[Sarah Watkins | PWN]

After a long hiatus, I have been re-immersing myself into the pole world. It has felt absolutely amazing being back. It leaves me wondering how I let myself go so long (five years) without this delicious treat! But, that’s another story for another day.

I decided to be good to my body and start in a beginner’s pole class. In this particular class, after we’ve done grueling pole work (and I say that with love), the teacher gifts us with a freestyle dance at the end. She splits us into groups, and after each group dances she asks, “Does anyone want to share what they liked about what they saw?” A new student, who was completely confused and baffled at such a question asked, “Um… you mean about… each… other?” Her question made me smile. I knew it didn’t come from a bad place. Though no fault of her own, this form of appreciation seemed to be foreign to her. It reminded me that outside of these walls, there is a completely different language spoken to each other. One that doesn’t always include showering your fellow woman with encouragement and appreciation.

More importantly, it reminded me of how amazing the pole community is for introducing this kind of language to this woman. Giving her the permission to celebrate another woman openly is such a gift. A contagious one, at that!

After receiving clarification from our teacher, she shared what she thought was beautiful. It was like a ripple effect, and everyone began to chime in with their thoughts. They said everything from “I liked the way you crawled to the pole” to “I loved the way you came out of that trick”! My heart beamed because with each comment, everyone was able to see beauty from another perspective. With each comment, another woman stood a little bit taller, smiled a little bit wider… And that’s what I love.

This language of support is so special to me. Verbally acknowledging another woman for simply being herself is transcendent. You never know how far a simple “you rocked that” will go, or what saying “that was beautiful” will mean to someone. So, maybe next time you’re in class and you see someone do something beautiful, don’t be afraid to share it, even if that someone is you.