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October 3, 2017

The Healing Power of Pole

In August of 2016, I found myself in such a state of depression and brokenness that I knew I had to do something extreme to even look up from the rock bottom I had hit. I had finally extracted myself from an abusive relationship that left me a shell of a woman. It took me three times of leaving and going back to him to finally make a stand and say no and to get him to stay away from me. In that soul-crushing process, I lost my identity and strength. There was no light left in me and no hope.

I had the immense support of my family and friends, I was seeking the advice of a therapist, and I was trying to immerse myself in the activities I once loved. But, all I could do was find the energy to drag myself to work and then drag myself back home, still with no light or hope in me. As months passed, my anxiety and depression only worsened, and I struggled mentally and physically. I stopped eating, my nails turned brittle and started peeling, and my sciatica (that I once was able to manage) returned with a vengeance. The last straw came that August when my hair started falling out. I cried uncontrollably, sobbing on the floor, silently pleading for help.

Help came the next day as I was scrolling through my email, and caught sight of the subject line “Fun Things to do in Denver.” I clicked on the email from Groupon, and the first advertisement was from Studio3sixT, showcasing 4 classes of pole dancing.

While I had heard of pole dancing classes, I had never considered taking one because I never considered myself to be that daring, graceful, or sexy. Who in the world would want to see me twirling around a pole, popping my booty to music that begs you to show skin??? What in the world would I look like wearing 7” heels?? A fool is what came to mind. But, I had asked for something extreme, and so I purchased the Groupon for 4 classes…….and I have never looked back.

It had taken me until September 2016 to get the courage to sign-up for my first class. I was so nervous that I sat in the parking lot, giving myself a pep talk to even walk through the door. I am so happy I did. My first intro class was with Kristen, and, from the moment class started, watching her guide our class through the moves of the Dip, the Fireman, and the Princess, I was hooked.

Pole dancing class became a necessity for me. It was the only thing that I looked forward to during the week. After taking a few intro classes, I started to wonder about some of the others, particularly XXX. It was another whole process getting the courage to sign-up and get myself through that door, but when Missie started the class, the light that had been absent suddenly reignited. I powered through October and November, feeding the light and gaining hope. I leveled up during that time, and I realized I was actually taking positive steps forward in my life. I started eating again, I was being more outgoing, and I decided to start my Master’s Degree. Studio3sixT had allowed me the space, the community, and the movement to find myself again.
And I would need all of that strength that I had built up to fortify myself in February of this year to deal with my ex trying to come back into my life. He had tracked me down at work, waiting outside to reveal how wrong he had been and how he would change. He professed his undying love and even went as far as to propose marriage. This was just a few days after a XXX class where Missie had told us that we were going to step in front of the mirror, look ourselves in the eyes, and, through our dancing, tell that someone in our lives to go f*ck themselves. So, standing there with my ex pleading to get back together, I kept the image of myself wearing red, 7” heels, dancing the answer of ‘never again’ in the mirror. I shut him down faster than a fan kick.

I truly consider Missie, Jen, and all of the other instructors at Studio3sixT to be healers. And the art of pole to be a life saver. So, when I got my year anniversary email in September, I couldn’t help but smile and think back on this “phoenix rising” transition this year has brought, where I danced my way to discovery, empowerment, forgiveness, and sexiness.

Tessa C.

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