Pole Dance Revelation

Pole Dance Revelation

OK so why am I writing about Pole Dancing?

I made a music video recently and I wanted some pole dancing in it
Why..? Yes it’s sexy eye candy, and yes it’s featured in some big music videos of late…
But also because I felt it would speak to the female audience as well as the male

Why..? Well I’ve met quite a few women who have tried it, loved it and bought a pole of their own
And they’re not working in strip clubs, they are everyday people of all ages and backgrounds

After auditioning dancers for the music video and seeing my choreographer put a pole routine together that worked with my track, I was gutted that we couldn’t put a pole up on the shoot
But through the process I became a real fan. Here’s why…

Pole dancing is a real form of dance
Like other forms of dance it shares some common themes…

It’s addictive:
Talk to some salsa or tango dancers. It’s almost a standard joke that you will go through this
2 year cycle where you buy proper shoes, change your clothes, forget your previous life (and friends) and go dancing 3 to 5 nights a week plus weekenders, congresses and even dance holidays
After that you generally will re enter normal society but somewhat changed
A good friend of mine jokingly once said to me ‘What did I do with my life before salsa?’

It’s always new:
You want to master it and there is no limit to how far you can take it
There’s always new moves to learn and ways to combine them

It’s artistic:
Check out the Winner of Pole Art 2009 – Oona Kivelä. She looks like a ballerina crossed with a gymnast on a pole (see the videos at the end of this article)
Pole performances involve creativity, choreography and musical interpretation
No two human bodies are exactly alike and everyone develops their own style

It’s great for Fitness:
Dance fitness has been around for a long time and is very popular
It makes it fun and is a superb all body work out. If you’ve ever tried street dance you’ll know what fit means – a 3 minute song can bring you close to a heart attack!
Pole dancing combines fitness with sensuality and builds the kind of body shape and muscle tone that looks beautiful

(Last and by no means least) Personal confidence and liberation:
Getting in touch with your body, the way it moves, and sensuality
Working on your body has an effect on your mind – like yoga. Making your body feel good can make you feel good
Pole dancing is sexy and it’s empowering to explore and discover this

But there’s more…
Pole dancing scores highly in the liberation stakes for two reasons:
Firstly it’s blowing out of the water the assumption that pole dancing is about women dancing in strip clubs with money stuffed in their suspenders
Secondly it’s challenging societies attitude that being sexy is bad, which represses women and is abused in order to control

I often hear women say that they are afraid to show their sexy side for fear of being labelled slutty. For some people it’s quite a revelation to be able to express this part of themselves…

My own experience was that I think that as little girls, all women want to be admired and told how pretty they look. As we grow up we are expected to fit into a mould where we are conservative on the outside, and supposed to be wild on the inside. That is impossible to do, especially when we have lost touch with our sensuality and our bodies.

I personally wish that there had been some school that could teach me how to be sexy, but there is no such place. I became an exotic dancer, and so I taught myself, but women are starving to be let out, much like Shakira’s “She Wolf”. I think it is the right time

 Natasha Williams (BodyMind Studios, South Africa)

Pole dancing is now challenging the misconception that sexy equals slutty, teaching women how to be sexy in a safe environment, and returning to them ownership of their bodies

Students initially come to class with their hair in a pony tail, no make up, baggy clothes and after a few weeks they come to class with their hair down, make-up on, showing off their new bodies and strutting in high heels. You never hear women say that about going to the gym! Pole dancing really does leave women feeling strong both physically and mentally

Tracy Gray (Aradia Fitness USA & CAN)

And inspiring confidence…

I went back to my first experience on the pole which was as an attendee of a pole party and saw myself watching this gorgeous woman teach us how to swing and flip around this narrow strip of metal and how easy and graceful she made it seem. Not only did I experience fear and elation, but obviously an instant addiction!  To this day whenever I watch a pole dancing competition or even one of my fellow instructors accomplish what seems to be a near impossible move I suffer a brief moment of doubt that I could ever do the same, and then with a little (or a lot) of work and maybe a few bumps and bruises, I do!  More importantly I’ve gotten to the point where even though that fear and doubt may never truly leave me, I now possess the confidence in myself to try and try again

from Rhae’s Blog (Instructor, Pole Dance Winnipeg)

From a mans point of view a woman who is confident and in touch with her body is going to be attractive. Further to this if she wants to bring it into the bedroom it’s going to be appreciated immensely. Not all pole dancers do but their husbands / boyfriends still appreciate the effect it has on their partners. (Although I’ve heard one story of a guy who went out and bought his wife a Rolex the next day!)

It’s also good for men to be reminded to look artistically. The curves of the most beautiful cars in the world are all modelled on a the curves of a woman. Ask any designer what a curve with tension is… If my guitar didn’t have those curves I would not have bought it
If straight lines turned me on I’d be attracted to the pole, not the dancer
I don’t think I’ve seen many other art forms that show just how stunningly beautiful and sexy a woman is at the same time

When you add all this up it’s easy to see why pole dancing is becoming so popular

The pole dancing scene is absolutely thriving
There are pole schools, classes and purpose built studios starting up all over the place

It’s not just pole dancing anymore, it’s Pole Fitness, Fantasy (or Erotic), and Acrobatic Pole.
Whether you want to learn how to be sexy, get fit, lose weight, improve your confidence, increase your strength or perform, there’s something for all tastes, ages and sizes

Pole Parties (or the Bachelorette Party) are increasingly popular and a great way of getting into pole dancing. In Las Vegas they are rapidly replacing the traditional male strip show in the Hotels
There’s even a movement to make it an Olympic sport. How many of you are now saying ‘Yeah I’d watch that!’

There are quite a few championships around the world which have produced some of the scenes real heroes (sorry heroines) like:

Jamilla DeVille – featured in magazines, TV shows and commercials and now travels the world performing and teaching
Pantera – the tattooed wildcat of pole, currently touring Australia
Felix Cane – 2009 World Pole Dance champion and now performing with Cirque du Soleil
Jenyne Butterly – Miss USPDF 2009 and due to host a TV show in production called ‘The vertical Pole Challenge’
Danielle Rueda-Watts – Michael Jacksons ‘This Is It’ tour and features in the movie

Check out the videos at the end of this article and the playlist on my Youtube channel

The scene also has it’s true ‘Champions of Pole’
Try googling Stephanie Babines…

I am the only certified instructor that had to file a federal law suit (in which I won) with the help of the ACLU in order to open my pole fitness studio.
It was a long drawn out case that i fought for the rights of freedom of speech, expression in dance, women business owners and much much more…

Her case made international news and she featured in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Inside Edition and many others. People are still writing about it today and not surprisingly as it highlights so many issues in society, not just pole dance

Fawnia Dietrich – A pioneer in the world of Pole instruction (she opened her first school in 1994). She is often credited by instructors but this is only half of the story as Fawnia’s career spans modelling, body building and acting with many appearances in magazines and film

Tracy Gray and Christine Boyer who started Aradia Fitness 7 years ago -

After opening 22 studios  across North America and training over 200 instructors we have seen pole dancing go from being a taboo subject to being a must try form of  fitness for women of all ages

The scene is rapidly organising itself. The top movers and shakers are starting schools, developing teaching systems, forming federations and holding championships. Their dedication to their art is obvious

Coming up from the underground
Nobody said – Hey everybody! it’s safe to pole dance now! Or ‘it’s the latest thing!’
Women said ‘Wow I want to try that!’ and found a class or booked a pole party

Instructors often have really good stories to tell and few of them said ‘I knew I wanted to be a pole instructor when I grew up! What they will tell you is how it has affected their lives, and enough to want to spread that to others…

I have worked as a pole dancer for 10 years and worked all over Scotland doing music festivals and clubs. I did however start my own pole school last year and much like so many pole schools now I do my classes on a fitness basis
I have over eight classes a week and love teaching as in my classes I have all shapes and sizes and I love watching womens confidence grow within my class time
Pole dancing is an art form and this is why so many women from all over love it!

Emma McGrath – Starlet Studio, Dumfermline

My personal experience with pole is that I came from a poor back ground and I am severely dyslexic I was never really meant to amount to anything, but pole dance has made me a business woman and an entrepreneur
Through pole dancing I have qualified in various forms of fitness and even started up a new fitness business. I would have never done this without pole dancing

KT Coates: Vertical Pole (who also features on the X Pole box and promotion videos)

Ask a pole dance student why they do it and you will hear things like: because I love it! it’s fun, I’m addicted, it helped my confidence, I lost weight, I regained my strength etc

I have learnt that pole dancing is all about fitness and attitude as well as becoming more confident in who you are and what you can actually do, rather than what you thought you could never do. A truly inspirational experience and I think all girlies should at least have a go!

Shirley Eyers (a student of Soul-Pole classes in the UK)

These girls aren’t doing it for men; they are doing it for themselves. They take ownership of it.

When I hear words like ‘addiction’ and ‘empowerment’ and ‘confidence’ I’m sure there’s more to it than meets the eye. I hear these same words used in other forms of dance, martial arts and practices like yoga

It’s art, it’s sexy, and it’s meant to be… go check it out


Special thanks go to:

Natasha Williams www.bodymind.co.za
Pantera www.panterab.blogspot.com
Stephanie Babines www.ohmyyouregorgeous.com
Tracy Gray www.aradiafitness.com
Emma McGrath: Email emma.mcgrath1508(at sign)googlemail.com
(and read a news paper article here)
KT Coates www.verticaldance.com
Sian www.Soul-pole.com
Carolyne Braid www.winnipegpoledancing.com
Rhae of Pole Dance Winnipeg: Read her excellent blog here
Dana Mayer www.rocknrollpole.com

You can find more links over on the right hand side under ‘Pole Roll’

I’ve created a playlist on my Youtube Channel for more videos as there are too many put on here!

I like this one of Felix even more than the 2009 World champs (which you can see on the Playlist)