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The most common question I get about Pole Dancing lessons is “why”?

Some people find it racy, some people are curious, and some people are just confused and don’t see Pole Dancing as a form of exercise. I’ve written extensively about why I’ve chosen to do Sky Siren’s classes - I want to feel strong and confident. However, when I was looking around my Pole Dancing class this week I was struck by how the class is full of different types of people. There isn’t a ‘type’ of person that does Pole Dancing. It attracts all different ages, backgrounds and body types. I think there’s a stereotype that the type of person that does Pole Dancing lessons is overtly sexual and confident, and although those types of girls might be drawn to Pole Dancing, it also attracts a wide range of people. Before I started at Sky Sirens I also had this assumption that I would not fit in. It was one of the things that held me back from starting at Sky Sirens. Of course, it only took attending my first class to realise that Sky Sirens attracts a wide range of people for a wide range of reasons. This week I spoke to my classmate from Babydoll Pole, Judith Mogi about what drew her to Pole Dancing.

I first noticed Judith in week one during the class introductions. She has really great shiny, thick hair – as if she should be doing shampoo commercials. The other thing I noticed about her, was that she seemed like a pretty happy, bubbly person. The kind of friend that is always keen to be your plus one to an event and won’t complain about paying a cover charge to get into a club. She told our class that she had never tried pole before and she preferred the pronouns she/her. It was comforting to know there was someone else in the class that might not be fully evolved, and had never done pole before.

It was our second class, and we were learning how to get more familiar with the pole and the routine that we can perform at Nightcap at the end of the term. I spent a lot of the time being too terrified to lift my feet off the ground in order to spin properly. Judith was more comfortable with spinning than me because she could actually do it, and she did! She was also one of the people in the class who made the most lighthearted comments, and was easily able to laugh at herself. Basically my kinda girl - someone that can make fun of herself, all while still having a good time.

Judith works in banking and is an eastern suburbs girl from Coogee. Coogee is the suburb I imagine I’ll be living during my first marriage. Besides having great hair, Judith is also currently studying for her Masters. Judith decided to do Pole Dancing classes because she wanted to do something different and challenge herself, whilst also keeping herself fit. Like me, Judith did not feel like she fit into gym culture. I assume like me, she finds the white gym walls uninspiring to look at. The room we are learning in has a leopard print wall, which I find very inspiring (inspiring enough to buy a leopard print jumper even though it is almost summer).

 Judith chose pole dancing particularly at Sky Sirens because she liked the aesthetic. After scrolling through the Sky Siren’s website, she felt it had an “everyone is welcome vibe”. It was also a place where she felt she could learn things at her own pace and have the support of an instructor. I completely agree with this. The most frightening thing about the gym is when you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment, but you are terrified to ask anyone, because you’re worried it is super obvious. So you hang back and wait until you see someone use it, and try and copy them. Sometimes when you start using it, you realise you still have no idea, even after hovering over some random (like a stalker) for the last ten minutes. The great thing about doing Pole Dancing is that there is always an instructor to help you and demonstrate the moves. Considering I’m the kind of person that needs to be shown things, often multiple times before I understand - this is very helpful.

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Judith, like me was nervous to start Pole Dancing classes. In her own words, she was “SO NERVOUS.”

She also read ‘the ultimate virgin’ guide on the website three times because she wanted to be prepared. I highly recommend reading it, because then you won’t turn up in the wrong attire like I did for my first lesson. Judith feels like she’s reached a certain point in her life, where she has her work mates and old friends. Meeting new people is not that common anymore and that made starting classes at Sky Sirens a little bit more unnerving. I recently read a quote by the comedian Amy Schumer, saying that she was done with making friends. Although I understood what she meant, between work, relationship and family commitments, sometimes it feels physically impossible to fit anyone else into your life. So it’s been great to attend classes at Sky Sirens and have some time set aside for yourself that also allows you to meet some new people.

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Judith found that being put in a class with people she didn’t know, meeting new people and not knowing what the class would be like, was initially scary. However, she is quick to admit that her worries quickly subsided when she realised that putting strangers in a room performing weird stunts on a pole, brings everyone together. I agree with her, because it’s hard to act like strangers when you’ve seen someone injure their crotch by failing at trick on the pole.

Judith is also enjoying the classes because she believes it will help her gain more confidence. Judith feels that everyone struggles with confidence; she struggled with it most when she moved from Indonesia to Australia and could not speak English. She was bullied in school and was always worried about speaking her mind. Judith believes she has built her confidence a lot since her school days, but like everyone it is something she is always working on. She’s hoping her classes at Sky Sirens will further build her confidence. Amen Sister! When I started at Sky Sirens I was unsure how it would improve my confidence, but it did. It has allowed me to feel stronger and more comfortable with my own body because I’m using it in a different way.

I’ve only done two classes with Judith, but when I first met her she seemed effortlessly confident. She also mastered a lot of the moves pretty quickly. She successfully climbed to the top of the pole in the second lesson, which amazed me.

It would be easy to look at Judith without speaking to her and decide she didn’t suffer from the same nerves I did, or have some of the same confidence issues, but she does. Just like me, she was nervous about trying something new and she was worried about meeting new people.

Although Judith and I had similar concerns about starting Sky Sirens, we aren’t really alike. She works in banking, whereas I couldn’t not pass year ten Maths. She lives in Coogee with her boyfriend, whereas I currently split my time between my Mum’s best friend’s house, my boyfriend’s house, my parent’s house and basically anyone that will have me. On a side note, please let me know if you have a spare room (although I will likely eat all your food). If it was not for Sky Sirens, Judith and I never would have met - but I’m glad we did. Different types of people come to Sky Sirens every week for their own reasons and that means I can have the opportunity to meet people like Judith. Judith decided to do Sky Sirens because she wanted to find a way to exercise that was outside of a gym,. I came to Sky Sirens because I wanted to feel more capable. Both reasons are equally valid and allowed two very different people to share laughs as we struggle to climb a pole. Well, okay, Judith doesn’t actually struggle to climb a pole - she kind of aced it the first time. But you know what I mean.

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