I used to be a pole dancer. In my early days of swing dancing, after I got confident in my movement and musicality, I was guilty of treating the lead like he was a pole… Just something for me to hold onto while I did whatever I felt in the music. I remember a guy once saying (with a bit of awe), “But I didn’t lead any of that”. I smiled knowingly and said, “I know….” So I was a pole dancer AND a brat.
Well, karma found me last week and nipped me on my little pink butt.
I was approached by an advanced guy in another scene who I’d seen around but had never danced with. Pickings must have been low that night because he hit me up for a dance.
He started the dance in open position. Which was a red flag because this particular dance nearly always starts in a close, intimate embrace.
Pole dancers love being in open because it gives them the maximum freedom to do whatever they want, which usually means showing off fancy footwork, styling and at times, solo movements. Which he did. Repeatedly.
I shouldn’t have encouraged him, but I felt compelled to keep saying things like, “Wow” and “Check you out…” because this guy put on quite a show.
Turns out not only was he a pole dancer, but he was a peacock too. He dominated the dance by showcasing two decades of styling mastery into a three minute song, leaving me do do nothing more than go, “Okay, okay… I get it – you are clearly the superior human”.
I don’t know whether he was trying to impress me (or the four people totally not watching us), school me or use me to show off. What I do know is that he needed me to give him the counterbalance needed to pull off some of those moves.
The dance wasn’t about me and it sure wasn’t about us. It was all about him.
Based on his skill level, I thought that dance was going to be more than “just a dance”. Instead I sat down feeling confused, a bit annoyed and very used. One might say… the antithesis of a tangasm.
Dancing is about connection. We connect in ways that are physical, musical, emotional and energetic. Great dancers employ multiple levels of connection.
Ego isn’t one of them.
Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you should.