The Power of the Pole04 / 18 / 2017
Cindy: ? “I’m shooting my music video at a pole studio!”
Relative: ? “Why do you have to do that? I don’t like that!”
Cindy: ? “Why not?”
Relative: ? “It’s whorish.”
Okay.. Soooooo.. I am well aware of the reputation pole dancing has. So why in the world would I put that in my first music video?
So glad you asked. ? Allow me to tell you about my pole journey…
I was talking to my coach Jo-Ná one crisp fall day, stressing out about whatever was going on in my life, and she stopped me immediately. “Make a list of all the fun stuff you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to. Over the next few weeks, you’re going to do them!”
“Well… I want to go to the museum.. I want to take one of those painting classes.. And.. Ummm.. I…. think I want to take a pole class,” I said, shyly.
“Okay! Girrrrl! I know exactly where you need to go! Call S-Factor and sign up for an intro class.” Like the good coachee I am, I immediately made an appointment for my first class.
Two weeks later, I approached the S-Factor studio with nervous excitement, unsure of what to expect. The room was dimly lit with red lights, and there were no mirrors. The instructor, Meg, explained to our small group of 5 students exactly how the class would flow. There would be a warmup incorporating movement borrowed from pilates, yoga, and pole floor work. Next, we would learn a spinning pole trick, and finally we would learn a sexy dance routine. Sounded good to me!
As I followed Meg through the movement, I remember thinking “Wait.. Am I supposed to look sexy doing this? Cuz I don’t know how to do that. I’m pretty sure I look really awkward right now. Thank God there are no mirrors!” But the class was a lot more fun than going to the gym, so I decided to join the S-Factor membership program.
Now how was it possible that a beautiful 30-something year old woman didn’t know how to be sexy? Well, the way I was raised, anything remotely sexy was BAD. To this day, I still haven’t had “the talk” with my parents. ??? I was, however, warned often of the dangers of being “force ripe”, as they say in Trinidad – looking/acting too mature before my time. I get it. Kids aren’t supposed to be sexy.. But at what age would it be okay? What milestone would I have to reach to be able to fully own my sexiness?
According to Christian dating books I devoured in my early 20s, that milestone was marriage. The message that I got from the Joshua Harris, Eric & Leslie Ludy and Juanita Bynum types were: Don’t do, say or wear anything that could cause a man to lust after you. Your sexiness could be a hindrance to your brother in Christ, so shut that part of you down! Well, I’ve never been married.. So under that belief system, I never felt like I had permission to get in touch with my sexy side.
My feelings of awkwardness at pole class lasted a couple of months, but after sticking with it for a while my body started to ease into the movement. One day, I remember thinking to myself.. “Heeeey.. I actually… feel… sexy!”
It was so empowering to know for myself that I was sexy, not because anyone else told me I was.. but simply because that’s how I felt!
And after I felt it for myself, it was reinforced by feedback from my instructor and classmates. There was a noticeable shift in the way my body moved and they all seent it!
The potential was always there. All I needed was permission! S-Factor gave me permission to own ALL of my womanhood. I felt more powerful, confident and strong than I’d ever felt in my life. I felt fully connected to my body and to my emotions, and I was able to be more expressive. The way I carried myself in the world started to shift. Every S-Factor woman will tell you the same thing.. The experience is life changing! Pole dancing at S-Factor has been the very essence of ‘women’s empowerment’ for me.
So when I thought about doing a music video for my empowering song, “Irresistible Me”, I thought “Nothing has been more empowering to me than pole dancing. I must have pole in this video!”
Yumiko Harris (one of the instructors from Foxy Fitness and Pole) is the featured pole dancer in my music video. For someone who puts so much artistry and athleticism into her award winning routines, it’s frustrating when people automatically associate her art with strippers/vulgarity.
I’m so excited to present pole dancing in a way that’s sexy and fun without being vulgar. There’s no shortage of music videos with strippers on poles, so I’m glad that I can showcase the artistry of pole.
In less than a week, I’ll finally be releasing this video!!! But in the meantime, check out Yumiko’s silver medal winning performance
at the 2017 Atlantic Pole Championships, because it’s just.. that.. good!
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