Pole Dancing is My Source of Happiness, and Here's Why
Zuzanna Nachyła is a 24-year-old professional pole dancer, competitor, choreographer, and certified teacher of dance from Krakow, Poland. She has been dancing for over 5 and a half years, and has won numerous championships. Most recently, she placed 2nd twice in Ukraine for Pole Universe 2019. She shares how her love for pole dancing shapes her happiness with Status by Sass.
I grew up in Krakow, Poland with my mom, sister, and one cat. My sister left when I was pretty young so really it was just me, my mom, and my cat. One of the cats passed away, and my mom took on another. On the surface, things appeared simple, but my life was filled with complexities. One thing that balanced out my mental stresses when I was growing up was thinking about dance. My great grandfather, Marian Wieczysty, was famous for having spread ballroom dancing across Poland - he's even on Wikipedia! I guess that ever since I was young, I have always wanted to be a dancer, and maybe it was just something in my blood. My mom has told me that she even has a ton of baby photos showing me in different dance poses. She signed me up for acrobatics class when I was little, but apparently I wasn't flexible enough which is quite ironic thinking about things now.
Finding what it means to be unique
When I was a teenager, I was rebellious (or at least I like to think so). People and friends told me that my personality was quite "unique." So I took that to mean that I should go and get a passion like everyone else I was growing up with. This passion would be something that I would love to do every day; an addiction of sorts.
I started with learning Japanese. I studied the language religiously, and even took classes for it that were not offered in my high school. It was something about the culture that captivated my interests, and shaped my motivation for studying the language. I loved it, and still continue to study it now when I have the time years later. Then, it happened - I suffered from depression. The depression was intense, and it affected many things I did in life. I stopped learning Japanese, and school became meaningless. Things that used to matter, just didn't matter anymore. The sadness was overwhelming, and prevented me from focusing on anything else except the feeling itself. I can't really recollect all the negative thoughts, and I don't want to. Between the depression and life, a lot of things happened.
After many years of battling depression, a friend of mine found a Groupon voucher for me that had an offer for a pole dancing class. Suddenly, I realized that I had found my true passion. The class was amazing, and my happy little endorphins were just bouncing everywhere. In fact, I was so happy that I was smiling to myself taking the tram the whole way back home. It was something so foreign to my feelings at the time, yet so absolutely incredible. When I was dancing, I felt like I could truly be myself. My own little Hollywood moment shining across an environment of darkness.
Reaching my goals
After five months of taking classes, I knew that I wanted to be an instructor. It wasn't that easy. I knew that I had to train more to have better skills. I took an instructor course just to get certified at a pole dancing studio near me. It was 2016, and after countless months of dedicated work and learning, I couldn't find work anywhere, but I still believed in myself.
I entered myself into the International Pole Dance Championship: Pole Art Experience competition in 2017, and won first place in the amateur category. After winning this competition, some of the instructors I worked with said that I might be able to teach in their studios in the future. And that's exactly what I did after a few months.
I am a different person now
Fast-forward to now, and I'm a completely different person. I can credit being a teacher as being one of the things that has significantly changed my personality. I am a happy and complete person with my passion. Competitions don't intimidate me - they challenge me in a positive way. They have, in a way, become my pleasant addictions. Reflecting on everything that has happened to me, I feel like I was so wooden before I started pole dancing. That inflexibility that had stopped me from taking classes when I was a little kid is the exact same inflexibility that spanned across the obstacles in my life. As a new me, I feel that I am not only physically flexible, but also mentally, and my gratitude for this balance between the two can only be attributed to one thing - my passion for pole dancing.