Meet Miss Bree, lover of Pole Dance and 22 year old Student from Sydney. This stunning Siren talks about being a woman of colour in Australia and how Pole Dancing has allowed her to embrace Self-Love.
How long have you been Pole Dancing?
I have been Pole Dancing for approximately ten months.
Did you feel nervous before your first lesson?
Extremely. I was so nervous and excited at the same time because I was starting with a friend! I didn’t know what to expect.
What obstacles have you faced as a result of being a woman of colour and living with mental illness? How has this impacted on your self-love and body image?
Growing up as a woman of colour, you become acutely aware of every physical difference and flaw you have compared to others. Personally, I have struggled a lot with my body hair, skin pigmentation, fluctuating weight and scarring. Although these issues may seem minute, the impact this had towards my body confidence at such a young age was eventually a detriment to my emotional and mental wellbeing. This, combined with a multitude of other experiences and issues like bullying, eventually led to my diagnosed depression and anxiety. Looking back retrospectively, it is often easy to place the blame on others, rationalising their comments as ignorance or naivety, but in all honesty the biggest obstacle I have had to face regarding body image has been myself. When considering self-love, up until I started Pole Dancing, I didn’t have any.
How does Pole Dancing make you feel?
Confident. Pole Dancing has given me confidence and happiness that I never thought would be possible. In the beginning, I would wear clothes that would cover and conceal what I thought were my flaws but now I can walk into class in my bra and underwear without a second thought of being judged. Pole dancing has allowed me to become comfortable and proud of my body the way it is. When you are forced to stare into a wall-sized mirror in order to learn routines and moves, you slowly begin to accept your body the way it is and start focusing on the amazing strength and moves that you are capable of, rather than becoming anxious over that one stretch-mark that you think everyone can see. Pole dancing has not only completely changed the way I view myself but the way I view others as well.
What do you enjoy most about coming to class?
The atmosphere. The whole experience of Sky Sirens from the moment you walk up the stairs until the moment you walk back out is so amazing. Sky Sirens is my own powder-puffed, pastel-painted sanctuary in what can sometimes be a very large and lonely city. The support, comfort and genuine camaraderie of everyone at Sky Sirens (both staff and students) is what keeps me coming back.
How would you define Self-Love?
To me, self-love is all about acceptance. Acceptance of your own strengths and flaws. None of us are perfect but we all deserve love and the best place to start is with yourself.
What is your most beautiful physical feature, and why?
My curves. I love the way they look when I’m wearing a lace bodysuit; they make me feel sexy. It is so surreal how something that you have hated about yourself for so long, can be changed in a matter of months with the right support and the right outlet.
What advice would you give a Pole virgin who was nervous about signing up?
To quote Shia Labeouf and Nike: “Just Do It”. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Once you start you won’t be able to get enough. You will experience emotions that you have never felt before and if you’re as lucky as I was, you may even begin to love yourself in the process. The progress you make every week will astonish and excite you. With the fabulous instructors at Sky Sirens I can promise that you are in the most capable hands, so there is nothing to be worried about. It definitely helps if you can rope a friend into it as well, but even if you can’t you will make amazing new friends because you’re all in the same boat. Remember, no one starts off an expert. You’ll just wish you had signed up sooner!