Turning forty isn’t the big deal that it used to be. But this birthday was going to be a big deal for me. I woke up on my 40th birthday laying out what I would I wear later that night. With my bag packed, I headed out. First, to hang out with a friend and grab a bite to eat. Then, I was headed to meet a special friend of mine who was driving up from Houston for one night to celebrate with me.

On my way to meet her, I played my song repeat. Over and over I visualized myself dancing through my routine. I was happy with what I had choreographed so far, but I wasn’t done. And I hadn’t practiced as much as I felt I should have. But all I could do at this point was practice it in my head. As I got close to my friends hotel room I had figured out the next series of moves I wanted to add to my routine, but there was no time and no place to practice it.

I meet my friend at her hotel. We hang out and I start to get ready. She asks me if I’m nervous, and surprisingly I am not. As I walk into the studio I start to feel a little bit of anxiety. My friend and I go straight for the pole, I need to warm up, I need to practice the new combo. I get a little bit of advice my friend on how to slow the spin down before going into an aerial invert that I haven’t practiced in a while. I make note of everything and then we head to the other room as the silks and lyra students take “the stage”.

I enjoyed watching the other students perform. It was great to see the diversity of students, in age, shape, color, etc.

They announce for the audience to move to the “big room” for the next few performances. That’s when I find out… I’m up! It’s time! Quick, where’s my Dry Hands? How do I sync my phone to the speaker (my screen is broken and only Siri is working). All of the sudden my nerves are through the ceiling. I think the studio owner is trying to introduce me, but I’m frantic! Thankfully, another instructor has my song on her phone. She starts the music and without any hesitation I move across the room, climb the pole and get into position.

Then this happened.


Okay, so there were a couple times when I forgot what was next… but then the music or the lyrics jolted me back into the routine. There was one point when my I felt my leg shaking uncontrollably. Then, time to try that new combo at the end. I had given myself the out, if I didn’t feel up to it, I didn’t have to do it. But I didn’t even think about it. I just did it.

And when it was over… well that’s when the anxiety that I had expected to experience before the performance hit me. As soon as I came down from the pole, I paused very briefly to signify that my performance was over, but then I quickly sat down and wanted to hide.

Later, when I watched the video, it was hard to believe that it was me. I was so incredibly happy with the overall performance. But it’s funny, cause every time I get to the end of the video my anxiety spikes. I feel it all over again.

I did it! At 40 years old I performed pole dance at a student showcase. I am so proud of this achievement. And now, just to push myself to the next level, I hope to take this, or another routine, to a competition. Why not?