“Boobs on the pole ladies!” I almost died of mortification at that very moment. But I had put myself in this situation, and despite the hang-ups I walked into class with, what my instructor and some of the more advanced girls in the class were able to do was even more physics-defying than wearing pointe shoes, flying across the floor and doing impossible numbers of spins as I was used to doing in ballet class. I saw the challenge and I refused to walk away from it. Stigma or no stigma, unfamiliarity or not I was going to tackle that pole, and that was that. So up I went. Rather, I tried to go. I didn’t get much of anywhere on my first attempt to climb up that cold, hard, stainless steel torture device. Muscles that I should have known I had (after a year of gross anatomy) but didnt, started complaining vociferously . I told them to shut up, and tried again. Finally I made it up one go up the pole (which is known as ‘Level 1’) climb. I couldn’t believe it! I felt amazing. Until my inner thighs decided they had had just about enough of supporting the rest of me and decided to no longer hold on. Needless to say my descent was rather rapid, and while I tried to look graceful, I am fairly certain I looked more or less like Bridget Jones in that scene with the fireman's pole. No mind, lets go again! After all, being a dancer is nothing if its not about being constantly dissatisfied with one’s performance and striving to do better, even when physically your body is rebelling. It is always mind over matter. Oh, and me being a huge masochist didn’t help. My thighs were already bruised and chapped, and another lovely dark blue mark was developing on my inner ankle, where I had thrown my leg against the pole hoping it would be there to support me in my skater spin. By the end of the class, I was soaked in sweat, exhausted, and exhilarated. The feeling is one that defies words, which, incidentally, is very inconvenient for a blog writer! But, there it is. If you want to know what I felt, take a class yourself. Maybe it doesn’t have to be pole dancing, but if you are like me, you will understand the inherent joy that resides in not only exercising your body but disciplining your mind to focus on the task at hand, and, perhaps most of all, seeing and feeling yourself make beautiful shapes with your body while defying the principles of physics! Take that Newton!