By Melissa Ly (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: January 7, 2015

Your skin needs to be exposed to properly grip the pole. (Image:  The Goddess Movement / Flickr )
Your skin needs to be exposed to properly grip the pole. (Image: The Goddess Movement / Flickr)

The mention of pole dancing  usually stirs up imagery of something along the lines of a neon-lit stage with scantily clad strippers walking around a pole as men flip money into the air. However, pole dancing has been emerging as a form of performance art, and a recreational and competitive sport. If you watch a video of a pole dancing competition, you will see why this is.

Pole dancers require a tremendous amount of talent, skill, and strength.

The Goddess Movement, an alternative fitness studio hidden right beside Wings on Sumas Way, offers free pole classes every Monday night at 6 p.m. No obligations. This past winter break I took up this offer.

When first entering the Goddess Movement, you are immediately welcomed with a warmness that is a nice contrast to the winter cold, and there’s a pleasant fragrance that fills the air.

Just around the office is the spacious room with six dance poles spread about. Hanging from the high ceilings are aerial hoops, silks, and trapezes.

The “try it out” class began with a short introduction of everyone who had made it out to the class that evening. The instructor Sorrell-Ann then took some time to talk about how the Goddess Movement is a place of support, self-acceptance, and empowerment.

In the words of Aryn, the owner, director, and instructor of TGM, “Because we do not judge you or set unrealistic expectations for you, we ask that you do the same for the other women in the room … judge less, encourage more. We are all the same — things we do / don’t like about ourselves, hang ups, hard days … so let’s just agree that we are all a little broken and offer space and support to heal and grow.”

The Goddess Movement is a place where the negativity, judgment, and toxic notions of beauty stop.

The class first proceeded into the warm-up, pilates, and stretches, with Sorrell-Ann weaving in her humour, playfulness, and positivity throughout.

Last but not least, we learned actual pole skills! The pole moves were quite simple, yet sexy. I personally found them easy, as I dance seductively around my room all the time. But even if you do feel shy or awkward about shaking your booty and hips, no one is judging!

“Pole has challenged me in my physical, mental, and spiritual growth in ways I never expected,” Aryn says. “I am a fully different person than I was 10 years ago. I have learned I am strong, capable, and powerful, and that I love my soul and body for what it is, not tearing it apart due to what society and media says I am not.”

Pole dancing has been a fun, sensual, and adventurous experience. If it ends up not being your cup of tea, no harm done, keep it as an interesting story.


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