Why else would I have cut off my hair, gone Pole Dancing and and taken a trapeze class all in the last month? Yep, that’s me on the trapeze…though not me (I mean , seriously) on the pole.[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=pole+dancing&iid=3013396″ src=”5/0/f/b/Sydney_Contestants_Prepare_291a.jpg?adImageId=12854904&imageId=3013396″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]
I think it all started with my 7th annual 39th Birthday. You know, one birthday nearer to “closer to 50 than to 40.” One birthday closer to “invisible to men under the age of 70.” Closer to a serious debate on whether or not to get Botox. Closer, let’s face it, to the complete demise of my face. Is it just me, or is it true that every year, the day after your birthday, you develop a new physical flaw? The day after my fortieth, I noticed my first age spot. The day after my forty-first: two little creases between my brows. Forty second? Wrinkly knees.
Hair cut? It’s a wonder I didn’t shave my head like Brittany Spears.
My next plan was to distract myself. So I had a party. Or – to be more exact, Nintendo had a party that just happened to be at my house. (Full disclosure: Nintendo sponsored the party, paid for the food, the party favors, and demo-ed the Wii’s internet capabilities and relationship with Netflix.) Mind you, it wasn’t a birthday party, which only serves to remind you that you’ve aged. It was a Wii party. Though that comes with it’s own set of problems.
See, while in life I think of myself as relatively coordinated (as long as balls, bats, and nets are not involved), in Wii world, I have bad balance, no hand eye coordination, and would never, ever have been issued a driver’s license. My kids, on the other hand, (who will not be issued driver’s licenses for another seven years,) cruise along the Wii highway with ease. This makes me think that were I younger, I would just pick up a Wii remote and win the Indy 500. My Wii incompetence is indicative of my advanced age.
But the Nintendo people knew their audience. For the kids, they downloaded a game onto the Wii that seemed to me to be more complicated than Health Care Reform, but that my kids instantly picked up. For the adults, they downloaded a Quiz Show type game that required virtually NO Wii skills whatsoever! I even won.
I felt younger already.
Still — that birthday was looming, and I needed something more drastic than cutting off my hair or treating my enlarged pores. So I went pole dancing with a friend at Sheila Kelley’s S Factor, because. let’s face it, nothing says sexy like a 45 year old woman swinging from a pole.
How did this happen? I’ve joined this new site called Groupon which, once a day, emails me a group coupon for something in NY (FYI: they may have the service for your city, too.). Sometimes it’s restaurants, or spas, or flowers. But this time, it was pole dancing, and with the same “I don’t know what I was thinking” spirit in which I posed for….art photos as a gift to my husband for our tenth anniversary, I signed up.
Sheila Kelley’s S Studio in NY (they are all over the country! Go Figure!) is all about women. Empowering women, making them feel safe and in control of their bodies and their sexuality. They take all this very seriously. But while trying to follow my incredibly perfect-bodied instructor Barbara’s instructions to touch my “body and discover something new about it,” I found it hard not to giggle.
My body has been around for 45 years. With the possible exception of my stomach – which has been off limits to all human contact since 1977, I’d say it’s all been discovered. Still, I was there, so I “explored” myself. Though, something tells me I wasn’t supposed to discover (or pay attention to) the newly acquired fleshy inner-tube around my middle, or the sudden crepe-i-ness of my arms. I was still exploring, even if I was tempted to abandon ship and mutiny against Captain Age-a-lot.
There was more to it than just self-loving in public. Pole Dancing, evidently, is an art. You have to warm up. You have to learn a particular walk. (I almost fell over — but that’s just me.) You have to writhe just so. You have to stick out your butt. A lot. And most important: you have to be able to STOP giggling.
I did. Mostly. I strutted and walked and gyrated with the other mom-aged women in the class. I did the very loosely choreographed free dance, which included rubbing myself up against a wall and then sliding down it, crawling across the floor, and standing up – butt first – from a squat position. I even learned my first pole trick: The Firefly. But I can’t tell you what it is, because Sheila Kelley Students have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Suffice it to say that the best thing about Pole Dancing ( I don’t know why I feel like it should be capitalized. It just seems THAT big!) was that I got to do it in a room with no mirrors (all the studios are mirror free) so I can let myself believe I didn’t look ridiculous doing it.
Had I been able to see myself, I no doubt would have run from the room in horror. But as it was, I felt the teeniest bit sexy, swung on the pole, and had fun. (Though the bruises on my legs lasted a week.) Would I sign up for more? Barbara gave the sales pitch after class: if we signed up for the series we’d learn more tricks! We’d feel sexier! We’d hang upside down from the pole! We’d learn lap-dancing! That was it for me — you have to LEARN how to lap dance? I needed another adventure.
But to read about that, (and see more pictures) you’ll have to come back tomorrow for part 2.