Slow at pole !

imgalvin6056 Paid Member

Been working on pole now for about 4 months . Have a pole at home . Did Vernas take off , and almost finished beginner level 1 . Doing Veenas flexilbity program as well plus strength training - basically working out 5-6 days a week . Seeing some modest progress - can finally do two spins ( fireman’s and back hook ) a decent pole sit , a front and side pole hold .
Take local classes once a week - Series 2 ( repeated series 1 twice )
This is where I get discouraged - just finished class tonight - moves covered were
beginning to climb - some people actually most people climbed very well while all I could do was get one leg off the floor ) ,
climbing grip pole holds with both knees bent and legs off the pole - again only one who couldn’t do them
Plank - managed some version but again way behind
Chair spin - again only one who could bring do it

Now I know everyone says
- Everyone has a different background and progress’s differently
- Don’t compare yourself

However it’s human nature to compare yourself to others , it’s almost impossible not too and when ‘ different ‘ is the slowest in the class - the term ‘ different ‘ doesn’t help !
If As difference is to be awesome and Bs is to awful - comparison is inevitable and the probability of the
A feels pretty chuffed and B feels like shit is pretty high !

I am not sure I have a question here as I am not convinced there is an answer
Possibilities include
- I am naturally awful at pole
- Beginners in class are not really beginners
- My age (54 ) is a massive barrier .
- Younger people are not only fitter but also come from backgrounds where there was a very investment in child sport - Ballet , gymnastics etc ( I was born in a country and time when there was zero investment in child sport , actually zero investment in child anything )
Anyways enough ranting - would appreciate the thoughts of others
Feb 11, 2022
I guess the question would be why are you doing pole?

For fun, to get fit, to compete, to reach a certain level, to show off/be sexy for a significant other?

I know you don't want to hear it but comparing is the biggest demon in pole dance or life in general. You will always find someone who's better, stronger, younger. So if you enjoy learning, keep at it. There are students who stay at beginner level forever and there's nothing wrong with that or with them.

Attitude plays a big part too, if you go into a practice assuming that you'll be the slowest to learn or everything is too hard. That's what we create. Perhaps a change in perception on why you do this, "pole is fun" "I enjoy getting stronger" would set you up for more success.

I use to dance at an elite level, but for the past few years life has changed for me and pole dance hasn't been a priority like it was. Now I dance at about an intermediate level with some advanced moves and that's ok.

Not sure if you've watched this video but it might be helpful []
Feb 11, 2022
PoleAdventures Paid Member
I want to give you an advice that helped me with my slow progress when starting pole dance (and I was 32 years old, so you would think "oh thats a lot younger than me", but it happens to me too when I start pole)

I took pole classes about 6 months and couldn't any spin or climb while all the other "beginners" did it. What I learned after 5 years of pole: First, spins and climbs are NOT beginner work when you do not have any fitness background. I struggled with climbs for MONTHS. Second, honestly a lot of gorls in the beginner classes are not beginner, especially if they come from ballet, or other fitness or strength training.

The only "fix" I made is to stop going to classes. I was so frustrated at my 32 years surrounded by fit and strong girls in their twentys. What I did was attentively watch Veenas tutorials, follow the programs and give myself and my body time to grow. The pressure of comparing and emulating the others fell off and I could finally enjoy pole dance and its learning process.

And another thing I think about: It could be that 6 times training for pole a week is a bit too much stress for your body so it does regress rather than progress. Maybe go for 3 times a week or strictly follow a program at the website.
Feb 11, 2022
imgalvin6056 Paid Member
Hi and Thanks
I like your question Veena - why am I doing pole . That’s a great starting point . I am doing pole because I used to be an advanced skier bur last year by husband of over 30 years and ski partner became mentally ill and tried to kill me . He was arrested and our lives fell apart
I have PSTD and am under enormous stress as every responsibility including our young child ( a child we had only because he insisted ) and my husbands care fell to me .
I took up pole because nothing else helped me . For me pole is therapy .
I have linked my ability to survive the massive trauma in my life to my ability to progress at pole
To me if I can master a near impossible but beautiful sport . I can survive a near impossible situation
I am by nature a very high achiever and push myself to my limits
I learned to ski in my 49s and am now a ski instructor
Pole is nore than a sport ti me , irs a healthy distraction from the horror that befell me
I agree that leaving public classes may be a smart idea as I find your program more suitable for me
I find it progresses more at my pace and doesn’t suddenly toss me something I have no hope of doing
Thanks again 🙏
Feb 11, 2022
imgalvin6056 Paid Member
This is my current ability
Feb 11, 2022
There are a lot of things that happen, while doing what we accept and call pole dance. For me, it unlocked that special way I needed to feel about myself. I am totally at a loss without it. For a lack of better words I'd label the feeling as "Star Power." I am confident, handsome, sexy, secure, one with the music, capable of walking or body rolling to the beat of my life and there's a voice in me that tells me that the world should see this version of me. Pole gets slow for me, when my insecurities are getting the best of me, when I feel like I don't have a place to share that energy, or when the weight of life is like shackles on legs. Even as a member of this community and platform where learning and growing in the art is welcomed, it's still gets hard to share with others where I am in progression, when my 🌟 power is low or distant. What are we all going to do with this skill set? Is a question that can make us slow at pole no matter our age, shape, or fitness level. The minute we acquire new moves it's like now what!? The better you feel about yourself in this area of you the more quicker you learn and get passed certain pole plateaus.
Feb 11, 2022
Thank you for sharing your story Imgalvin! You already are a true fighter and survivor and learning to ski is awesome and something I've never tried! Enjoy the now, you have nothing to prove with pole dance, it's your journey.

Being that pole is a therapy for you don't stress about how fast you progress. I'd suggest filming yourself (you never have to share it) Film so you can look and see the improvements you have made. They might be so small you don't notice it. The beauty of this sport is you can have fun at any level. Being able to do 2 spins is great and more than you could do before! I've had members re do the 30 day take off many times and that's all they do. Pole is fun for them, but it's not a priority so moving beyond beginner isn't necessary.

When I feel like I'm not making much headway, I look back. Tracking progress, even if it's just writing it down is incredibly helpful. I totally understand the high achiever. I tend to excel in most physical activity and if I don't get something quickly, I feel frustrated really fast. We have to sometimes learn to be kind to ourselves and learn to enjoy the process without moving full steam towards an end goal.

As a ski instructor, would you expect your students to be able to ski like you after only a few sessions? I'm assuming not even half of the ski students will move on to ski at high levels. The majority of people take one class in something and never come back.

Even if you never invert, there are lot's of beautiful things you can do with the pole. If you haven't already, take a peek at some of the routines. [] You don't have to do them, just look to see what can be done at a beginner level. It might even be fun to work on the Love Yourself event during the month of Feb here []

We're here for you, you've got this and you're not alone!
Feb 11, 2022
I was writing my reply and see you've shared photos! You look great. I love the smile on your face in the pole hold. Think about many women your age or ANY age do you know that can hold their whole body up? You're awesome!
Feb 11, 2022
imgalvin6056 Paid Member
Thanks everyone
That helps a lot . I too find that my pole ability fluctuates with my mood . I spent alot of this week doing complicated legal paperwork to try and improve my situation and I am now hoping it works but it will take months to be resolved .
Pole , art and cats are my life blood . Pole takes me to another place - if a woman can fly she can do anything .
I will stick with your online lessons Veena as you know how to teach in a very progressive systematic format
Thanks again 🙏
Feb 11, 2022
imgalvin6056 Paid Member
I have been thinking more about what you said Pole Adventures and I am taking your advice . I am also taking Veenas advice about tracking my own progress . I feel a lot more comfortable now
Part of the problem I think Is the wide range of abilities in a beginner pole studio class.
I know everyone says pole is an individual journey and don’t compare but it’s human nature to compare . It’s a problem that pole studios have traditionally put on the learner.
By telling learners not to compare themselves to others as everyone is unique , studios have unintentionally disowned any responsibility to stratify class’s by ability with any level of objective accuracy .
Skiing does this well . Learner skiers are asked to do a run down a green hill before being assigned to a group . If you think you are black diamond ready but you can’t edge you are not going to be in the advanced class and if you are a rusty but rather advanced skier you are not going to be put in with those who are learning to keep their skis parallel right throughout the turn !
What results from this objective assessment are classes that are as well matched as they can be for ability levels . No mention is made of skiing being an individual journey and no reminder not to to compare … no need as that the instructors sorting helmet put everyone in an appropriate class to their ability level before the class started .
Pole may ultimately be more diverse than skiing but the fundamentals of any sport are what beginners need as they are the common stem from which diversity evolves
When a studio class is called ‘beginner’ one naturally assumes everyone is roughly equal but that’s not true at all in pole .
Some may nor be beginners ,some may have dance or gymnastics backgrounds and some may be quick learners . I am none of these !
So I stopped going to class and only learn online at home with my own pole and Veenas very well taught progressive program
That way it truly is an individual journey for me and I won’t be comparing myself to any one but myself
I think pole studios would do well to address this issue as they are losing a lot of business if they don’t cater to those who need a slower pace than a 25 year old ex gymnast . If the average woman or man is in their own home with a pole and a well taught online course , they can enjoy a really individual journey with the only comparison being with themselves
Pole studios could adopt strategies used by other sports .
Rather than asking students to self identify their level , a simple observed routine would be a much more accurate way to assign them to a suitable series
That way ‘ false ‘ beginners , rapid learners and ex gymnasts could be placed in higher level classes while people like me could be put with real raw beginners
Pole is a wonderful sport but studios needs to start teaching new comers in the same way other sports do … or it they risk losing a lot of students to better taught on line courses
Feb 14, 2022
I agree with you! There are some pole studios that do a great job at training beginners. But a lot out there have no idea how to split thing up or break things down for those who are not as quick to learn.

I'm glad you're starting to feel more comfortable with your pole progress.
Feb 14, 2022
Hi! Thanks for sharing your story!
I started initially aged 21 in a very small studio and sort of made very little progress. I spent ages learning fan kicks and struggled with static spins etc and similiar to PoleAdventures stopped going after a while, partly down to circumstances and bought my own pole and started learning via Youtube (I was a cheapskate and poor student and hadn't discovered SV).
I felt much better learning at my own pace (even though I was actually "young" enough, but I was very unfit and 10kg heavier than now) and having no one watch and potentially laugh was great. I focussed on what I COULD do and not what I couldn't. So I skipped static spins and learnt them later.
With hindsight I didn't make much progress to start with, it took me probably 2 years to get an invert, but I trained maybe twice a week and didn't do much conditioning or cross training.
In the last 4 years I've made the most progress, probably because I train more often now (4-5x/week) and I also do conditioning exercises and circuit training on/off-pole. I've also learnt to grip the pole better (warm skin/warm pole) so I'm more motivated, I now have a 40mm powdercoated pole, whereas I used to have a chrome 45mm.

So pole-wise, I totally feel your frustration!

I can also understand how difficult it could be for a studio to cater for different needs while also running a business. But it's a shame they aren't managing to cater to yours.

Also beginner is a very wide term in pole. Is a beginner someone who has just started, or someone who can't invert but may have been poling for 6 months? It's a tricky one, also regarding other levels.

Feb 18, 2022
Shihyu Liu
I am on my third day and I just love your lessons, the pole hold strength practice is exactly what I needed and I can't believe that other studios don't instruct you with this kind of basic practice
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