At Aradia Fitness Calgary, we love all our students. To show them our ongoing appreciation, we choose one every month for a special student spotlight. The choice is based on dedication, commitment, attitude, and general sparkliness. This month, we have chosen Melissa. She came to us in Pole 1 with a great sense of humour and wicked smile. Now in Pole 5, Melissa flies on the pole with so much grace and confidence, that she inspires us all to do the same.
Melissa flies in the Daphne pose.
1. Where are you from? Hometown?
I’m from Calgary.
2. Favourite pastime (outside of pole), including any other dancing you do….
Outside of pole, my husband and I coach a salsa dance performance team. We used to teach classes, but find with two young children it’s more time efficient to focus on a choreography with a set group of dancers. We also love to social dance at the local salsa events.
3. What do you love most about pole?
When I was a kid I was really into gymnastics, so getting to flip upside down and do tricks & combos again is like food for the soul.
4. What keeps you motivated to come to your pole classes consistently?
The instructors and other students are so inspiring! I was just saying in class last night that I thought I would be satisfied now that I’m in level 5. However, I’m surrounded by these physically strong, talented women in my classes who inspire me to keep working through the levels.
5. What surprised you about pole dance and fitness?
There’s a few surprising facts:
A. It’s shocking how much strength and control is required to make things look polished.
B. It hurts, which in turn makes you tough.
C. There’s a misconception about what pole fitness really is. I feel like that’s partially because of class attire. I know I was taken aback myself in the beginning…..seeing girls in sports bras and shorts. I didn’t understand why that was necessary. Can’t we just wear leggings? No! Because you really need bare skin contact with the pole.
6. Why should someone join Aradia Fitness Calgary and start pole today?
Try it and feel your strength increase. Do things with ease that in the beginning were so hard. Talk about a serious fitness challenge as well as learning balance, coordination and endurance. I tell everyone to try it!
While listening to a sportscaster talk about how a hockey player, 10 years into his career seemed to have lost his love of the game, I started thinking about this in relation to pole. I still love pole but I do see some major differences in it since my humble beginnings. Believe it or not, back in 2007 when I started as a student, Instagram did not exist! There was no comparing myself to another pole dancer half way across the world and wondering if I would ever be that good or how many hours I would need to train to get there. It was a simpler time and it really kept you focused on your own development. It was a blessing of sorts as it kept me working on proper technique and not just doing something once and moving on to the next big trick. The pole climate feels very different from those days but there are some benefits to it as well such as a larger community and more and more friends around the world that you connect with.
“I’ve got to take flexibility, gymnastics, dance and 6 or more pole classes to keep up!”
“I’m not progressing fast enough to continue on with classes”
“I’ll never be able to compete or be as good as I want to be”
Any of these sound like something you’ve said to yourself? We’ve all been there and felt that way at some point. Are you getting discouraged or are you losing balance in your life? When I started, the only measuring stick I had were my friends in class. It was pretty great given that we all had our different strengths and we all excelled at different things. I believe our class environment still feels that way… we all cheer each other on, we are excited for one another but what happens when we see a competition or a crazy trick on Instagram? Do we start feeling bad about where we are in pole or are we still proud of our achievements?
When I got back after almost 2 months off this year, I had those feelings of insecurity as my strength had diminished and I felt bad about where I was at. At Pole Expo, I struggled to keep up at workshops where previously, I would have rocked it. I got back from Vegas feeling a bit down on myself. I over did it trying to keep up and I could barely lift my carry on luggage into the overhead bin. I had those feelings of “why bother” but I decided to dust myself off and I called Erica a few weeks later. I talked about getting back to loving pole so we decided to meet up, just play and do a poleflow from Magnus Labbe that I had learned in his workshop over a month before. We spent a Sunday hanging out, laughing and just having a good time. We learned the flow in about 40 minutes and stayed for another hour taking videos of us doing it in tandem. It became FUN again and I had an epiphany. I had lost the fun in it all. I forgot about laughing until I cried when I fell out of a move, enjoying just learning and not taking myself so seriously.
Pole should help self confidence and self esteem. If it is developing insecurities, you need a reset and remember the love. Pole should make you happy and be FUN. It did when you started and you can get back there trust me! We support you in your journey and anything we can do to help, just know we are there for you!!