I know everyone loves to progress quickly and move up to the next level as soon as possible, but I embrace being a slow learner!
While I’d love to be one of those naturally gifted people who have the strength and skill to pick things up immediately, I’ve come to realize it takes me about 6 months to get from learning something new to consistently nailing it nicely.
Since each term is 2 months long, that’s 3 terms gone by before I reach proficiency within whichever level that I first learned 3 terms ago.
For example, we learn the basic spin climb in Beginners, and by the end of the Beginners term, mine were functional but far from being graceful. It wasn’t until another 2 whole terms later that I could really execute a proper, pretty, Bobbi’s-style spin climb with fully arched back, straight legs and pointed feet.
The 3-term learning curve still applies to most other new moves that I learn in every subsequent level so far:
In the first term I learn all the new moves as a total beginner. Usually it’s a struggle as my body and I fight it out on the pole. By the end of that first term I can do most of the new tricks but some of them are hit-or-miss, and most of them still look quite fumbly.
The second term from there is when I start getting comfortable with the tricks, and they no longer scare me. Muscle memory has kicked in at this point, I can string the new moves together into combos, and my videos are no longer so painful to watch.
But it’s really only by the third term that those same moves start to feel natural and look graceful. It’s only by this point that I can find tiny moments within the movements to inject a little of myself, and feel like I’m dancing and not just doing.
And I feel its important to reach that point, or there is no point!. If I rushed the process, instead I’d forever be ‘just-learning’ and never ‘just-dancing’.
So I like to take my time and focus on the same level until I feel that I’ve nailed every move in there and can manage a smile as I dance them instead of looking constipated!
Right now, I’m into my second complete term of inter 3 and I’m pretty comfortable with the tricks and combos. Except for the dreaded Candy shoulder mount.
I haven’t even really started trying it, so it’s definitely another 6 months away at least… I have a couple of fear issues over the Candy that I need to get past before I can even start seriously practicing it, but that’s a whole different story altogether.
So I suspect I’ll be spending a lot more than just 3 terms in inter 3, actually!