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  • Finding Your Pride: Jakub’s Pole Dancing Journey

    June 17, 2024 5 min read

    Finding Your Pride: Jakub’s Pole Dancing Journey

    Have you ever wondered what happens when resilience meets the world of pole dancing? Meet Jakub, a sensational gay pole dancer, and heels instructor who has been turning heads with his mesmerizing flow and redefining what it means to be true to oneself in the pole community.

    Q: How did you find your way to pole dancing?

    Jakub: I actually started with ballroom dancing competitively! But in 2012, I stumbled upon pole dancing and was instantly drawn to its unique blend of dance, athleticism, and sensuality. I dove headfirst into classes, and it quickly became my passion.

    Photo by: Malowanie Światłem-Tomasz Gas (IG @malowanieswiatlem)

    Q: Being in the LGBTQ+ community, self-doubt and adversity must’ve been common. What are your tips on building yourself back up during these times?

    Jakub: Right, imposter syndrome is a common experience among pole dancers especially and I’m no exception. To overcome this, I focus on gratitude and reflect on my personal growth by revisiting my past accomplishments to remind me how far I’ve come.

    The path to self-discovery is unique - upbringing, environment, and societal attitudes all play a role. But creating a safe and supportive space for yourself is key. 

    Coming out to my family was another significant step in my journey. Although I grew up in a conservative environment, my family was accepting. My coming-out moment happened spontaneously during a camping trip, and despite my initial fear, my father’s acceptance was a huge relief. This personal experience deepened my relationship with my family, especially my mother, who has become more open-minded and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. 

    I am aware of this rare privilege of having an accepting family as I know closeted members of the community still face the terrifying stigma and judgement even within their close circles. 

    Q: How has being an LGBTQ+ pole dancer contributed to the broader representation in the dance and pole community? Have you observed positive changes over time?

    Jakub: When I first started pole dancing, seeing other men dance in heels was rare. Moving to England allowed me to embrace this aspect of pole dancing fully. Over time, I noticed a positive shift in attitudes, with more people accepting and even embracing heels dancing. This change underscores the importance of visibility and representation in inspiring others to live authentically.

    In the pole community, misconceptions about queer dancers still exist. It's crucial to debunk the notion that being LGBTQ+ gives someone an "edge" in pole dancing. We face the same struggles and celebrate the same successes as everyone else. Our authenticity is our strength, and it’s vital to foster a supportive environment where everyone can thrive. Being a trailblazer can be daunting, but it's necessary for progress.

    Q: What achievements are you most proud of in your pole journey?

    Jakub: Pole dancing has been transformative for me, not just physically but also emotionally. It has provided a sense of community and belonging that has been invaluable, especially during tough times. 

    My proudest achievements include: 

    • Elite Pole Championships UK Pole Idols Heelography Champion 2023
    • Exotic Generation UK 2019 Male Division Champion & Overall Winner
    • Felix Cane Championships 2016 Runner-Up
    • European Pole Art Champion
    • 3x National Pole Sports Champion

    Jakub: Beyond competitions, teaching pole dancing has been the most incredibly fulfilling part of my journey. Seeing my students achieve their goals and grow in confidence brings me immense joy. It’s a reminder of the positive impact we can have on each other’s lives through shared passion and dedication. 

    Ever since becoming an instructor, I’ve made it my goal to make pole fitness, heels, and flexibility as understandable and accessible as possible. The reality is—we’re all different! We learn at different paces and need a different approach to process knowledge the best way we can. 

    I constantly challenge myself to deliver the highest quality teaching, so my students can progress as safely and effectively as possible. I’m very proud to be a part of the XPERT team, where as a Master Trainer, I can help guide new instructors through the ins and outs of efficient education.

    *XPERT Team*

    Q: What changes would you like to see in the world or your industry for the next generation?

    Jakub: In my perfect world, pole dancing would be a free-for-all of self-expression. No matter who you are, how you move, or who you love, the pole should be your canvas. But true inclusivity goes beyond just feeling welcome. We need more clothes designed for men on the pole – think comfy pants and killer crop tops that celebrate our physiques, not hide them. It's not about erasing masculinity, it's about having options to feel strong and confident. 

    Of course, inclusivity goes beyond just fashion. It's about having instructors who understand how we all learn differently. The best classes are the ones that meet you where you are in your journey, not the ones that try to fit everyone into a mold. In my classes, I make sure to create a space where everyone feels comfortable and supported, while still pushing them to grow. Imagine a future where everyone feels welcome to grab a pole and shine. That's the kind of change I'd love to see for the next generation.

    Q: What’s something most people don’t know about you but you wish they did?

    Jakub: While most people in the community know me as an outgoing and vibrant person, the truth is, I’m actually quite introverted. I find solace in quiet time, enjoying moments alone with a book and my dogs. Another layer to this is my ADHD, which affects how I interact with the world, especially in terms of communication and focus. This means I might take longer to respond to messages, not out of neglect, but due to the overwhelming nature of the buildup of unread messages. So I won’t take offense if you send me multiple follow-up messages, they’re appreciated!

    Q: How has pole dancing impacted your life?

    Jakub: If not for pole dancing, my life would be vastly different. This art form has given me a platform to express my authentic self and connect with an incredible community. My advice to anyone considering pole dancing is simple: embrace the adventure and let your true self shine. The journey may be challenging, but it will be worth it in the end.

    Remember, authenticity is your superpower. Keep dancing, keep shining, and never let anyone dim your light.

    More Pole Dancing Tips

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