Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Power of Pole: Meet Tracey
I have a canned set of questions for the pole dancers on my blog. For you, Miss Tracey, I just felt like a more personal touch was needed. The reason I fell in love with Twirly Girls was because it was so much like a family -- everyone is so supportive of each other. You are battling cancer and I have watched the ladies at Poletential band together to create Team Pink Tracey to help you get through chemo and make sure you and your family are being cared for. I guess that is more of a statement than a question...so please tell us what Poletential means to you.
The easiest way to explain would be to just say be in the studio and experience it. I unlocked my sense of self in that studio. If you can imagine a sanctuary. A place where you can feel free of all worries for an hour or two. Where you can look in the mirror, see your beauty not for another but for yourself. Where you can put on stilettos and be sexy, release your inner goddess. Where you can be barefoot, feel the floor and the metal pole, find your strength. Where you can lose yourself in music. This is what Poletential is for me. And in there, I met the strongest and the bravest of women. When I got the news of my diagnosis, these amazing women came together a formed a support chain around me and my boys. They held me when I cried, did an extreme twirl make over on my place to make it calm and peaceful, bonded with my boys, held my hand at the appointments, spent nights with me after chemo, shaved my head, and so much more. This family, my Poletential family helped me learn how to survive and to live.
I understand there is a Zumba fundraiser coming up in October. Please tell us about that!
I am so fortunate to have so much support. One of the Poletential instructors is also a Zumba instructors. With other Zumba instructors, a few other phenomenal women and Poletential, they put together this amazing event. For me, it is my chance to say thank you. I am so grateful.
The ladies of Poletential set up a Facebook Group for you -- Team Pink Tracey. Facebook really does make the world a little smaller (that's how *I* heard your story). I imagine you've met some interesting people through the group! Are there any you'd like to mention?
I’ve met friends of friends who have been through similar breast cancer and other disease/illness experiences. Through messages, I’ve met Sean O’Connor who founded Pink Pole Power. Through Pink Pole Power, I connected with two women, Kathleen and Melissa who have gone through and are going though their own breast cancer battles. They have been an inspiration for me.
I see Christina asking people to take your boys to different events. It sounds like you have awesome boys, which means you must be a great mother. How are they handling everything?
I have two great boys, 7 and 13. I am so proud of them. I didn’t shelter or hide this from them, nor did I push it on them. At every step there was honesty. They knew about the surgery, when I shaved my head, knew when and the effects of chemo, etc. We have our moments when this is difficult to handle. But they have a team, a team pink who is a phone call away, who visits with them, who teaches them, who loves them and who is just there for them.
It sounds like your prognosis is very good and you are now finished with chemotherapy. What is the next step?
CHEMO IS DONE (I love saying that)! The next phase will be the second reconstruction surgery in November. I had a bi-lateral mastectomy with expander implants in June. Second surgery will replace the expander implants. After surgery, I will take a 5 year drug called Tamoxifen and recover as quickly as a can so I can pole.
I know you are taking some time off now. Are you excited to get back on the pole?
I miss it so much. I have been doing physical therapy since the first surgery. I was strong enough to do my first pole class since the diagnosis tonight. The feeling is indescribable (I had happy tears tonight). I know it will be shortlived. I will rehab again after the November surgery.
How long have you danced with Poletential?
I believe I started around November 2009 and was instantly hooked.
What other aerial arts classes have you tried?
I was unable to try aerial arts. I got the diagnosis just as aerial came to Poletential. But I can’t wait to try!
Have you ever taught pole?
Do you generally like to dance with heels or barefoot?
I generally dance barefoot, but I love the moments in heels.
Do you have a favorite product to help you stick to the pole?
I generally don’t use grip aide, but have tried Dry Hands.
Is there a pole-friendly moisturizer that you can recommend?
I have not tried one. But that is definitely something to look into when I come back full force!
What kind of music do you like to dance to?
I don’t have a specific type of music that I like. It’s usually the song, the mood and the story.
Do you have anything else you'd like to share?
Two things I learned at Poletential: Lose yourself in the music and Go Big or Go Home. This I have learned applies to pole and to life.
Randomly, you get thrown curveballs (learned that from CK/Poletential too!), and sometimes those curveballs come out of left field and so completely unexpected. You can take a step back and breathe or you can swing with all your might and hit it out of the park. Either option is ok.
To my team, to my twirl girls, to Poletential, to CK (Christina), to the pole community, Thank you.
The Zumba FUNdraiser is THIS Friday, October 14 in Redwood City. Please go to Poletential's website for more information (I am so excited...I will be there!!).
Check out the Studio Spotlight with Poletential HERE.
Read the blog post I did for The Pole Dancing Shop on supporting the pole community, including my pole sister Tracey, HERE.