Pole Fitness

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Just about 6 years ago, I found myself venturing into a new type of fitness. Pole Dancing.  I know, immediate thoughts put  you in a different place  than what I am about to explain.  I was at a point in my life were I felt like I had lost myself.  I had spent the last couple years having babies and also finishing school.  I wanted to find that “sexy” again, to feel like a woman again, and to empower me.    I also wanted a workout that would be a full body workout; I find the gym boring.  I found a local studio and signed up for my first class! I was overwhelmed by so many emotions.  Mostly of what people would think. I am a mother of 3.  My background is nursing, however I   now hold a double master’s in nursing education and nursing informatics; I was fearful to share this new interest.  Interestingly enough, most people immediately thought I had started stripping.  There is a constant struggle with having to explain and justify what pole is. I find that most people who judge from a far, have never tried it and have no idea the amount of strength and determination this sport brings.  There is a weird stigma with pole; it’s ingrained.  I have found myself no longer explaining; the sport does not need it, it’s amazing and powerful.

My first class was a disaster.  My teacher was amazing, but this initial class pushed so many boundaries in me, it was frightening.  The amount of strength it took to just climb was ridiculous.   Then on top of that, I was asked to let go and just dance.  I don’t   dance.  I spent the majority of my childhood playing sports; in high school I played water polo and ended up with a scholarship, which I didn’t take.  However I was addicted.  The challenge was what I wanted!  I quickly bought my own pole to put up in my own house so I could practice more! I was a very dedicated student.  I grew quickly in skill because of my determination to conquer certain moves and really carve out a place for myself in this arena. I started teaching about 3 years from my first class and love it. 

Pole Fitness is an extremely unique sport.  It’s hard!! I don’t feel you need to choose a style necessarily, there are so many this sport has to offer, but mine is hands down strength.  I tend to gravitate more towards the strength based moves and pushing my body to those limits.  I have a hard time with flexibility, mostly because I don’t train it. One of the other amazing things about this sport is the pole community.  I found this on Instagram.  You can find so many other people enjoying and journeying in the same sport as you and in so many different styles.  I have made so many friends that I’ve actually never met! But they are there for you, sharing your struggles and triumphs.  It’s truly an exceptional community to be a part of.  

There is a whole other world to pole fitness as well.  It’s the competition side.  I actually never thought I would want to complete, but then I remembered how competitive by nature I am! My first competition was a disaster, but I grew the most.  So I would call it a struggle and triumph.  It taught me to be thankful of what my body can do, to be proud of myself for standing on that stage and sharing my love of this sport with so many people, and to remember why I love the sport itself.  It’s not an easy thing to take what you love, present it to others, and be judged on it!  Each competition has it’s own set of rules and guidelines, which makes it very interesting. I signed up for 2 other competitions that year and did pretty well.  In 2017 I placed 2nd in Championship Level 3 for PSO and 2nd in Amateur at the OG Pole Fitness Competition.   I also was awarded Best Physique.  2018 has been an interesting year for me.  It’s been full of struggles and triumphs.  I competed 5 times this year! I placed in 2 out of 5 of these. I never thought I would be at the level of completing in the Pro division, but here I am.  To be very clear, I am competing with some ridiculously talented individuals, and I am starting at the bottom.  But it is an honor to share the stage with these people. Every time I have a struggle, it reminds me to love myself, remember why I love this sport, and push harder.  I have signed up for 2 competitions as of  now for 2019.

I have found myself in a really cool place as of now.  I teach 4 classes a week in my home studio.  I love my students.  While I know they say I inspire them, they are truly my inspiration.  I love being able to share the love of this sport with my students and light the little fires of passion within them.  I am so happy to see their growth and be a part of their journeys.  I have started fostering their journey in competition world and I am so happy and excited for their growth. I have a decent following on Instagram and it’s beyond flattering.  I  think I have established myself in this art with my own unique style of strength and fluid flow, the ability to relate to so many as a mom and “real” person; I speak to all my struggles and triumphs, to share with them that we all go through these  little battles.  I want to be sure that people understand not to get caught up in all the perfection we see floating around on the web.  That most only share their “best” take.  Additionally, I have worked really close with a good friend of mine and student, Kristen, to create pole challenges on Instagram.  The goal is to inspire and challenge people to try new things.  It’s important to both of us to be engaging and encouraging to build those relationships and foundations and positivity within our community and sport.  Lastly, I have had the opportunity to brand rep for Oksa Wear Pole Clothing and while I am not an ambassador for Vekker La, I promote the line, because I love it, and the owner Ashley is just the best.  Lastly, I am the brand ambassador for my own home studio Inversion Dance Studios.  It’s my home away from home and I just love so much about what it brings to the community and individuals.

I am so lucky to have found this sport on a chance  and to be fulfilled in so many ways.  I feel empowered as a woman, inspired by so many on a daily basis, and I hope to inspire others.  My journey has been full of struggles and triumphs, but has made me grow in so many ways.  I encourage anyone who hasn’t tried pole fitness, to do so, and they may find a new love.

De Anne Christopher

Lead Instructor

Instagram: @forthelove_ofpole

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