Although pole dancing is a sport that requires the ability to move in all manner of directions, what distinguishes pole dancers is not just athleticism. Instead, pole dance moves are unique in that they require an intimate, unique knowledge of body and dance, so it is very much a movement that is tailored to the individual (rather than for athletic or competitive reasons).
It is said that pole dancing teaches you to “get up for the dancers you never want to dance with.” The most effective way to think of how pole dance teaches a dancer the skill of movement is to think of it as building an experience. This is the basic idea behind the ability to do or practice with a certain class, technique, or position (a footwork pattern), which, over time, leads you to move on to a different skill, one built upon a different body and position. To learn to move like a pole dancer is like learning to move like an athlete. You start by moving naturally and becoming a fluid, responsive and well-trained body, rather than becoming an athlete and having to work out and become fast and strong so you can make mistakes.
When teaching an individual, it is much easier to point out movements that are the same (e.g. how to do an A-line), than to describe movements unique to that particular individual. Most people can make the same basic movements to their right at home or in a gym, yet have little to show for years. In the same way, pole dancing is similar in that as soon as you know it and find it enjoyable, you can start learning it from your partner, from a class, or from other pole dancers. This is because there is a tremendous amount of skill and unique knowledge involved in getting a good and unique dance experience on both the physical and the mental level.
If something is new for you to learn, it is highly likely that someone else will be doing it a lot better. This means that there is going to be a gap in your skill, or some sort of learning deficit. As a result, you are less likely to continue at the same level or increase your practice over time because you don’t feel as if you are accomplishing much with the same movements. As you improve with the same or similar movements, even if you don’t do well at that level, at least you know that you can learn more with better movements.
Another unique aspect of pole dancing is that there is something you have that others, who you are not, cannot have
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