highest level of Pole (i.e. competition level) if that is what your dream is. The only thing it means is that you may have to work a bit harder and put more time and effort into finding your own style and movement. No matter what age you are when you start or where you start from, you can always get better and achieve more. Why sit around wasting time wondering if you can or can’t ever get to that level. We all know that practice makes perfect, so get up and start practicing. If you are willing to go the extra mile, then by all means, go for it. As long as you go into it knowing your abilities and what you will need to do to get to where you want to be, you will do great. If you never try, you will never know what you potential is. If you end up not being able to do a certain move, so what, focus on what you can do while continuing to practice on getting better at what you are lacking in. And, who knows, you may get into your training and find that you have a natural ability to captivate your audience with your own movement without having any professional training. I believe that a woman can captivate anyone as long as she is confident in herself. Look within yourself, find something that you absolutely love about yourself without adding anything negative to it, and focus on that one positive aspect. Then build to two positive things about yourself, and so on. Continue building yourself up with positives until the things you don’t like are just minor issues that you can over look. For me, I love my eyes. I always try to speak through my eyes and I really work on that in all aspects of my life. If I am giving my hubby the "come hither" look or I’m telling my daughter that she shouldn’t be tearing the tissues out of the box again

    Anyway, I totally agree with Veena. The mind is a very powerful source. If you are constantly second guessing yourself and thinking that you can’t do it, then you can’t/won’t do it. If you are telling yourself that you can do this no matter what people think or what your background is, and that you are gonna make it to the top no matter what you have to go through or how long it will take, then you WILL succeed, and you WILL make it. The power is within yourself. Only YOU can make this happen. I believe in you. YOU CAN DO IT!

  • azriel

    April 17, 2010 at 11:33 am

    PDR- I’ve always had these same doubts as you. But looking back at my older vids, i can see how much time & practice can do in terms of improvement in everything, including dance movement & aesthetics of a trick, or the fluidity of going from trick to trick. Like you, i have no dance or gymnastic background either.. but my dancing has improved TREMENDOUSLY in the past 6 months! Granted, it’s not anywhere near perfect, and i still wish that i could put on a flawless performance every time i get on my pole (it only happens once in blue moon), the way i see some other girls doing. It’s like they can dance perfectly every single time they pole, regardless of how many tricks they do. But you know what? It DOES get easier & better. You’ve only been at it 6 months! Just wait & see how different you’ll be in another 6 months. We will get there!!!

  • Sapphirecatzeye

    April 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I think I’m going to just repeat what everyone else has said, I dont believe that a no dance background will hinder you. I’ve had ZERO absolutely ZERO physical activity in school growing up, I always was in art classes. I couldnt even do a split a year ago.
    The beginning of this year I wanted my new years resolution to be to perform in uspdf and get my pro-status. I woke up in january and watched a ton of videos of Jenye and felix that morning and started training.
    I felt really shitty and felt like i had to far to go. I’m really driven, and a FIRM believer you can be whatever you set your mind to. The mind is a very powerful tool.
    Since January, I learned to do the phoenix, twisted grip lifts, and I recently got the pretzel/stag , moves i didnt think i was going to get for a long time.
    I lifted weights because I realized I wasnt at the physical shape to perform i needed to be. And i stretch all the time. My husband works and I stay at home with our daughter, so this is possible . And its like… all the time training.
    2 years ago also i started contortion, and with super determination and a love for how the contortionist body is able of, i am getting really close to closing my backbend, which is my dream for uspdf.
    I really think you can do whatever you set your mind to, as long as its in the right place, and you deliver with your body.
    I’ve used this technique though out alot of stuff in my life, during a period when i wasnt pole dancing , I was interested in belly dance, I watched videos at home and started practicing alot. In a few months I tried out to be a belly dancer at a middle eastern restaurant getting paid to dance at dinner on the weekends, and getting to dance for little kids, moms who loved to come and dance with me and i really enjoyed it.
    I also was asked to bring some artwork to a tattoo studio once, normally tattoo training takes years of mopping floors and doing dirty work before they even let you touch a needle. I worked super hard, listened, watched, and was on the floor tattooing customers in 8 months.
    I hope you take this to heart , and coming from someone who 4 months ago was lying on the floor next to a pole saying they couldnt get though the routine they wanted to do, i’m telling you no background needed. Just alot of discipline

Page 1 of 3

Log in to reply.