It`s not about sex, so it won`t take three books million pages each. It`s about envy. Envy is one of the most spread feelings in the pole dance industry, unfortunately, much more popular among pole dancers than feeling of music. It explains a lot of actions, that don`t seem logical at first sight, may heart you, leave confused, but are the same simple and disgusting habit of humanity, as burping in public. Have you ever:
1. Been told by your teacher – you`ll never do it? Teacher`s envy is number one in my list, as it`s the most dangerous one. It does not only kills your self-esteem, it can lead to very unexpected sad aftermath. Around a year ago two girls came to my silks class. Both quite strong, but one amazingly bendy. She was a student, the other one – her teacher. After several classes, bendy girl called me and asked, if in a secret she could take some private pole with me, as her teacher was her good friend, and she didn`t want to offend her. When I asked her, what she wanted to learn, she said, her biggest dream was to do a handspring. My jaw dropped. She flipped like crazy on the silks, I thought we would start from fonji at least. I asked her to show, how she does the handspring, and couldn`t believe my eyes. She was standing, like an idiot, with her butt up, staring at the ceiling, her body cramped into weired unnatural position and waved her leg. I showed her a normal way, and she did the handspring from the thrid try. Then she collapesed on the floor crying. It appeared, she tried to do it for almost a year, but her teacher-friend kept repeating she would never ever manage it, as her back was TOO BENDY. I mean, really?! Watching these two girls it was obvious for me, her teacher was insanely jealous of her natural flexibility, and did everything she could to prevent her from learning new moves. Even if I leave behind the amount of money the girl paid for classes, the purpose of which was to kill her self-esteem, there is one more thing. When somebody constantly repeats – you can`t, you can`t, you can`t, it just gets stuck in your head. And when you dare, and you do it, if you hesitate just for a second, you indeed can fall. So remember, once and for all: 1) if your teacher says, there is something you can`t do, turn around immediately and leave the class; 2) though, please, listen to the teacher, who says you can, but it just might be too early for you to try. You have the right to ask – why? And the qualified teacher must give you detailed explenation – your upper body is not strong enough, you still don`t have enough skin grip, you need to manage another move first etc.
2. Been obviously unfairly judges? This is second in my list, as envy of one person can kill the believe in this sport, which still has quite shaky position in public`s opinion. It almost happened to me. I got into pole dance like half a joke. My participation in the championship was a gift for my wife. I was placed third, which is quite high for the second performance in life. But my scores were so low (I don`t know, why, as organizers asked to pay to get judges` feedback), I could make only one conclusion – this sport is not for me. I tried to bring manly pole, that`s how I see it, I believe that`s the only way it can be popular among a lot of people, not just several thousands. I did a lot of new moves, combos (by the way, if you ever get into competition, that I judge, I don`t appreciate coming to the pole, doing one move, jumping off and resting), danced and even had a story. I do admit, my toes and lines were far from perfect, but ok – take even 10 points off. Not 30! After the comp I sticked to my previous opinion of pole dance – cute, fun, not for me. It would have been the successful finish of my pole career, if not for Australia. I keep thanking to APFC and Mr Pole Dance organizers, because, what they did – they inspired me. I still don`t know, why I gave pole dance a second shot, but I know, i don`t regret it. And I always remember my first experiance. It makes me very attentive judge, it makes me try to spot a talent in a girl, who might have slipped, because she was too nervous, in a guy, who doesn`t point his toes, because he is ex-soccer player, in a child, who is not perfectly coordinated due to such young age. And I watch other judges. And I do see envy. Envy, that the girl is bendier, they guy is stronger, more popular, more beautiful, more successful, loved or whatever is a sore point for this particular person. Unfortunately, not all people are accomplished and completely satisfied with their own life, and there is too much temptation to make somebody miserable, when you have the power. So, darling, if your routine was perfect and you didn`t place, it actually might be, because you don`t have cellulite. To find the truth – try several championships, three – is the lucky number. If you have no success in any, well, maybe it is not your path. But if results are completely different…
3. Been criticized behind your back by fellow pole dancers? I get the picture, how other people see our life. We work for one-two hours a day, sometimes don`t even do so and work only on week-ends. In two-three week-ends we get more than normal salary of office worker, who hussles from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every single day. Because of our work, we look fabulous as it just naturally keeps us in shape. We travel a world, with people in every corner of it meeting us with their arms open. We participate in championships doing a tiny routine of 3-4 minutes, are judged by our friends and fans. And people don`t understand – they do the same, they are also talanted, why can`t they live this fabulous life? Well, fisrt I will explain, how it is for real. We have to travel around, giving workshops, as even if you have a school or participate in the circus show you still can`t earn enough money to support a family. You can make easy calculations – how much do you pay for your pole class, how many students go to your school – minus taxes, property rent, teachers`s salary etc. Not that much, is it? To earn big money in pole dance, you have to have big money to invest. There are some exceptions, as some countries are very supportive of small businesses, and pole dance is popular there, but it`s far from general rule. That`s why we live in our suitcases. And we get sick of them. It`s amazing, how many wonderful people you meet around the world, but to be honest, sometimes you just want to have clean socks and ironed shirt, and walk around your home in your own slippers, drink coffe in your favourite caffe, not wake up every two days with a though – where am I? And don`t forget, that half of the money we earn, we spend to earn in next month. Your own life is like a little business – investment – profit. Tickets are expensive, living in hotel between week-ends with workshops is expensive, eating out in Stockholm and Paris is expensive. And don`t even let me start on the cost of championships… If all that still doesn`t scare you, I can explain, why some people are famous pole dancers, others are not. For people to like you, you have to 1. Be in shape, 2. Be intelligent and send certain messege 3. Constantly develop and improve 4. Take risks 5. Find your own individual spot in the pole dance world. It`s easy to talk – I can do the same! Do it. This kind of envy gets its strength from excuses. I would, but… The whole world is against these people. I would win the championship, if I could afford to go there. I would do a flip, if I had a matt. I would get all splits, if I had time to train every day. But deep inside again – there is insecurity and… fear.
4. Been criricized by anonymous authorities? We all get it. «Yeah, she is strong, and her overslipts are amazing, but she needs to loose some weight.» «She did nothing! I can do Russian split with heels, too!» «Ok, he`s strong. But all guys are strong!» This kind of envy holds the lowest position in my rating, as I am old enough to ignore it completely. It came to me with age. When you get older, you have less friends, because now your feelings are based on respect, not location or mutual love to Bloody Mary. And respect needs to be deserved. The same is with criticism. You have to listen to critics from people, whose opinion you value. Though, again, if you post a video, and out of 10, you get 9 negetive comments, you do need to overthink, what you are doing.
5. Been envied by your partner? This is quite a rare envy, but it does happen. It can start very innocently – he buys you pole dance certificate for you do dance for him on St Valentines, and boom – in two years you are on cover of pole fitness magazine in sponsored clothes. My wife is the most strict critic, I have ever met. Sometimes after I show her a routine, and she says something, I do yell – You think it`s easy? Then do it yourself! She always just shrugges, and waits for ten-fifteen minutes. After that I calm down, and we discuss all the elements I do. I won`t say I listen to her 100% of the time, but she doesn`t give me opportunity to relax. But when I am really messed up, I know she is always on my side, and would kill for me. You have to trust your partner. He or she doesn`t have to be part of pole dance world, even understand it much. But if you know your partner is proud of you, whatever you do – go to pole beginners twice a week, still trying to get into basic invert, or get three golden medals in a row – stick to this person. Jealous and envious people are contagious. You can either get the same decease – get envious of any girl or boy, who has better car or healthier skin, because you will think it is normal. Or you will be destroyed by it – questioning your every step. Remember – envy is the way to self-destruction. There are always will be someone better than you.