Written by Seth Bacher
As repetitive as this is going to sound, pole changed my life. Not only physically, but mentally, and emotionally as well. I have been poling for just over four years now and it has truly helped me to find a way to express myself, open my mind, broaden my horizons, find friends when I thought I had none, and to find myself when I was unsure of who I was and what to do with my life. Especially since I had just come out shortly before that.
My grandmother was a dancer and a teacher before she lost the physical capability to dance, and in high school I decided I wanted to learn. The good part was that my grandmother was able to guide me through the beginning, and this is what brought us close to one another. The bad part is that I found dance way too late in life, so I was only able to get a very basic level of training, and I was only able to train for about a year and a half before I became too old to take classes. After, my granny still did her best to help further my ability, but as time went on I started to do it less and less.
As I approached my twenty third birthday, my sisters wife had informed me of pole dance classes that were being taught in my hometown. This is how I met my coach, dance partner, and now best friend, Tynesha B. I was in awe in my first class. I just loved how astounding and beautiful it was. I took that first class, and I just never stopped. Shortly after I started poling, my granny was diagnosed with cancer, and we were told she only had a year. We cried hard for a minute, and then moved forward, as she taught us to do. So, we made plans for her to really do everything she wanted to in life, and we planned to get her to my first pole competition so that she could see what her hard work had helped to create. She unfortunately passed away a week after her diagnoses; and to this day I am still heart broken that she never got to see my full potential as a dancer.
Going into the studio after this really showed how truly supportive and close the pole community really is. So many people in the studio came together and supported me through it, and showed how many friends I had made in such a short period of time. We were such a diverse group of people, brought together by pole. We trained together, travelled together, experienced life. We laughed, and cried together. We became our own little pole family, and to this day, even though we are separated, we still stay in touch and support each other.
With how many friends I made through pole, each and every one of them have taught me something. I have learned so much about the world, and about myself. The experiences, the friends, and pole itself honestly helped me discover who I am as a person. I found my voice to stand up for others, and to stand up for myself. It’s helped me to express myself, and to combat my insecurities. I discovered my sexuality, and how to own it. I also found a family, that in no way would have been without pole. Pole has given me so many things. To this day I am still poling, and I am extremely thankful that I found it.
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