Pole Fitness and Health: Breaking Barriers in Mexico

May 21, 2020 by CM1 Student Paula M.

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Driving Question: How can we take lessons from the sports industry to better improve the health of a specific group in need?

Project Description: My goal for this module and term was to understand the effects of exercise in mental health and experience them myself. I also wanted to bring awareness to some “taboo” topics and defeat the stigma around them: gender violence (focusing on sexual violence), mental health, and pole dancing. I asked myself, “How can I apply what I learn about elite athletes to the females in my community who have experienced assault or harassment and could use exercise to improve their mental health, self-confidence and wellbeing?”

To answer this I made a website that is easy to navigate, gives a “safe vibe” and shares reliable information and resources.

What did you learn about yourself or about your creative process or about your medium? I learned a lot about myself, the culture I grew up in, and the global perspective of it. From how to do such an incredible sport like pole fitness and gain confidence and strength from it, building a community in the studio I learned at, and learning from strangers who then became friends.

I learned to take a deeper look into where these issues root from, why shame is related to them, and how I can make a difference in my community.

I learned the power and strength I have when I trust myself and how to transmit that to others. All the issues this summative addressed are quite complex and I learned how to balance them, support my claims, and share why I am passionate about such issues and this sport and project.

It also changed the way I see fitness. I now see it as more of a balance between mental and physical health and exercise (mindfulness and physically).