A typical day for Tania Sudan, a pole artist and trainer, starts at 11 am. That’s when her students start pouring in. Inside the tiny studio, they are greeted by Tania’s infectious energy and the golden pole on which all the action happens. The light’s generally kept warm and behind the pole, the words “Tania’s Pole Studio” shine in fluorescent pink and blue LEDs. It’s quite an inviting atmosphere, if you ask us!
It was in 2018 that Tania first took a pole class. Three years later, she is already teaching and performing gravity-defying moves. When on the pole, she is like poetry in motion. She’ll give you one mesmerizing move after another and you won't be able to look away. We’d say hanging upside down on a vertical pole while performing stunts is kinda risky but then again, Tania makes it look quite easy. Interestingly, so do her students!
Perhaps it has a lot to do with the magic of the pole. Across the world, this art form is slowly on the rise owing to its fitness benefits. In fact, in India, it is already being hailed as the “modern mallakhamb (a traditional Indian sport known for its health benefits).” That said, it is just the beginning. In fact, when Tania started teaching last year she was the first teacher of her kind in Delhi. Today, she boasts of a diverse clientele and has inspired many other fitness studios in the capital.
“Pole (dancing) has brought me so much liberation,” Tania says as she goes on listing the endless benefits of pole dance fitness. It was just two years ago that she got her own poll and started teaching herself by watching online videos. The training soaked her in and impacted her so much that very soon she ended up quitting her job to pursue the magic of pole dancing. She shares, “I quit my job and I just knew that this is something that I had to do. My intuition with the pole was always very very strong. I was going through a lot before I started pole dancing and everything had started falling into place with the practice.”
Tania had been struggling with a chronic bone disease and was in a lot of pain before she discovered the pole. “But as soon as I started pursuing pole dancing I started getting results even though I was very weak. The pain had disappeared and I could clearly notice that I was sleeping better, I was eating better. So I had to pursue it just for myself at that time,” she shares.
“It was like an instant release of emotions. Then I started seeing the physical results, my body was transforming, and that too at an amazing pace. Something similar happened to my mental health. It was therapeutic. It was like an absolutely different world of self-love had opened to me and I wanted every single person to experience it.”
Pole dancing is a holistic practice that transforms your entire body. As Tania shares, “There is just nothing that pole dance cannot do. It increases your strength, it builds muscles, it tones your body, it burns fat, and it helps in increasing flexibility. But these are just the physical benefits. For Tania, the emotional benefits of pole dancing go way beyond the physical ones. “It builds your confidence and your self esteem. It makes you feel powerful. And it is the feeling of liberation, the feeling of freedom that comes from the practice that I enjoy the most.”
As Tania shares, pole dancing has three components to it, which basically define your pole style. They are:
Pole Sport: It focuses on strength building & technique-based acrobatic moments.
Pole Art: It focuses on technique as well as flow, fluidity, and creative ways of choreography around those movements
Pole Exotic: This is the pole dance that you do in heels. It is more focused on flexibility, floor tricks, and contortions.
Pole dancing is a great workout alternative for anyone who wants to shed inhibitions and explore their true self. However, there is a lot of taboo attached to the idea which to date continues to discourage people from signing up for a class. “There is just so much strength that performing a basic choreography on a pole takes. People need to see beyond the taboo and appreciate the hard work that goes into it and that’s happening now,” Tania says.
That said, she also has advice for anyone who wants to climb up that pole someday and experience the magic. Se says, “Stop questioning yourself. Stop thinking ‘oh, I need to have a certain level of strength.’ ‘Oh, I need to be thin.’ ‘Oh, I need to be flexible to do it.’ No! It is just like any other exercise. It is a fitness form and you will be taught as you go. There are no prerequisites to pole dancing. So just leave all those questions aside, try a class and you’d find the magic.”
Featured Image: Tania Sudan on Instagram