Annie Kocher (they/them, 28) is a musician and a full time doula.
We sat with Annie to ask them a few questions about their pole story.
Where and how did it all begin?
‘’My first pole classes were a few years ago at another studio, but I ultimately had a bad experience there and it took me a while to build up the courage to try again. A couple years ago, when a friend who was visiting town said she was going to try a different studio, I went with her. That was Pole Flow, and I’ve been here ever since (taurus venus). I could not love it more. It’s easy to keep going when teachers are so body-positive, encouraging, queer-inclusive and sex work positive. Pole Flow feels like a second home to me.’’
Thank you Annie!
How has Pole affected your life?
‘’Since I’ve started Pole I feel sexier and more confident. I always have something to aspire to. I can reflect on progress over time, which helps me appreciate myself and my body. It’s my main stress release practice; my mental health is better when I dance.’’
What have been your main struggles with Pole?
‘’When I started, I was filled with thoughts revolving around my body as a limitation. “I don’t look like the other dancers.” “This move is hard because I’m too heavy.” What I’ve learned through practice is that I can be strong at any size. As long as I keep coming back (easy because I’m addicted), I improve over time. Things that used to look impossible become possible. But yes, definitely negative beliefs about my body were the hardest to overcome. Still working on it, forever in process!’’
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
‘’My greatest achievement has been loving my body through its changes and keeping a positive attitude in a challenging sport.’’
What would be your #1 tip to someone who is just starting pole?
‘’Be aware of the tone of your thoughts about your body and about pole dance. You’re not meant to get every move taught during a class; you’re meant to get some and be challenged by others. Set a little intention for yourself at the start of a class, like, “tonight I want to feel confident in the first two 8 counts of the choreo,” or “tonight I want to be generous towards myself.” Tell yourself you’re successful when you’ve reached your goals.’’
We couldn’t agree more! What a great tip.
How would you describe your experience in Pole Flow Berlin so far?
‘’I love the laid-back atmosphere and welcoming people at Pole Flow. As a non-binary curvy person I’ve felt allowed, accepted, and included there. Truly the exotic classes are the most fun thing ever of all time period. <3
Get to know the teachers; they’re the most special part of the studio to me. Ask them questions, let them know what you want to work on. They’re very attentive and care about students’ progress.’’
Thank you so much Annie for your time and openness! We feel greatly inspired by your wonderful answers. Thank you for the intimate sharing ♡
To find out more about Annie, their pole journey and musical work, check their IG account @_Ohrkid_