Many people, including some of the dancers, are terrified of it — and so are the coaches!
One particular incident happened on January 19th, 2012, when Michelle Laskowski was performing at the West Coast Classic in Los Angeles.
“I’m on stage, and suddenly, I realize my shoulders are shaking,” she says. “I’ve never experienced that in my life.”
Laskowski, who has been doing poles for 17 years, has developed arthritis in both shoulders, and is unable to dance. While the rest of the dancers are unharmed, she is in excruciating pain.
“There is very little I could do to help my injured shoulders, but I figured I’d do a little dance,” says Laskowski. “My body is just so weak that I can’t do even the simplest things, like do crunches, so I figured I would just let my body do the job.”
So she began her dance, as she is able to do, and just as quickly realized she’d made a horrible mistake.
“I tried to do an open backhand into it but something just never felt right,” she says. “I really tried to be all supportive and tell everyone how it felt that the pole went out of sync with my arms. But that only took me a few moments before I was starting to get anxious and uncomfortable.”
As Laskowski danced, she slowly realized her shoulders started hurting, and by the time she reached her third “Dancing with the Starlight,” she was unable to continue. “It’s the most humiliating thing in the world,” says Laskowski with deep sadness. “When I walk onstage, I’m so much more experienced,” she adds. “I’ve been doing this since I was 12 years old.”
“It is really hard for me to do so bad, and to come so close to the finish line, but to see just my feet drop straight down, to walk back up after that, it’s the opposite of being in a good place. After I walk up, everyone is like, ‘You’re doing really well, but that thing just messed up.'”
“It really is a shame that anyone with a chance to dance can’t do it, and I know that they would like to do it, because just seeing it, it’s really amazing and I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for those injuries,” says Laskowski. “I’m
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