Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Perils of Pole Dancing

(I am so mad right now.  It's hottest day on earth in Los Angeles.....AT THE BEACH!!!  I have no A/C in my apartment, have had too much caffeine to go to a coffee shop and my technology is taking a crap on me!  I don't want to use my laptop because it's scalding hot, my iPad has this site frozen, so I'm typing on a wireless keyboard connected to my iphone.  My cute little iphone just lost half of my post. I'm starting over).

I don't think there are many dancers around that have been dancing on a pole as long as I have.  I don't mean walking around the pole, doing a couple of spins, maybe a pirouette, then sliding down the pole into a split.  I mean leg hanging, upside-down, inverting, cross ankle release...I think you get the idea.

I came in contact with my first stainless steel pole at the end of 1992 in a small club called Richard's Lounge (soon to be changed to The Candid Club) in Sunnyvale, CA.  Immediately, I knew how to climb.  Perhaps not gracefully,but I could do it fast and it was fun.  Within a year I taught myself how to do a few spins,hang upside down and do a cross ankle release.  My big trick was sliding down in that cross ankle release position hanging with one foot. Pretty cool, huh?  Especially for not having YouTube to reference.

The peril was that for many, many years after this, I did the same tricks over and over again, favoring my right side. Fast forward to 2009.  I started taking classes.  I've learned all kinds of things: knee holds, ceiling splits, aerial mounts, flag pole, blah,blah.

I still favored my right side.  Also in the last six months, I've been taking so many aerial classes that I've neglected to work my lower body.  Since the end of March, I found I've been injuring myself (mostly minor stuff) repeatedly.  This had never happened to me before when I was lifting weights and changing up my workouts.

About seven weeks ago, I was dancing.  My music was high energy.  I jumped up and landed on my 5 inch heel boots like I had done so many times before.  Except this time, my left knee felt a bit different. It didn't hurt like hell.  It just felt different, a little weaker. I took five days off dancing to travel.  I felt great when I came back. So I danced again. On my second day, I felt that feeling in my left knee again.  The next day, I took two pole classes and had worked out for an our earlier that day. When I got home, I had to ice my knee for almost an hour. Two days later, I was walking around doing errands in medium heels.  My knees started burning.  This scared me and sent me into a paranoid downward spiral.

The following week, I saw my doctor, chiropractor and a physical therapist.  It turns out I have a severe muscle imbalance from favoring my right side for so many years. I have also been neglecting my lower body (compared to how I use to work it out) for the last year. The good news is:  I don't need surgery.  I just have to start allover with lower body weights, work my hip flexors every day, and learn to use the pole with my left side.  I'm stronger than I thought I was on that side, but I still need a lot of work.

So ladies of the pole:  Please, please work both sides. I doubt that a lot of young women who are starting to work with the pole now will be doing it for the length of time I have.  If you do plan to be a lifer, learn both sides. Do not forget to work your beautiful legs and booty.  Not only can you become weak, but I know a certain famous pole dancer, who although thin and bendy, she seems to have lost a lot of definition in her legs and her booty is almost non existent.  If you are making your $$ by shaking your booty you definitely don't want that happening!

Please be careful.  I've hit my head twice in eight weeks(only one was pole related).  I just got my brain scanned yesterday. My brain is still normal and intact.  I'm very lucky.  I don't want this happening to you pretty dancer ladies.

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