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Through My Eyes by Mimi James

by Sarah McClymont 15 Feb 2021

I have been asked so many times how I first got into pole fitness and the really strange thing is that I actually don't remember.

You see, I was only 6 when I first noticed pole fitness and to actually try to remember how it happened is very vague and what I do remember, I'm not sure if it's because I have heard my mum telling people when they have asked, or if I do actually remember.

I am now 15 and I will be 16 in a few months so let me take you back to almost 10 years ago when I found pole fitness.

 Mimi, Wink Photoshoot 2016 wearing Drawstring Vest and Dance Skort

I was at the age of 2 1/2 when I started dance classes and from the start I loved to dance. From the minute I could walk I was dancing around mainly because I loved music so much. Movement always made me feel free and I don't ever remember being scared of anything when I was younger, I suppose you could have called me an adrenaline junkie and my dance teacher used to call me a 'nutter' because I would always be the one to try things without worrying if I looked silly or if I got hurt.

I went to primary school in Brimpton which is a small village about 3 miles from my house. My brother already went to Brimpton school because he didn't get on well being in a bigger school and my mum worked in Brimpton at the time so it made sense for me to go to the same school as he did.

My mum had a hair salon just up the road in a building along with another business called Ruth Mills Therapies. Ruth had a dance studio!

In the morning before school my brother and I would go in to the hair salon with my mum to help her set up for her day and we used to have to walk in via the dance studio to turn off the alarms. The dance studio was large with white walls, mirrors on the walls with a large pine coloured sprung dance floor.

As we walked in I would do a little dance in front of the mirrors on the spongy floor just because I felt like a professional dancer, please bare in mind I was only 6 haha.

Sometimes when we walked in they would have 6 metal poles placed evenly throughout the dance floor section. I was amazed by these poles and like most kids I went to have a closer look.

My mum shouted come on Mimi, don't touch the poles they might not be fixed. 'Fixed?' I thought, why do they need to be fixed but anyway I did as I was told cause mum had sweets in her salon that I could sneakily eat while she wasn't looking.

I kept on asking about the poles, why they needed to be fixed and how did they get broken? Mum didn't seem to know much about these poles, either that or she just didn't want to continue the conversation about them with me.

After school one day I could hear music coming from the dance studio so I tried to look through the key hole to see what was happening.

I could see movement but not much about what was actually happening so I decided to go outside and have a look through the window This still wasn't much use as the windows had a mirror like effect on the outside of them, but it was better than the keyhole.

I could see a few of Mums friends and Ruth teaching what looked like a dance class except they were dancing with and on the poles. They could hang from the, go upside down and some of them were spinning really fast. I remember thinking it looks like so much fun and I was happy that the poles must have been fixed.

I don't really remember how much longer it was but the day my mum got asked if she would go into the dance studio to take a picture was the first time I actually got to go inside and actually see what was going on.

It was very hot in the studio and filled with some of my mums friends and they looked sweaty, red faced, wearing sports tops and shorts, bare foot and tired from their class.

Ruth said to mum would she mind taking a group photo with all of them in it? They all got into position, some upside down, some sitting and some posing by the pole.

This dance class looked awesome so I asked mum if I could have a go, mum said no! It wasn't for children! Why wasn't it for children? It looked like so much fun and they were playing some of my favourite songs.

I kept asking why it wasn't for children? Mum didn't really have an answer she just kept saying I wasn't allowed to try or even touch the poles.

Months went on, I kept seeing the poles at the studio, hearing the classes and looking through the keyhole and the window. I was always asking my mum if I could have a go and then one day I asked Ruth if I could have a go at her dance class.

Ruth was so kind to me when she saw me and my brother, she would always ask us about school and our friends and stuff like that. Ruth was tall with blonde hair, always in a tracksuit and trainers not wearing any makeup and her and my mum became really good friends. When I asked Ruth she looked at my mum and my mum said that I hadn't stopped going on about it for a long time. I didn't know this at the time but mum and Ruth had spoken about me learning before. 

Ruth said that she could give me a 1-2-1 lesson after school to see what I thought of it, I was so happy and I couldn't wait.

At the time you didn't really hear of kids doing pole fitness it was mainly just gymnastics which I had also done a bit of. Ruth assured my mum that I probably wouldn't like pole fitness as it was quite painful and I could bruise, but of course my mum wouldn't know that because she had never tried it.

I don't remember much from my first class but I do have some videos and pictures, I loved it and Ruth told me I was a natural and she was amazed at what I could do considering my tiny hand wouldn't even go around the pole.

They thought it was a phase and I would want to give up after a few lessons, but I knew it wasn't and at the time I didn't know that there was another side to pole. I didn't know the battles that my mum would have to deal with because to me. It was just a piece of apparatus that I could use to spin on or go upside down on and I was finally happy that I had got my own way.

Mimi wearing Rainbow Set by Wink

So that's how my pole journey started and I'm still going strong and one thing is for sure and that's that I don't remember my life without pole being in it.

Mimi x

Follow Mimi on Instagram

Latest photoshoot of Mimi wearing Wink Mystique Set, images by @mycameraman

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