Written by Alba Barbati
You know when you really want to express something, but can’t quite? That’s where videos like this one come from.
I set foot into a pole dance studio exactly one year ago, simply hoping to keep in shape and stay strong; but man, I got so much more than I bargained for. Even now, my thoughts are still jumbled together in a mad rave of memories all going around in a flurry, not unlike the quick-shots reeling through the video at 4x speed. I’m a pole dance instructor? Really? Me?
How did this happen?
Coming back to it, I still remember the day clearly.
I had taken it upon myself to help Veronika disassemble the poles at the end of every class, and we’d exchange a few words, since she’s always been such an amazing and interesting person. Thanks to her I made a huge progress in the span of a few months, and more often than not I would help out fellow pole students, both as a spotter and giving out advice whenever there was something I knew well. Unbeknownst to me, the ever observant Veronika had noticed; and that fateful day, as we were both crouched down and busying ourselves with the task of taking the poles off the floor, she asked me the biggest question I’ve ever been asked so far:
“Would you like to become a teacher?”
Already then, my mind went a mile a minute. Me? A pole teacher? I don’t even do a full split! Sure, I know a thing or two about teaching, from back when I used to teach English to art students, but… I’m not super-bendy like the amazing artists you see on the internet, I’m just… me! All of my insecurities were screaming at me that I wasn’t nearly competent enough for it, but the temptation was too strong. So I said yes. Yes, I’d love to be a pole teacher. In fact, it’d be nothing short of a dream.
And what Veronika told me filled me with hope and inspiration, and it still does every day: you don’t have to be a perfect athlete to be a good teacher, as long as you can connect to people, you have a kind personality, can explain and understand the body… then that’s all that matters. And you can work your way up and over your own limits.
She believed in me, she trained me, and I still train with her every time we can, to improve both my individual skills and my ability to assist her as an instructor. I’m obviously miles away from the glamorous and borderline superhuman athletes that amaze thousands of eyes all over the internet or on stage; but I’ve come a long way from the girl who was too shy to even show her progress to her own friends, and though there is a long way to go still, I can take each stride with confidence and determination, and with my amazing mentor by my side.
A silly video and all the “thank you”s in the world will never be enough to express my gratitude, but it’s a start.
Here’s to more and more days of fun and improvement together.