pole dancing

The happiness of freedom

Anytime in my life I had a goal, desire or passion for something, and fulfilling that certain dream was up to my own decision and action, I gave all myself. The first time I remember doing it, was for a wrong cause, but at the time I didn't know it. I was 16 and I wanted to be a fashion model. In Italy models are extremely  skinny (seriously, fashion world is sick and I now hate it) Fashion-Model-Health-thumb-375x561-63474

So being a teenager and not knowing any better, I wanted to be like them... to the point where the more bones were showing, the better. I dedicated a whole 3-4 years to that purpose. I left any interest and close person behind, I don't have many memories of that time because my brain was zooming in one only point: being skinny and whatever I had to do in order to become that way. It was the most brutal fight I had within myself, I was fighting hunger everyday, dieting was my sport, losing weight was all that made me happy, really. I expressed my feelings with drawing, I remember drawing a skinny mean Sofia beating up the good pretty Sofia, or the good Sofia trying to escape...

 

I don't even want to spend too much time talking about it, anyway my goal turned into a compulsion and I became victim of it. I lost track and it ate me up, I was trapped. Slowly and painfully I got out of that sickening mentality and found a "healthier" passion (wasn't so healthy as it sounds). I literally fell in love with fitness and weight training, I loved strong, fit bodies and since I was coming from a past of obsessive control, the idea of controlling my body diversely (to be lean and strong) really excited me. I could eat! But extremely controlled still, and everything had to be in a certain way (no oil, no butter, no wheat, no carbs, everything measured etc). I started getting some muscle but still I wasn't getting the point: beating myself up wasn't necessary the best way to reach a goal or fulfill a passion, nor being isolated from the rest of the world because I had to go home and eat my three egg-whites...

So again I learned a lot from that, I got better, ate more, still I was going thru a lot of body-mind conflicts. I couldn't find a balance, I was happy to train, cook, go to the market, study the body, test my limits but deep down I knew something wasn't right. I just didn't know how to live differently anymore. What did it mean "eat whatever you want"? "Train tomorrow relax today/go out with friends/do something different"? I was still drawing, better situations, bad Sofia now was friend with good, fit Sofia. But she was still there...

With many ups and downs, body weight fluctuations, I kept fitness/body building as my steady passion for many years. I really loved weight training and how it made my body look. I competed several times and did fitness modeling.

Image When I found pole dancing, I started to feel the desire to explore a part of me I never knew I had: a sensual, "sexy" side, which was nothing but my woman/feminine side, that side I neglected all my life with my insanely strict diet and training ! So all in a sudden I wanted to nurture that side (surely not thru food). Pole dancing did nurture it, and beside feeling completely awkward and disgraceful at the beginning, I loved it. So at that time I had weight training still my #1 passion, and pole dancing right up the alley. I started drawing pole dancers and heels ;)

 

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I wasn't completely out of my body-mind war, still controlling a lot my food and training, with little to no time for anything else (beside school).

I'm talking about years here... So all I said so far is about a 10 years evolution. Now, this is the last biggest part. While pole dancing my butt off day in and out, I started to grow more and more interest for flexibility. At the beginning I wanted to be more flexible to be better on the pole. But then, about six months after, I lost some of my pole enthusiasm (it turned out I preferred Floorwork) and figured that I would dedicate myself fully to flexibility, and more specifically, contortion!

 

Image Few months into contortion, I realized there was NO WAY I could keep up with weight training, at least the way I used to. So slowly I had to take it out of my life :( Leg training was actually the HARDEST thing to give up to. I LOVED training legs. I loved squats, dead lifts... And I mean, pretty freaking heavy. Wasn't squatting 10lbs just to clarify, more like 130-140lbs. I said bye to my round full butt and opted for a smaller one lol, still trained my body but very differently, whatever was making me stiff was off limits.

But the biggest change I experienced with discovering this new passion (contortion), was that I didn't need to focus so much on my appearance (therefore diet); that draining control on food wasn't necessary anymore. All I had to do was training! And yes eating healthy, but at least not to the point I had to refuse going out for dinner, go to a bar with friends, hang out at a party etc... So I ended up fueling my body better and my mind "flourished", I became more social and relaxed, finally BALANCED. I felt a new way of happy...The happiness of freedom. Freedom to move, go out, eat... Flexibility has a huge meaning to me. So I'm sorry if sometimes I talk about it so much but 1. It's my passion and I give all myself to it 2. It gave me the greatest freedom I ever had

And bad Sofia is no longer in the drawings. It's only good Sofia, and she's very flexible :)

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Defining pole dancing

I've come to the realization that there are several way to interpret pole dancing. The first, most common way is definitely the one related to "exotic dancing": this type of pole dancing originated as a form of entertainment and it's the "strip club inspired" one, where is often combined with sexy floor work, striptease and lap dancing. It's performed often to rock or hip hop songs, wearing nothing but a bikini and 6-7 inch platform heels. Basically a very erotic, explicit, provocative dance, undeniably kinda dirty.

Here's a really great example...

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADs04O9T0Ks&context=C3f7ebeeADOEgsToPDskJFXqr6t8rQvWwGk1gVSkpG]

The second way to look at pole dancing is from a fitness point of view. Pole dancing can be done as a physical activity: a display of flexibility, strength, coordination, balance and -let me tell you- GUTS. Usually done without shoes, little to no sexy moves, some floor work and using two poles, one static and one spinning (for more dramatic spins and poses). It may lack personality at times since it's often executed in competitions and judged by professionals looking at perfect form and moves' precision.

A performance of this type

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9SjLpyeOtU

The third and last way to define pole dancing is by looking at it as a real form of art. It can assume a wide range of interpretations (costumes and acting performances often accompany it) and it's the most expressive way of pole dancing. It reaches a point accessible to only gymnasts and expert athletes which spend years and years of complete dedication. The pole itself is part of Circus's special tools like trapeze, hoop, hammock and silk (aerial art).

A beautiful video of artistic pole dance here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWLkLCd3c_Q&feature=fvsr

In my honest opinion, having witnessed all three, believe it or not...I'd stick with the first one. It might not be the best, but it's the one that most define what pole dance is about. I think it CAN be athletic and artistic, but at the core pole dancing is seduction, flirt; it's about unveiling your inner sexy persona, feel beautiful and boost your confidence.

Now get a pole at home and start playing! Lol :)