How it started vs. how it is going

I started pole dancing in 2009 at the age of 42. During that time I was one of the oldest dancers in the classes I attended. Being the oldest person in a class of people in their 20s and 30s was a bit intimidating, but I did not want to give up. I found myself in a competition that only I knew I was in. I met every challenge and soon was just as active, flexible and strong as my 20 and 30 year old counter parts. The successes I saw in my 40s made me want to continue pole dancing in my 50s.

Once I got into my 50s I discovered the things that I could do in my 40s as pole dancer I had some how lost them. I did not feel differently overnight, but it was gradual shift. The shift was both physically and mentally. The crazy tricks I was pretty solid in I started to doubt if my 50 year old body could execute those moves. I suddenly became more aware of possible injuries. I would think today will be the day I fall and break my hip or fracture something that would take an exceptionally longer time to heal.

Getting old is hard

As I continue down my path as a pole dancer over 50 I’m noticing there is a great deal more to this pole dancing over 50 that meets the eye. Yes, I am doing things that most of my friends my age cannot do, however does that make me less susceptible to injuries. What I’m finding is that being able to execute moves on the pole and being physically fit over the age of 50 requires a connection of both mind and body. This means a longer warm-up, breaking down moves to have a better understanding of body composition. It also means have a great understanding of potential injuries when executing certain moves. While all of this is important not matter your age, it is even more important when you over 50 and executing moves.

video by: Regina Sykes

Photo by: Peter Yeung

Mind Over Matter

There’s also the mental piece of pole dancing over 50. The mentality of should I be doing this at my age always pops in your head. I have struggled to find others in my age group that pole dance over the age of 50 to have conversations with. This leaves me to my own devices and understanding as I move through this activity. I often have to psych myself out to perform certain moves. I have to get past the fear of injuring myself. Once I am able to successfully execute a move multiple times I am totally comfortable doing it continuously. Much of what is done is more mind over matter that the physical execution of a move.

Photo by: Regina Sykes