Being a Lebanese Pole Dancer

Deciding to use pole dancing as my main fitness routine was the best decision in my life. Deciding to tell my parents about it… not so much. Growing up leb was filled with awesome flebaneseood and very arab family outings (going on a “picnic” at a public park with your 30 cousins, eating grilled chicken skewers with hummus and tabouli, and watching the adults smoke shisha hoping no one notices how extremely loud we all are), however growing up with Lebanese parents meant never doing anything outside a family setting. And if you ever did anything behind their backs, best believe you got a beating for it.

My parents wouldn’t let me go anywhere until I turned about 17 years old and even then they forbid me from having a boyfriend until I was in my second year of university. However, now they constantly hound me about my love life and my entire family (including grandparents, aunts and uncles) are praying for the day I get married.

I believe my childhood made me stronger and probably more rebellious so I always wanted to try different things that were considered controversial.  Now, my parents have chilled out over the years and are a lot more open minded. That is, until I told my mom I really wanted to take pole dancing classes. She was pretty easy going at first but when I said I was going to continue taking classes and wanted to work at the Cherry Blossom Studio, her first words were “YOU BETTER NOT BECOME A STRIPPER”.

It took some time to convince her (by some time I mean about a year) I was not going to be a dancer but that pole dancing was a fun way to workout. I kept showing her the videos I took in class and practice sessions and slowly she started accepting this new way of working out. She will actually tell family members that I take pole dancing classes (If you’re not leb you probably don’t get how insane it is for my mom to tell my family that I’m basically being a fake stripper twice a week) and she is impressed by my progress, enough to give me a compliment every once in a while that doesn’t consist of comparing me to a monkey (That’s also my grandmothers favourite thing to do). To be honest, I consider myself lucky because it could be so much worse!

Even if you have strict parents or think what you are doing won’t be accepted by certain, it shouldn’t be a reason for you to stop or not try. Also, in time everyone starts changing their opinion if they’re exposed to it enough. I would have never tried pole dancing if I decided to let my parents opinion stop me and I’m so much happier for it. Just do you and the rest will follow!