I know I’ve been harping on about it for the whole week over on my Facebook page but this is something huge for me, well I suppose it’s something huge for anyone who has battled with their own self image. But last Saturday my pole dance school put on a Birthday Showcase to celebrate the studio having been open for a whole year. Students, seasoned performers and our instructor all put on a show to raise money for Ty Olwen Trust (a hospice for palliative care in Swansea).
We raised the amazing amount of £600. I am so very very pleased to have been a small part in that.
Getting your legs out in tiny Daisy Dukes for all and sundry to see isn’t my usually idea of fun. As you all know from reading this blog I’ve battled with my own insecurities when it comes to my body and how I (and vainly how others) perceive it. I think it’s fair to say we all do, make and female alike. So to not only wear revealing (for me) attire and then to pole dance in said attire to an audience of almost 100 people?? Yep that’s a scary prospect. Armed with Rainbow’s Lady of the Lake, and adopting the stage name Annie Rage Dio (yeah I know, I couldn’t help myself), I donned the denim hot pants, my slashed Iced Earth T and with lots of hair flying about the place I danced a fairly ok routine for 3 and half minutes. And I actually enjoyed it.
I am exceptionally proud that even though nerves had rendered me a wreck for the best part of 3 days on the run up to the performance, I still sucked it up and did it. It was reminiscent of taking that first step into the gym and fearing that everyone was looking at and judging you. Only difference is this time everyone IS looking at you. You are on your own, it’s just you and a 50mm thick, 10 foot tall piece of steel on a platform. As I had said to my fellow students, you can put me on a stage in jeans and a t-shirt with mic in hand and I will feel the utterly at home, it’s MY stage and you will pay attention. But this, this was something else.
On the pole you are exposed, there is only your body and how it moves to wow the audience with. There is only your strength and poise to gain approval. BUT and this was the thing I learned the most from doing this, there is also confidence. Attack it as though it’s something you do everyday, and suddenly, what nerves? They flew out the window and I realised, ‘hang on I’m enjoying this, and the crowd are whooping and applauding’ and I didn’t fall off. (Thankfully). Things I have learned from the day are: if you forget the moves just keep moving and flicking that hair; point your toes more; straighten out the legs for a smoother line; and build on upper body strength further. But I am very pleased with how it all went. And I am exceptionally proud of my fellow students/performers and of Dawn for being an inspiration.
As for the new target well, I didn’t hit my weight loss target but I have lost 3 inches all over in the last month so that has pleased me and I haven’t put on any weight either. I have started a new training routine which I’ve only managed to complete 4 sessions of end of March and then ended up with a sore knee (due to something else not the new routine) but that’s a blog for another day.
2012 for me is all about embracing the fear:
Fear of those things that sit in the back of the mind; those things that you look at others doing and think ‘if only’. This year I’ve been making it my mission to say ‘why not?’ Why not me to be the one to take the bull by the horns and start learning a new skill, why not then take that skill and run with it at a performance level? And that’s exactly what I did. I have many people to thank for helping me embrace the fear on this the first of my challenges that I’ve set myself and they know who they are.
So hello personal acceptance with my body, hello new found confidence about performing in public and not solely relying on my voice, hello to the me that I’ve been looking for for quite some time. I always knew you were in here somewhere.
So what’s next in my challenges for this year. Well…. I’ll tell you more on it another time 😉
Until then, be kind to yourself, as always