I was browsing through Studio Veena and came across this fantastic blog post written by Veena herself, on ‘Professional Level’ pole moves. It’s a very good read, and all the comments are spot-on too.
The post is about how it’s quite easy now to get confused about what constitutes ‘Amateur’ level.
According to the U.S Pole Dancing Federation’s competition standards, ‘Amateur’ level competitors are those who haven’t placed in competitions yet to earn ‘Pro’ status. But those competitors are seriously anything but amateur!
Which brings us back to the topic of ‘what’s really amateur?’
Cos nowadays a lot of the stuff we see on Youtube is in the realm of ‘keep dreaming’ for the average non-gymnast/ dancer/ contortionist/ super-human. And when the tricks get more and more jaw-dropping, it’s easy to forget how difficult the ‘basics’ even are anymore.
Like how the Jade is a beautiful and more advanced move, but it can mistakenly start to look basic next to the craziness of the Rainbow Marchenko. Or how a Static-V (Ayesha) seems tame after you watch someone do an extreme version with Scissor Splits and an Iron X in between.
The point is, that if our standards get unrealistically high (i.e: pretty much any competition video these days) it’s easy to start feeling like crap.
And boy do I understand feeling like crap!
I mean, I don’t even aspire to anything more complex than a DVD cover (Extended Butterfly) right now and I already feel like crap on some days, so I can’t imagine how the more ambitious girls might be feeling if they’re aiming for the really cray-cray stuff.
But I can relate to the temptation. There are the occasional ‘foreign imports’ at the studio who casually drop in already able to bust out amazing, professional-level performances. I think we can all agree that anyone who’s working on a Spatchcock by themselves during pole practice is obviously pretty seasoned at physical training.
It can also be intimidating as hell.
That’s just the reality of things though. Even in the studio which is like a safe little haven filled with fellow passionate pole hobbyists, there’s the danger of our self-esteem getting punched in the gut when confronted with someone else’s Amazingness, and the realization that we may never come close.
But in moments like that, it’s important to remember the rest of reality too. Like how many hours we actually spend practicing, and what we do with the rest of our lives when we’re not! Yes, I know it’s called Perspective.
And blog posts like that one give good perspective.
Personally, I love being an amateur in the truest sense: Just a student. Not an instructor, not a performer, not a competitor. It gives me the freedom to learn at my own pace, and license to make as many mistakes as I need along the way without the responsibility of maintaining a standard that would come with any such title until I’m well and ready.
And if I have any moments of occasional brilliance… it’s a very happy bonus! After all, they say it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become an expert, and really master it. That’s an average of 8 hours a day, five times a week, for five years. Someone like Bobbi would have easily clocked more than that by now, along with most of the other professional pole stars.
Me, I’m probably somewhere around the 500-hour range, accumulated over the past 2 years or so. How many hours do you reckon you’ve clocked so far?