Since February I have been working with life coach and motivational speaker, Gabrielle Bernstein ( http://www.herfuture.com/ ). When I had the chance to hear her lecture at Sheila Kelly's S Factor ( http://www.sfactor.com/ ) last weekend, I couldn't wait. I knew I would be great on the pole.
On the day of class, I dressed in cute, comfy workout attire -- leggings and a cotton V-neck Tshirt -- pulled my hair back and I was ready to pole dance. Or not. When I arrived at S Factor, a gem tucked in the heart of Chelsea, I was the most clothed person there. Think booty shorts and belly-baring tanks. I own these items, but I'm even shy about wearing them alone in my own apartment for fear of losing a butt cheek out the back. Safe to say, I felt a tad overdressed.
Gabby's lecture was about the importance of being authentic and vulnerable. Something I am learning to do and finding it very rewarding. After the lecture we took to the mats. But not before we were instructed to take our hair down. I'm no prude, but this was beginning to feel a bit too 'stripperesque' for my taste.
We started with some simple stretching. Easy enough. Things started to heat up with the S Factor "language" which involved some sexy leg moves called the Flirt and and another move where the instructor kept saying, "asses in the air, ladies!" This is all a blur because all I could think was, "there is no way I'm going to roll around on the floor touching myself like that."
Looking around, the other women in the class seemed so at ease with these moves, running their hands along their torsos and through their hair. All shapes and sizes, every single one suddenly looked beautiful in their booty shorts accessorized with confidence.
Finally ... time to work the pole. This was the part I had been waiting for and I was going to rock it. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" blared from the speakers and we were four to a pole. Ones first. Ohmygod I'm a one. Panick-stricken, I took a deep breath and worked my "S" walk first. For. as long. as I possibly. could. When I was ready, I leapt into the air and swung my legs around the pole, sliding down ungracefully into a heap onto the floor at the bottom. So much for being a born expert. Cheering and hollering surrounding me, I picked myself up in the sexiest way possible and "S" walked right back to my starting point. Ready to try again.
Something beautiful happened that Sunday night on the pole. When I let my barriers down and I opened my heart and my mind, I was ready to receive all of the love and support that filled the room. All of the things that had haunted me before class started - what I was wearing, what my thighs looked like in leggings, weather my hair was in place and how good I was on the pole -- none of it mattered there. Once I warmed up, my insecuritues melted away. I was safe to make mistakes and be myself without judgment. I walked out of S Factor a more confidently than when I walked in. Eager to go back for more.
About S Factor
S Factor is the original and most popular pole dancing and striptease workout designed by a woman for women. This radically wild workout combines ballet, yoga and striptease to nurture a woman's natural S shape, promoting health, confidence and empowerment for all ages and body types. S Factor has been featured on Oprah , 20/20, 48 Hours, The View, Late Night With Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as in magazines including US Weekly, People and In Touch. Studios offering pole dancing classes are located in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Encino and Orange County. DVDs and books extend S Factor to homes around the world.