Taking a photograph of yourself on the pole can be a big step. The idea is exciting but intimidating at the same time: you want to have a record for yourself or to show someone else what you’ve been doing, but committing yourself to a picture makes you feel uncomfortable.
But I’m just a beginner!
But I hate how my tummy creases in that move!
But I’m pulling a face and it will look awful!
I know all the excuses. We can all be really creative when it comes to defending the walls of our comfort zone. The truth is, it’s worth facing your inner critic because taking pictures can really transform your pole dancing. Whether it’s part of a professional shoot or just taking progress shots on your phone, you should try and do it as often as you can because it will make your moves look more polished and make you feel more confident and more motivated.
Not convinced? Let me give you a breakdown of just 5 ways it will make a huge difference to your training.
When you’re upside down on a pole (or even sometimes when you’re the right way up) it can be difficult to picture exactly what’s going on. Even if you have seen yourself dance in a mirror, there’s nothing like capturing what you’re doing on film. Having time to look over a picture, series of shots or a video can change the way you think and feel about everything you do.
A photo lets you check that your mental image and the reality line up. I can’t tell you how often my brain’s been convinced my body is in a perfect line, and then taken a picture that gives me the hard evidence to prove otherwise. If the photo collaborates your story, you’ll feel like a superstar all day. If it tells you otherwise, it gives you focus for improvement and a goal to meet – and when it all falls into place, you’ll get the superstar feeling too.
2. You can pick up on the finer details
When you first start learning a move, I’ll encourage you to make it safe and strong before we focus on making it pretty. That’s not to say I won’t give you ways you can improve everything, but a photograph can give you pointers that help you catch those things a little more quickly.
No one will look at your pictures more critically than you will, and while it’s always better not to be too hard on yourself, you can use your fault-finding skills to develop better habits on the pole. You’ll notice little things like flailing hands and facial expressions. You’ll see the difference a pointed toe makes. Those are the things you’ll focus on in your pole fitness training to make your tricks look even neater each time.
3. You’ll start to find your own style
One of the great things about pole fitness is that not everything is set in stone. There are important parts of every move which you need to master, but once those are in place you can add your own flair to almost everything. A leg or arm variation can be all it takes to make something uniquely yours, and by capturing things on film, you can get a feel for how to stamp your mark on everything you do.
4. You’ll feel more confident
Sometimes it’s hard to judge your own progress, but when you see photographs and start building a ‘before and after’ gallery, you’ll notice how quickly you’re improving. Whether you look at snapshots from when you started to where you are now, or look at a picture of your first attempt at a new trick against a practiced pose several weeks later, it’s easy to see that your hard work is paying off.
That’ll make you feel awesome.
Being more confident in what you’re doing will shine through in your dancing: routines will start to flow more easily, you’ll be less intimidated by bigger tricks, and you’ll be proud to tell your friends more about how you work out.
5. You’ll have more motivation
If you need a reminder that a little hard work and persistence will get you where you want to be, photographs are your best friend. Have you got a pole goal that feels unachievable now? A trick that you’re struggling to get or something you’ve seen someone else do that looks completely impossible? Any time you’re feeling a bit demotivated, just go and look at some of your progress photos and you’ll be set to go again.
If you’re not sure what I mean, have a think back to that time before you could invert. Remember how you laughed at me when I said we were going upside down – and then you did? Take a moment to check out all the pictures of the cool and crazy stuff you’ve mastered since then. Then you’ll be ready to go and work on your latest pole goal (and nail it).
Taking pictures is a little bit like keeping a visual pole diary. The next set of photos will look even better, and all the little details you’ve been working on will add up to some amazing shots.
The transformation in your pictures helps you document your own pole journey – whether that’s something you keep to yourself or choose to share, it’s definitely worth keeping for the future.
Riverside Pole and Fitness would like to thank Linda Scannell Photography for her fantastic work at the studio for our recent student photoshoot.
If you’d like to find out more about Linda’s photography work, visit her website here.