Mama Gena would be proud.
A few years ago I read a book by Regena Thomashauer called, “Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts” (2002). I remember how cutting edge and liberating her advice was. She had women thinking about their “lady parts” and taught about flirtation as well as other forms of womanly behaviour. Her book’s subtitle, “Using the Power of Pleasure to Have Your Way with the World” was intriguing. Her use of the Goddess theme was empowering and mystical.
Fast forward to 2015, I was reading a book by Dr. Christiane Northrup, “Goddesses Never Age.” (2015). She referred again to our inner Goddess and she also referred to Mama Gena.
I think Mama Gena and Dr. Northrup would both be proud of me. Maybe even Loretta Laroche. Loretta wrote “Juicy Living, Juicy Aging” (2009). She encourages us to do something fun no matter what our age.
Why would they be proud? Because I decided to host a Dancing Diva Pole Party.
I have always been intrigued with pole dancing and pole fitness. I have seen scantily-clad women dancing in strip clubs in the movies. I have also seen videos of pole fitness classes. Those women (and men) are strong! On the extreme end of pole fitness think of the “human flag” performances and pole climbers in Cirque du Soleil. Those gymnasts are strong. (Check out the Florida Pole Fitness Champion of 2014 if you want to see some great pole fitness!)
I posted an Event on Facebook, talked to a few of my friends and my daughter, and we found a few women who were also interested in learning more about pole dancing. I contacted Debbie at Dancing Diva Parties and we set a date.
The Pole Dance Party Begins
As the ladies arrive our instructor Debbie sets up the big silver pole in my living room. It is complete with a stage and two 50 lb. sandbags to keep it stabilized.
As we settle in and sip on our wine, Debbie gave us waivers to sign. Then she explains the “rules” which aren’t really anything out of the ordinary.
She tells us there are typically three types of dancers. The first is a Goddess, the second is a Nun, and the third is in-between. We wonder which one we are. Time will only tell.
We are all given stage names. Mine is “Cherry Poppins.”
“It was fun, empowering and an encouraging environment.” – Sweet Vixen
Debbie says in the next two hours we are going to learn a pole dance routine. We will each receive instruction then take turns learning how to do a few moves.
Top 40 music was suggested and this gets us into the dancing mood. We are told to think of a favourite song to dance to for our final “performance.”
The lights are dimmed, and I put on my mini laser light show. It makes the room sparkle.
Before we know it, my living room is transformed into an exciting nightclub.
Deciding who is to go first or next depends on each woman’s comfort level. We all take turns being first, being most courageous, being silly and sexy. We encourage each other through our shyness, awkwardness and insecurities. We cheer, clap and laugh. We laugh at ourselves and with each other.
This is an intergenerational event, as there are some moms and daughters. This does create some awkward moments. For example, my daughter (18) doesn’t like it when I make eye contact with her as I dance. So, I tell her for tonight I am not her mom. Instead, I tell her to pretend we are “friends.” Later on, we thought it would have been fun to have the grandmothers there!
“Really fun! I had a great time and felt really comfortable in the environment. Great support and teaching style!” – Dee Cupz
We learn all kinds of new moves, including the following (some are made-up names because I can’t remember them all!):
♦ The Sexy Walk
♦ The Christina Aguilera
♦ Make Love to the Pole
♦ Fan Kick
♦ Leg Hook
♦ Viva Slide
♦ Firefighter Spin
♦ Floor Show including The V
We are encouraged to blow kisses, shake our booty and strut our stuff. We laugh, smile and giggle.
The older women show the younger women that we can be sexual beings and have fun at any age. The older women appreciate the energy and strength combined with innocence and freshness of the younger women. It teaches us that it’s healthy and good to explore and embrace the feminine inner dance Goddess within, no matter what our age.
Finally it is time to pick our songs for our final routine. I pick “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent. My inner dance Goddess is released. I strut, twirl, slide and kick. My encouraging audience throws play money at me as I do my floor show. I blow kisses at everyone. I feel confident and silly at the same time. I am “outside my comfort zone.” I feel empowered.
After our performances are over, we take some photos. The boas come out. They add a feminine and glamourous touch. I thank Debbie for all her instruction and encouragement.
“It was an amazing time. The lady who ran it made us all feel confident and sexy. It was fun. It was so well put together and enjoyable for everyone, no matter your ability. I would totally do that again.” – Sparkly Juice
A Physical, Fun, and New Experience
Was it a workout? Well, I was a bit stiff the next morning. Maybe my aches were due to all the crazy moves I was trying out. Some ladies were able to do a cross leg hold high up on the pole. Some were really good at the spins. We all were good at having a great time.
In terms of aging well, this is a great (and safe) way to explore, express and celebrate our inner dance Goddess. I encourage learning new things and getting out of our comfort zone. This kind of dancing helps us embrace our feminine playful spirit at any age. It helps keep us feeling vibrant and alive. It helps boost our confidence. Doing it in a safe, nonthreatening, supportive environment can do wonders for our soul.
“Very fun! Really enjoyed dancing! Good instructor!” – Miss Bootylicious
I would do it again for sure. I am fifty and fearless, perhaps? I would also recommend this type of ladies’ night to anyone who is willing to show off a bit, express her inner dance Goddess, learn something new, share some laughs and have fun.
Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW
Specialist in Aging