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January Babe....Pinto

2023 we will focus on Self-Love/ Self-Care

Every morning, I have to make the decision to choose ME. As humans, we have a limited number of years in full control of our own body, and a limited amount of shared time with those we love. Yet I can still get wrapped up in the daily grind, putting the needs of an employer before my own, or putting hours into a work project instead of focused time into my relationships.

Luckily, I have access to a deep toolbox, filled with methods to reground and refocus myself on what really needs to be prioritized. I can remember a couple times when I was really down or burnt out, and my brother asked me when last I played music, or my friend asked me when last I danced. When I couldn’t give them an immediate answer, their response was, “Maybe that’s the problem.”

The moment I start moving, the fog clears. The self-doubt is replaced with beaming confidence. Tears of frustration turn to tears of laughter. Movement is my medicine and I find it in dance, music, and art. I am a dancer, a hula hooper, a fire artist, a yogini, a song writer, a singer, a pianist, a painter, a performer, and a teacher. I can best care for and love my body by using it and moving it.

Like many people in this world, the last few years led to some temporary lifestyle changes that changed my physical body. In 2022, I was the heaviest I had ever been, and there were most certainly days that I struggled with that.

At the same time, I am the strongest I have ever been, and I credit that to a form of movement and dance that I didn’t even discover until my mid-thirties!

In 2019, I was introduced to Pole Dance Fitness. I was terrible. I lacked important core and upper body strength, and I had no idea how to dance with a static metal partner. I was also intimidated by the super fit women who were teaching the class. It took me another year, in the midst of the pandemic, to get back into it. This time as physical therapy for an injured shoulder.

What I found was so much more than just another dance medium. At Sekse Fit, a small studio in Central Oregon, I found a community of amazing humans. My pole mentor and biggest cheerleader was a tall, tattooed man in heels, and he showed me how all bodies and levels of strength had a place in the studio.

So, when I moved to Arizona, the first thing I looked for was a pole studio, in hopes of finding a similar community of people. It was the same month that Marlene opened Studio Divine. I called the number on the site, and by the end of our first phone conversation, both Marlene and I knew we were meant to connect. I attended a few classes, and by the first week of January I was teaching my first demo class for Pole-Sweat-Play, a conditioning class for all levels based on the movements and patterns I used to strengthen the muscles around my old injury. Soon after that, I was teaching beginner pole classes and flow arts and fire dancing in Prescott. I’m currently finishing my teaching certification for Fabpole (silks and pole combined). And the community of women at Studio Divine are my friends, family, and weekly support structure.

Even on days when I’m tired or stressed from my day job, and I don’t want to leave the house or see anyone, the minute these ladies walk through the door at the pole studio and the music starts bumping, everything is better. This weekly reminder guarantees that I have a form of movement medicine in my life.

So, when I say that I am the strongest I have ever been, that refers both to physical strength and emotional strength. Movement and music is one half of the equation. Creating movement and music with other people, with community, is the other half.

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