In less than a week I will be performing for Emerald City’s Love is Love show. It’s an open and free show for folks who are 21+ and I am really excited to perform!
I have been practicing quite a bit and excited that my choreography is complete and all I have left are finishing touches. It has been an interesting journey putting together a performance and learning how to pole dance in general. I have had many conversations with my pole teachers and fellow classmates and I have made some interesting realizations.
I am a perfectionist and a destructive one.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to do things right and doing a thorough job. However, being a destructive perfectionist is rough because you have no room for failure and obsess until whatever your objective is perfect. Or you do so much that you burn yourself out. It’s overwhelming, tiring, and boring.
This is not a new realization for me rather a chronic condition I manage like seasonal allergies. My perfectionism stems from anxiety and fear. In a nutshell, I use perfectionism to avoid punishment and disappointing others. However, the end result is usually burn out. The other result is that I do not do or try new things to maintain validation and approval from others. It makes life lacking in creativity.
Okay, so that’s my perfectionist history…now enter pole dance.
The fact that I even decided to try pole dancing was a big deal as our U.S. culture still has certain connotations with this style of dance i.e. “Its slutty.” My typical perfectionist self would not normally do this as socially people might get the wrong idea. I could be called a bad mom, slut, etc. However, I do love fitness and anything physically challenging. I mean I ran 5 marathons…so why not? I remember when I first started I did not tell any of my friends because I worried what they might think of me.
So here I am now performing for the second time. I post videos and photos of my dancing. I follow and connect with other dancers. My life has a source of creativity and expression that it needed.
Pole dancing itself is the best antidote for perfectionism. Why? It is so fucking hard. Everything about it is an exercise in patience. Learning to grip and move takes time. Building the muscle and strength takes time. Learning to invert takes time. The other great (somestimes frustrating) part of pole dancing is that the sport (yes) is that it is ever changing and new moves and tricks are created every day. There is always something new to learn or conquer….wow.
I personally can’t be a perfectionist in pole. Nope. I can practice for 2 hours and leave the studio covered in bruises and still look completely silly and that is okay with me. Maybe next time I will hit the move or maybe in two months.
Unlike running where you can practice more (double days), pole you cannot practice endlessly because you will just end up injured. So, here I am regularly improving my patience and letting go of my perfectionism.
I like this new world and shedding my scared perfectionist self. I find myself having more grace and patience with others. I like practicing and see what I learn even if it does not provide a perfect end result.