Happily amateur after

Anastasia Skukhtorova doing the Rainbow Marchenko

Anastasia Skukhtorova doing the Rainbow Marchenko

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? 🙂

About Chwenny

Body, soul, and pole!
This entry was posted in I'm just saying.. and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Happily amateur after

  1. I love this soooooooooo much. thank you.

  2. Maggie says:

    Look up a concept called teh 10,000 hr rule, by Malcolm Gladwell. He hypothesize that to become really really good at something, a person needs to have 10,000 hr of practice. That’s a lot of time. Time I doubt most of use can scratch up in a few short years. Thanks for the read, you’ve inspired me to write a blog post of this topic as well, I’ll be sure to link this page when I do!

  3. cindy says:

    Thank you for posting this! It made my day 🙂 I was very motivated after completing the adv routine – something I thought was impossible when I started learning it- and thus during practice, I asked one of the girls to teach me a cool advance trick. But I ended up hurting my back and feeling absolutely disappointed at my lack of strength. So. Thanks for the post 🙂

  4. Chwenny says:

    I’m so glad you guys like it! Maggie, I’m looking forward to your post. And I was very loosely referencing Mr Gladwell’s theory about ‘outliers’, actually! 🙂

  5. shimarella says:

    great post Chwenny! I’m starting to compete & already stressed out about the expectations. Thanks for the perspective.

  6. Very good post babe! I love the way you put it 🙂 and you are right, we should be comfortable in being who we are.. and enjoy the poleing journey like eg: for every 10 hours a polebie needs to learn a move, i know i will need at least 30 hours or more lol :P.. Ok see you in the new term! xoxo

  7. Very good post babe! I love the way you put it and you are right, we should be comfortable in being who we are.. and enjoy the poleing journey like eg: for every 10 hours a polebie needs to learn a move, i know i will need at least 30 hours or more lol .. Ok see you in the new term! xoxo

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