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From Student to Instructor: My Journey from Pole Novice to body confident Pole Fitness Instructor

I'm back and it's been less than a month since I last posted!

This will be short and sweet, I promise...


In less than 5 months, I've grown from being a complete Pole Novice, to setting up my own Pole Fitness classes from the studio at Anytime Fitness Twickenham. The time has flown by, and my passion for pole has soared with it.

Pole Fitness has allowed me to reconnect with my artistic and expressive side, filling the gap I've been missing since I stopped dancing a year and a half ago. I'm also so grateful for my personal training experience which has given me a much more conscious understanding of the way bodies move than I had while dancing. This allows me to more effectively utilise and challenge the strength I've gained from weight training when I'm on the pole. And now I can't wait to share all that knowledge and understanding of movement with you!

I believe that everyone can enjoy the benefits that come with practicing Pole, from pure strength to the confidence you gain when achieving something new. I've also discovered that the Pole community is one of the most welcoming, supportive, and inspiring communities I've ever been a part of. Maybe I just haven't been exposed to the dark side yet (if there is one), but I'm meeting more and more incredible polers every week, and they're all completely different and super super friendly.

In pole, it doesn't seem to matter what your body type, background, or experience level is. If you move and share your love of movement with other polers, you'll be celebrated and applauded. I've been researching Pole competition routines for inspiration (keep an eye out in the New Year is all I'll say for now...), and couldn't be more inspired by the sheer diversity that is out there on stages all over the UK. And not just the diversity in participation, but the diversity in what wins the finals. I don't feel like I'll be judged on my body shape, or because my unique style and aesthetic is 'not what the panel was after that day'.

While dancing, I was always so scared of my body not being suitable for the industry I was getting myself into. I remember being told that I needed to get rid of my back fat, but I lost my period and my life when I did. I remember being told that I needed to be careful of my shoulders getting too big when all I did was a few push-ups before class - an essential strength to have as a contemporary dancer who is required to move smoothly in and out of the floor. And that's not to get started on the general weight stigma and commentary that gets thrown around from such a young age in dance. I even remember asking my company director if he was happy with how my body looked, and excused myself for my body in fear of the critique that I believed was headed my way.

I feel like pole acknowledges pure artistry, creativity and expression, while placing merit on technique, difficulty of skill, and execution without being bound by strict rules about what 'looks nice'. Again, I could be wrong. I could be totally naïve and oblivious to something I just haven't experienced with pole yet, but something tells me I'm not wrong. I'll never forget my pole coach Sam Fontani saying to me 'in Pole, we love big shoulders and lats'. It seems small, but FINALLY, I feel like my body is allowed to grow however it needs in order for me to perform my best and express who I am.

Anyways, I promised this would be short and sweet so I'll finish up...

I couldn't be more excited to start teaching everything I've learned so far to the members at Anytime Fitness Twickenham. Maybe at some point in the not so distant future I'll branch out, but for now I'll develop my skills, refine my coaching, and build up the experience so that one day I can share my love of pole with everyone.

Please share your Pole experiences in the comments, I'd love to hear your thoughts as always!

Big hugs,

Rachel xxx

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