Panther: A Thick Girl's Personal Journey to Compete

by Angela Torres

It was November 3rd, 2013 right after watching the California Pole Dance Championship I snapped out of my fear… this is my personal journey, I’m not doing this to win, I just want to dance. Although it was my personal journey, I needed a team to get me through the process, and I needed to be physically and mentally ready. The support I received and the vote of confidence from everyone validated my decision even more! It was no easy task, I experienced joy, frustration, exhaustion, and I even cried at times… but it was my personal journey that I needed to accomplish. There were days that I wanted to give up, but I had to remind myself, "You committed to this journey, so you need to fight for it!"

Pole Competitions can be very intimidating when you are deciding to put yourself on that platform with other competitors. Over a two year time span I went to pole competitions to support my instructors, my pole sisters, and to get an overall feel for competing. I knew I wanted to compete but I had so much self-doubt that it took me an entire year to convince myself that I could grace the stage. Sitting at competitions I would think to myself, "I cannot compete at this level. I’m not flexible. These ladies are more advanced than me. They command the stage. They exude confidence. I’m 44 year’s old. I’m a thick girl. People are going to have negative comments about me... do I really want to perform in front of hundreds of people, and have my video posted on YouTube?!"

When competition day arrived, as I was standing behind stage waiting to be announced, my adrenaline was going, I was shaking, I had forgotten my routine as I tried to run thru it in my mind… I had to stop and get out of my head. When I stepped foot onto that stage my alter ego, "Panther" came out and I zoned out for three minutes and I performed with confidence. All of my fears and self-doubt left the building, and at that very moment I owned the stage, and the evolution began.

This personal journey was an awesome experience because I didn’t want to win a medal or trophy, I just wanted to dance, compete, and overcome my own fears. I’m ready for the next evolution… PPC 2016!

This journey would not have been possible without Diamond, the owner of my pole home The Secret Pole Dance Studio, my pole instructors Candace, Lana, Venus, Sasja, Bodies by Phil, and Ta’Ana Mitchell, James Sims.

Thank you Panther for graciously offering your time and efforts to share your story with Pole Parlour! XO!