An interview with Esmerelda, by Sara Wielenberg
Esmeralda has always loved dance, but never had dance opportunities when she was a child. While she knows she handles stress better when she’s active, she struggled to find something enjoyable. She looked for beginner adult dance classes, but none turned up. Then a coworker started talking to her about pole dance, and when she found herself going through a difficult breakup with a lot of time on her hands, she decided to take a drop-in class at the Dollhouse.
“I was super nervous because it’s very out of my comfort zone,” says Esmeralda. “I think I had shorts and maybe like a t-shirt. Usually people wear more revealing clothing for pole dance and they’re a lot more comfortable in their skin.” Esmeralda recalls being very hard on herself and her body and questioning whether she fit in. “It took me a while to feel at home going to a studio. It was an adjustment for sure, but it became a safe zone.”
To Esmeralda, pole has always been as much mind as it is body in both effort and growth. “There was a moment where suddenly I didn’t think about all the stressful things... It was mindful, in a sense. I was concentrating on what my body was doing... It felt very calming in a difficult way,” she says. Her sense of peace in the practice brought her back, and it grew her confidence in all aspects of her life. “My friends pointed out that when I started investing in my pole dancing…my confidence in general had really grown. It’s been really cool to have that feedback because I’ve also felt more confident.”
Her training in pole has been off and on through the years. She says, “It’s easy to get down on yourself, but then the community is so supportive. Once you start talking about it, you’ll have people who say, ‘Hey, I feel that way too.’ They remind you that your journey is your journey. Taking that mindset into other aspects of my life—not comparing my progress and working really hard at something—to see that carry over is what keeps me coming back to it.”
Esmeralda loves the versatility of pole. “You can do something artistic, moving and emotional…” she says. “Then you see some people do really hard tricks, very athletically focused, or some super flexible thing. There’s the more sensual routines and funny routines. You can do so much with it.” Esmeralda embodies this in her competition history, with a dramatic piece at CPC in 2017 and an erotic routine in 2018. There were moments in training where she thought it was too much and she wouldn’t compete again. “You really have to work at it a lot more than just a leisurely fun thing to do,” she says. The rush of performing and the support of the crowd made her compete a second time. She was very glad she did when her exotic routine brought her 1st place.
Quarantine has given her more time to devote to training and she’s hoping to be inverting by the end of 2021 now that she is building a more consistent practice by training with her home pole and attending classes online through The PoleFit Method by Myss Angie. “With quarantine,” says Esmeralda, “there’s things that are super difficult, but it’s been cool to find a community again.”
Looking for a way to experience pole dance? Try out The Polefit Method. Online pole classes include virtual live and on-demand recordings. The private group also has a whole library of free workouts, tutorials, weekly challenges, and monthly prizes, plus discounts on upcoming workshops and courses. Join the group HERE