[Makeda Smith | PWN]
Poling is such a glorious celebration. Whether its learning a new floor move, a pole trick or a full dance routine – the joy from the accomplishment, big and small, is surely deemed evident while surveying any poler’s social media timeline. We love to share are feats – from 15 second snippets, to new workout and dance routines to amazing aerial photography.
But how much are we really sharing?
I made a bold decision when I ‘broke out’ and posted my first pole pic over three and a half years ago. I posted a picture of me upside down on a pole and sent shock waves throughout my facebook universe of non-polers. (And I didn’t even have heels on!) As a veteran entertainment publicist, I had no background in dance or gymnastics and no one even suspected I was taking pole lessons. I was 50 at the time and I worked hard to accomplish that invert. I wanted to share my joy. After that initial post, I knew there was no turning back. My facebook post’s privacy setting was set to ‘public’ and now the secret was out ! Every post after that over the next several years has been ‘public’ as well.
Interesting enough however, I see so many members of the pole community posting their phenomenal feats with privacy settings set on ‘friends only’ or ‘friends of friends’ or custom lists. What ?!?!? Sharing our successes within our community is one thing, but what about blasting our fabulousity to the world?
As much as the pole community talks about being accepted in mainstream circles and overcoming stigmas, I believe that the ‘fear of a pole planet’ is as much within as it is without. Like the verbiage “ as above so below” – until we knock down the status quo, the status quo will be maintained. Paradigms don’t change by themselves.
Yes, unveiling myself to the world outside of my pole circle was a daunting thing to do, but once I did – guess what – it was done and I was free. Folks could accept me for who I was and what I enjoyed doing or they could keep it moving.
And guess what, the overall response as been beyond amazing. Opening myself up to the broader world has opened my immediate world up to infinite possibilities. Not only have I introduced hundreds of people to the world of poling, I have personally changed notions and perspectives about our art. I get inboxes from women around the world who inform me that my ‘bravery’ inspires and motivates them, photographers have gifted me with free photo sessions, and media folk have done wonderful interviews and articles about me. Not to mention, my FB friend list alone now has over 5000 friends and I had to start a fan page to keep up with the requests!
Oh, and I also have legions of male admirers from around the world, which is just fantastic for my ego – lol !
What a limited world it would be if I only shared my pole joy with my pole community and a handful of friends. Granted, some of us have very real job restrictions that may prevent us from publicly extolling our pole virtues, but what about those of us who don’t?
‘Fear of a pole planet’ will only be eradicated when we start within our own individual circles and take a stand for pole power.
Isn’t that why we train so hard and climb so high – to conquer our fears ?
What is your privacy setting on your social media? Are you perpetrating fear or promoting power ?
Let’s dance y’all !
Photography: Steven E. Harvey / http://www.makeaperfectimage.com/
Studio: Tilt Studios / Burbank, CA
Makeup: Asha Jaha