The other day at the studio, I was practicing the baby version of a free-standing elbow head stand with tucked legs, which took me 3 classes of yoga to find enough balance for. I was feeling quite accomplished because it’s not even something that I’ve ever aimed for.
Then one of my friends who doesn’t even do much yoga decided to try it too, and immediately went up into a full extended freestanding elbow headstand.
Which is amazing! Though I couldn’t help immediately feeling slightly crestfallen. Like, why should I ever bother now…
But that’s just being silly of course! Quit working on something cos someone else can do it better?! Might as well just give up on life!
Still, I’ve always felt that one of the biggest situational hazards of pole dancing is that you get exposed to so many awesome dancers: Your fellow classmates, your instructors, guest instructors, new students, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, there’s a world out there of gorgeous dancers to behold in all shapes, sizes and styles. And once you’ve opened your eyes to the pole universe, you start seeing beautiful dancers errrrrrwhere.
Wait.. why is this a hazard, exactly? Isn’t it a wonderful thing?
Yes of course it is!
Except for one little thing….
that terrible C-word.
Maybe it’s just me who is so damned insecure, but sometimes (after the initial awe and admiration of watching someone beautiful) I still catch myself Comparing myself negatively to other dancers.
Inside my head, a sad little voice will whisper, “You’re never going to be as gorgeous/strong/flexible/fluid/sexy/expressive/as fast a learner/__(insert favorite adjective here)__ ”
Other times, it’s a case of pure body envy…
“OMG look at her Amazing cleavage/hair/eyes/legs/face/ass/FLAT tummy/complete lack of cellulite and stretchmarks!!/__(insert other favorite body part here)__”
All that is usually followed by inadequate glances at my own correlating body parts.
And it’s when I find myself at this point where I need to remind myself that wait a minute, I’m not that bad after all either! And I look better than chopped liver too!
I may not be perfect, or as good a dancer as I wish I was, but I got what I’ve got and that’s pretty damn great compared to when I first started as all-kinds-of-awkward.
And then I start to feel a bit better.
But it’s a constant battle… you know what I’m talking about?
FYI, back then before I learned the wisdom of not comparing yourself against other dancers, I genuinely felt like crap ALL THE BLOODY TIME during my first round of Intermediate 1 when I was the last girl in class who still couldn’t invert.
I felt like
crying quitting after every single class but instead of quitting, I’d take off my heels, drag a crash mat into practice time and kick my way up that pole until I somehow managed to (badly) invert eventually. Lesson learned then: Don’t listen to those bad feelings. Just keep practicing!
And shortly after that, I even felt empowered enough to start a blog.
Anyway, since I’m not much of a group-hug-inspirational-speechey kind of gal, I won’t go into how each of us are all like special unique snowflakes, or other such cheese-balls.
What I will say though, is that I guarantee you that whichever gorgeous/crazy strong/super flexy/mad sexy/gifted dancer you inevitably end up comparing yourself to at some point has her own insecurities too, that you are probably not even aware of.
Oh hell, and if all else fails… at least remind yourself that she probably looks like crap first thing in the morning ok?! Cos I know I sure do! ;P