It all began when I took my first pole dance class as a high school freshman.

My home studio happened to be right next door to my parent’s business. After school, I needed something to fill up my time till my parents got off work. I learned all the basic spins and transitions in the coming weeks and had invited a friend to the class as well. It was like our little secret as we moved forward in our lessons. My instructor tried to keep it PG-13 with me but I think I was always ready to push beyond that.

Come my sophomore year in high school, I decided to graduate early so I had to cut off my pole time altogether. It was non-stop school from then on. I got accepted to Washington State University and packed my bags for my first year away from home. I had just turned seventeen!

It was absolutely miserable — cold, grey, and snowy in addition to having no pole or aerial studios in the area! My first year I didn’t make any friends until the last month of classes so I didn’t have much of social life. The second year was slightly better but I had suffered academically and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I missed my home and family terribly.

In the summer of 2015, I was able to take up pole again, as well as Lyra and silks. In addition to being back home, I was able to find a form of fitness to help relieve my stress and anxiety. When I returned back to Washington, I decided to purchase my own 45mm X-Pole. Thankfully my roommates were cool with me placing it in the middle of our sorry excuse of a dining room. The entire Fall semester I had spent practicing and learning new tricks on my own. My roommates suggested I teach lessons for some extra income. I was flattered that they thought I was good enough to instruct someone. So I posted on the local “Free and For Sale” Facebook pages.

Positive and negative responses overflowed the advertisement from town locals, students, and parents. I’m not one to fall for personal attacks but man did I receive a lot. However, with that came an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. In fact, I had my very first teaching lesson the next day for the low and easy payment of $10. In retrospect, always charge your skills higher, but within reason. Know your worth!

To be continued…

Me in my first cramped dorm room, 2013.

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