Amber Kavanagh answered my call for writers a few weeks ago. She didn’t waste any time writing an article about this week’s, Pole Love Is War theme. And she’s the first blogger of the hundreds of people that submitted to have her article published.
Welcome to the Pole Dance Nation team Amber!
To submit your photo for the Pole Love Is War theme running Feb 15th – 21st:
HASHTAG #PDNPoleLoveIsWar for the @PoleDanceNation Instagram timeline.
HASHTAG #ANLoveIsWar for the @AerialNation Instagram timeline.
Pole Love Is War
I’ve been an undercover pole dancer for about a year now. I’m “Undercover” in the sense that, like civilians, I cover my body underneath clothing during non-pole life. Clothes that hide some grisly bruises. Bruises that inspired this Pole Love is War article.
I loved pole instantly from my very first class, and the pole really seems to love me back. My “pole kisses” are brutal. I must have sensitive blood vessels or something. I mean … I get a hickey anytime someone stands too close behind me in line at Trader Joe’s.
I remember my first leg hang. I was upside down and clinging for life while my instructor hovered close to catch a fall. She tapped my hand, and said, “Let go.”
I was terrified.
“Breathe,” she warned. “It’s going to hurt.”
And it did. All of my weight was suspended midair by a squeeze between the back of one leg and a pole. It was not exactly a loving embrace.
I hobbled the next day. No one has ever piped me in the back of the knee before, but I’m pretty sure I know what that bruise would look like. It was large. It was ugly. But it was mine. I earned it good.
I wore my bruise proudly. Underneath pants, where no one could see. How do you explain a massive contusion on the backside of your knee to your boss without an elaborate mugging lie? An internal war raged between pride for my efforts and fear they’d be misunderstood.
My love of pole is a war on several fronts, but not against the apparatus itself. It’s a war against gravity, sure. Against pants, maybe. But most notably, pole love is a war against the many ways in which I limit myself with my mind. My pole dance bruises are badges of honor in attacks against, I can’t do it, I’m not strong enough, or I’m not ready.
Those green dots on my ankle are from battling a virulent, I suck at this notion. The dark blob inside my elbow is from the time I fought against the thought, Oh HELL no. And the two giant asteroids on my knees? Those were from the night I went into floorwork combat without any kneepad or leg warming armor. Actually, that was just poor strategy. I’m a little less proud of those ones.
We endure a lot of physical and mental anguish to improve our pole skills. Yet I don’t think we love pole in spite of the torture. We love it, in part, because it is so painful. The scrapes and bruises are evidence of our resilience, our ability to breathe through a difficult moment in order to achieve the greater goal. We grow so much more than muscle every time we mount the vertical bar. It’s inner strength that builds, too.
So the next time you emerge from a pole encounter with new war wounds on your body, put some clothes on if you have to. But first, take a photo. Show us your kisses. Where is the love?
Written By: Amber Kavanagh
Amber Kavanagh lives in Venice, CA with four potted plants and a 45MM chrome X-Pole. She sits from 9-5, stands for world peace, and sleeps on the beach. Amber’s favorite color is sunset and her favorite word is ❤