My Pole Journey: Tokyo

I’m back!

I started this blog at the beginning of the year promising my self to write at least once a month.
Well, the plan was not successful… life happened, and I’ve decided to compete in a pole competition.
I think of myself as an intermediate poler; definitely not at an advanced level, yet I wanted to put something together while I have an amazing pole studio and teachers close by. I felt stronger everyday since I started taking pole classes, but I feel even stronger after training for a competition.
In this entry, I wanted to look back to when I first started pole and then how far I’ve come.

Why pole?

When I tell people about my current obsession, I’m often asked why I started taking pole classes or how I found out about this “pole fitness”.
I remember one day I was watching a TV show about a Japanese celebrity’s weekly routine and this beautiful lady who is in her 70s takes pole lessons weekly. I’ve always admired how active and beautiful she is and dreamed of being like her when I am that age.

While she takes other dance lessons, pole dancing really intrigued me. I know my time in Tokyo was limited and I wanted to take full advantage.
If there are pole studios in Tokyo, I had to try. Then I researched nearby pole studios and registered for a first timers class.

First impression: “Not for me!”

Now I wear a sports bra and shorts to my pole classes, but I remember wearing a T-shirt and yoga pants to my first class.
I was not comfortable showing my skin as much, but now it doesn’t bother me. You need to show some skin to stick to the pole.

In the first class, I learned how to walk around the pole and a few basic spins. Honestly, my first impression was “This is not for me!” The only thing I could do was walk and it was very difficult to let all my weight hang on the pole.
Growing up, I didn’t play any sports or dance. I was kind of a child who liked to stay inside and draw. Gym class was not my favorite; I did not join any sports clubs. I enjoyed choir and books instead. I’ve finally started working out during college, but all I did was running.
Everyone else in the class seems to do all those spins easily, and I was thinking to myself that I do not have talent for this at all. I looked at a mirror and thought my short legs don’t look good at all on the pole, this is only for tall and fit people. I might be out of place…
After a year and eight months of pole experience, I am a lot more comfortable with my body. When I started, I wanted to hide my body as much as possible. I did not have confidence in general. With mixed feelings, I’ve decided to take a few more classes to at least master a few spins. I wanted to feel how it is like to spin.


After about 4 or 5 classes, I could finally do some spins and the class started to get fun. During a class, the teacher shows us a few moves and we do all the moves with music at the end of the class. She called it “show time”. I was finally able to do all the moves and I was thinking I can move on to the next level. They had first-timer classes and I was thinking of taking a beginner level class next where I would learn how to climb.
I was excited to learn more moves.
My pole journey seems to have started there; however, I’ve started my graduate school at the same time. I was not able to go to pole classes anymore. I was happy to start my school, but I was sad that I had to stop going to pole classes. I made myself a promise to go back to pole someday.

Well, I could not go back to the pole studio in Tokyo because of the pandemic, but stars lined up for me in Arizona where we moved from Tokyo.

Next time, I will write about my pole experience in Arizona.
Thank you for reading!

*The pole studio in Tokyo I went to is called Pole Dance Tokyo.

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