Sasha* never felt like she belonged. Bullied in her early school years and always called the “weird” one, she felt isolated and depressed. In her teens, she started drinking alcohol and doing recreational drugs to try to fit in with the “cool” kids. Her self-esteem was low and she tried to conform to the behaviours of anyone she thought would accept her. She would make a lot of friends but had very few she could depend on. She felt ugly and alone, and she was jealous of the other girls in her circle. She wanted to be them – pretty and perfect. The only way she could see her value and self-worth was when a guy would tell her she’s hot. Even then, all the guys she dated were losers with no ambition and no life goals. After a few years of partying, she gained weight and her health started to deteriorate. Her body was weak and she was always sick. She felt miserable.

Things started to pick up when, one day, one of her friends suggested they try a pole dancing class. For Sasha, it was love at first spin! For the next couple of days, her muscles were extremely sore but there was something about it that made her want to come back for more: the community. 

Every time Sasha got a move, everyone in the class would cheer for her. If she didn’t get it, they would be supportive and encourage her. No one laughed. No one called her “weird”. No one judged. Everyone was in it together and that’s what kept her coming back. Finally, Sasha felt like she belonged. After attending a few months of classes, she decided it was time to take back control of her body and mind. Pole was the answer. 

As the pole levels got higher, they required less clothing. At first, Sasha cringed at the thought of wearing short shorts and a sports bra in a class full of women! But when she saw that everyone else felt the same, she knew she wasn’t alone. Sasha and her pole friends grew together through the levels and went from leggings and a tank top to short shorts and a sports bra. She couldn’t be happier!

Soon, Sasha found her self-esteem had grown and she felt as free as a bird. Her confidence flourished and she began to compete as a pole dancer. She loved the new challenges that pole presented, and the support she received from her new community. 

Through her experience, she realized the importance of community and finding a support system that accepted and cared for her. Her pole dancing tribe was a group of people she could relate to and feel comfortable around. Nothing beats the feeling of having a circle to depend upon! Sharing similar interests, having people to rely on for guidance and support. Pole dancing gave Sasha what she thought she would never have – her ensemble. Without this amazing group of people, Sasha’s life may never have improved.

Sasha’s story is a great example of how your community can bring out your best and how your pole dancing circle can change your life. Have you thought about the impact your tribe has had on your life? How has it improved your life and your pole dancing experience? 

We invite you to find your pole dancing tribe at Iron X Fitness. 

*Name has been changed for anonymity.