*since I first thought about writing this blog post I managed to sprain both of my ankles so I won’t be performing for a while lol.*
Hey Everyone! I’ve been thinking about writing this blog post for a while now, It’s currently 6am, I can’t get comfortable enough to sleep and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to share my journey with getting back into performing. If you’ve read my previous blogs about mental health, you’ll know I fell out of love with pole dancing for quite some time. I lost my rhythm, I didn’t enjoy dancing and it had started to feel like a chore (as did everything else in my life). I’d also gained a lot of weight and the view I had of my body wasn’t great. I hated watching myself on camera or seeing photos of my performances. Since coming off of my medication in the last 3 months I feel as though I completely turned my life around (you can find out more about my mental health journey here).
A few months back I decided to email my friend and first ever pole-dancing instructor Arlene Caffrey to ask if I could dance at her studios annual birthday party. I’ve always loved dancing at the Irish Pole Dance Academy, the poles are high, the lighting is beautiful and the audience is so supportive and amazing, I couldn’t think of a better place to ease myself back into performing. I had 3 months to build my strength and put together a piece for the showcase but as per usual life happened, The months leading up to the showcase ran away from me because I’m constantly on the go and before I knew it, the show was less than a week away!
Panic started to set in, I wasn’t prepared and I started to doubt myself. I thought:
“what if I’m really bad?!”
“What if I’m not strong enough?”
“What if I make a fool of myself in front of everyone?”.
Pulling out of the showcase wasn’t an option, being an event organiser I know how stressful it can be when performers start dropping out and I knew I couldn’t do that to Arlene. I decided that I would just have to suck it up and pull myself together. My strongest points in dancing at the moment are freestyle, flow and sex appeal because I do it every week at the club. I decided to stick to what I was most comfortable with and messaged my friend Leanne and asked her to be a human prop for my piece. After all, I believe it’s better to do the tricks that you are able to do well instead of trying something you’re not comfortable with in the hopes of impressing a crowd. And so I did what I always do, and I completely winged my performance, nothing was planned and surprisingly I loved it!
Before it was my time to dance I warmed up well, I knew that I could at least impress the audience with my flexibility if I wasn’t doing pole tricks. (Also my hands were sweating from nerves so much I was happy I didn’t do any pole tricks lol). I listened to my song over, and over, and over again until I knew every beat and then, I just went for it. The whole experience was amazing, dancing for my friend Leanne under the spotlights. The crowd was so supportive and the screams they let out were enough to shatter your eardrums! In that moment I remembered why I fell in love with dance in the first place. If it wasn’t for pole I would never have learned how to love my body in the way that I do now , I could never strip down in front of a stranger and I never would have discovered how passionate I was about music. Watching the video of my performance on the journey home made me emotional, I had tears in my eyes while grinning from ear to ear. Performing at IPDA again reminded me that all I ever need to do is try because if I don’t put myself in these situations I’ll never learn or grow.
This piece is dedicated to my friend Arlene Caffrey, The beautiful studio she worked so hard to create and IPDA’s students and instructors.
If you’d like to check out pole dance classes in Dublin City you can check out: https://irishpoledanceacademy.com/