You never know until you try

January 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm 1 comment

Several months ago, I ran across a wonderful routine by Jenyne Butterfly in which she does an aysha fang.  The first time I watched the video, I cataloged the aysha fang somewhere in the back of my brain as one of those “dream moves” I probably wouldn’t be able to do for a very long time.  After all, at that point, I couldn’t even do an elbow grip aysha, let alone an aysha fang, which requires you to both be able to balance with your body away from the pole and arch your back to get your feet over your head.  I had barely taken the baby steps to get there.

But that was several months ago.  Early in December, I finally nailed the elbow grip aysha after receiving some helpful tips from a friend that must have sparked a light bulb moment.  I continued to practice the move until I could hit it every single time and hold it comfortably for a while.  Then a couple days ago, I ran into Jenyne’s video again and was reminded of my dream move.  Just for the heck of it, I posted on Studio Veena about the aysha fang to see if anybody had any tips, but I was still too nervous to try it right away.  After all, I hadn’t even worked on a straight edge yet.  I know, it’s obvious I should have thought that that would be an important stepping stone, but with all of the holiday stuff and the preparation for the showcase I was just in (more on that later!), it wasn’t exactly at the top of my priority list.

Well, last night another post on Studio Veena got me thinking about the flying ballerina, which I had tried before but didn’t have much success with.  It was 2am and I had already done some splits stretching earlier so I figured, I’ll just try this one thing a couple times and then I’ll go to bed.  I never meant to go all out and spend an intense 2-hour long practice on the pole!  But that’s what happened.

I tried the straight edge, and I got it.  It was a little wobbly, but I didn’t fall.  So I tried it again.  And again.  And again.  And found out that I could hold it for a long time, too – at least, way longer than I expected to for only doing it for the first time.  I wasn’t even going to try the fang that night because I had already exerted so much energy and it was 3am, but while I was in the straight edge for maybe the fifth time, I could feel my back bend a little and my weight shift.  And then I thought, what if I just bend my legs a little?  So I did, and I felt secure.  And then that turned into, what if I just arch my back a little bit more?  And before I knew it, I was in the aysha fang!  And not only that, but I did it consistently several more times, I could hold it for a long time, and I didn’t fall.  I did abort the move once while experimenting with variations in body placement, but I just stepped down out of it to the floor with control and I was fine.  I couldn’t believe what I was able to do, and I didn’t even realize it until I just went for it.

Pushing your limits can be extremely dangerous, and often, fear is a good thing because it can keep you safe.  However, sometimes we let our fears dictate what we believe we’re capable of.

Who knows – maybe if I had gone into the practice with the intent of nailing the fang, I might not have been able to do it.  Maybe I wouldn’t have paid so much attention to what it felt like to be in the straight edge and to test my balance in different ways.  I believe I got the fang because I took my time, I listened to my body, I experimented, and I went into the practice with zero expectations.  Of course, that’s what I should be doing during every practice, but sometimes I get so excited to try a new move that I have to force myself to slow down a bit.  Because now that I think about it, most of the more impressive moves I have nailed lately were first achieved during a practice in which my focus was on other things.  The aysha fang, straight edge, knee hold, dove, and cocoon (among others) were all surprises the first time I got them because I had told myself, just try it.

We pole dancers sometimes tend to be a little hard on ourselves when we don’t feel like we’re progressing fast enough.  But sometimes even small gains that don’t seem to make much difference at the time are more important to our progress than we think they are.  Additionally, the big gains don’t always come when we want them to.  If you feel a little stuck or you just can’t seem to get a move you know you should be nailing, move on and try something else.  And let go of the expectations.  You might just surprise yourself.


Entry filed under: Inspiration, Thoughts. Tags: , , , .

Looking back on 2011 New class, new goals

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. originalribenababy  |  January 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Congrats! Beautiful move.

    I tried that one in pole class before I was ready and did myself a real damage.

    The Ayesha grip has always freaked me out and I was only just beginning to get the hang of it when the teacher said to move onto the fang version… Something gave way as I was arching my back and I dropped off the pole backwards – my wrist from the lower hand still hurst 8 months on 😦

    So I would certainly agree getting a strong Ayesha is safer than trying it without!


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