Feeling intimidated?…first time?

Focus on the things you can control: like your attitude! You may not be able to nail an iron X, but can you enter the class from a place of excitement, enthusiasm, kindness, or a growth mindset? You’re already crushing it.

Everyone is so focused on their own concerns/journey that no one has the time or energy to be checking you out/judging. In fact, it’s literally against studio rules to talk badly about oneself and body. (it’s a simple rule, but man, it’s actually super effective and helpful).

If you’re having a hard time saying nice stuff to yourself, you can practice by saying nice and encouraging things to the other people around you.

Building on that, if you’re not feeling 100% awesome today, allow yourself to enjoy the energy of the awesome humans around you and let your fellow students and instructor hype you up. You’re all united by a desire to be present in this class, showing up to practice a new skill and have fun doing it.

Go through what you need to go through, but be open to the RCA magic.

If you’re confused by a move, do not be afraid to ask for clarification, to see it demonstrated again, or move to get a better view—whatever you need! It’s literally the teachers job. They want to see you succeed. Let them watch and spot you, and they’ll be able to give you exactly the feedback you need to get it.

While it can be a great thing to do with friends, don’t let your friends hold you back. (I know that sounds harsh but bear with me). It can be hard to get plans aligned. If you wanna do this, go forth and live your life, bestie! Don’t wait for that “someday”. You will make friends in class.

Intimidated by advanced students? This is human nature, so don’t beat yourself up if you notice a pang of insecurity or find yourself comparing. I can assure you advanced students will be just as excited for what you’re working on as you are excited by what they’re working on. You are united by a passion for pole! And also, cut yourself some slack and give credit where it’s due—they did not become an advanced poler over night, but rather over several…several years. Everyone started somewhere. Stick with it, and one day you’ll accidentally intimidate newbies with your mad skills too!

Also, you have no idea what other peoples backgrounds are. You don’t know who has 10 years of gymnastics experience in your intro class or is a professional rock climber. OR who has an injury, arthritis, or who just had a baby or finished chemo, etc…get what I mean?

BUT! You can take some solace in the fact that pole is a sport that folks find and start later in life, so there likely will not be a child pole prodigy who’s been training pole since they could walk in your class…

Everyone has “bad”, or maybe more accurately, “off” days. That includes you too! So when you’re experiencing yours, congrats, that means you’ve officially showed up consistently enough times that you were statistically due for a wonky day. Thats a win.

Similarly, just like you can have an “off day”, you can have a freakishly great day. In the name of being kind to yourself, do not take that great day and call it your new normal and use it as a reason to beat yourself up at a later date.

Pole today is not about gender, and it doesn’t have to be about sexuality. It’s important to acknowledge the origins of pole, but its your health and wellness journey (including mental health!!). RCA is an incredibly welcoming and inclusive space and everyone has their own goals (eg. To get better at learning choreography, get more flexible, to find a workout they enjoy, to practice just taking up space and to explore ones confidence, to experiment with joyful movement, to practice being scantily clad in a kind space, just leaving ones house, etc.) and they’re all super valid.

People aren’t wearing much because more skin=more grip, more grip=more tricks. Folks have fun with it, but it does also serve a purpose.

The big shoes do for pole dancers what pointe shoes do for ballerinas. It can level up the difficulty providing a fun challenge, artistically change the look of the dancers lines, and it can make some moves easier/safer. You don’t have to like the shoes, you don’t have to wear the shoes, but a lot of people have a lot of fun with them, so be nice and respect the different journeys people are on!

Instagram is full of lies!! Well maybe not all lies, but definitely folks who make hard stuff look easy. I think it’s fair to go into pole knowing that it’s hard…because it is! Don’t be surprised or more specifically, don’t start beating yourself up if you can’t do a move that someone else made look easy online.

Building on that, don’t put the pressure of expectations of greatness on yourself. Do you expect to be an elite axe-thrower at your friends birthday party? Mariah Carey at karaoke? The Rock at the gym? Go, have fun, take pride in the fact you just completed an awesome and even artistic workout. Also, the instructors are there to help and teach!! You will be able to do things!

Remember this is supposed to be fun…because it is fun! Don’t stand in your own way.

People tend to regret the things they don’t do. If you have even the slightest inkling about wanting to try pole, TRY POLE.

Written by RCA student Ren Nash.