So there’s a scene in the movie Remember the Titans where the football team finally starts to come together. They are at practice and after an great block two of the guys start chanting “Left side, strong side”. It is this moment that they realize the order and BALANCE necessary to succeed as a team…and ultimately WIN. So I asked myself, shouldn’t we also have this balance in Pole as well?
Coming into pole all of us are told that our right side is typically the dominant side, and that we should work on the left side to have equal skill and ability. Now, maybe during the first few classes that actually happens, but as we advance we tend to forget about that left side and fall deeper into the comfort and security of our right side. I think that it’s important for us to work on balancing out the left and right…so that we have equal ability on both sides.
I have yet to come across a studio that actively promotes this. So I am calling out to the studios in hopes that someone will read this and act on it. I am hoping that at least one studio will make time in their schedule for a weekly “lefty” class that would focus solely on the progression and skill advancement on our left sides. This is something that should not be forgotten and that should be actively taught in studios as it would greatly benefit dancers (both students and instructors) of all levels.
Ok, so I woke up this morning to some interesting comments, so I felt inclined to add to this post with some additional thoughts. Ask yourself, Can I do everything on the left that I can do on the right? My answer to this question was No 🙁
I think everyone agrees that working on the left side is important. There are classes that initially teach tricks on both sides, but from my experience we try the trick on the left a couple of times and then go back to the right. Once we master the trick (on the right side) we move on to learning the next trick. How often can we say that we went back and worked on the left side until that was mastered as well?
Incorporating the left side is good in class, but I think we need more. If your dominant side is the right side and you don’t give your left side more attention then the left side will always be trailing behind the right side.
Our studios and instructors can help us challenge ourselves to master the left side just as well as we’ve mastered the right side. Plus working on this in groups may help us embrace the difficulty and how silly we may feel that we look when trying to attempt it. I mean, I think I’m pretty good at a chair spin…until I do it on my left side lol.
I think that many of us would benefit from a structured and dedicated class for left side TLC. Consider this: many of the studios have (or have recently added) a dedicated stretch and flexibility class. Now, we stretch before each class right? Yea, but stretching is so important to our development and safety that someone decided it should be its own class. And might I add that it always seems to be a very popular and packed class at every studio that does offer it. So why not apply this same frame of mind to the development of our left side?