I am still surprised that people don't understand this concept. In order for skin to grip the pole, pole dancers must have their legs, arms and stomach exposed. This is a safety concern. There are some grounded spins, poses, and floor work that can be performed while wearing pants. But in order to perform more advanced moves, we must have the proper amount of skin exposure. Most pole dancers do not have an issue with this at all, since our focus turns away from what our bodies look like and onto what they can do.
I started Polepeople in 2003 and have never looked back. My inspiration was to establish pole dancing as a life enhancing way of exercising and an amazing, challenging skill. Pole Fitness can be so many things – at Polepeople, we celebrate it as a dancey, acrobatic, sporty, sensual and artistic way of getting fit. Come and join us for a class and discover what its all about!
There are now poles available for use in clubs that provide visual effects. These poles are made with clear plastics and contain water, glitter, and special reflective materials which stand out when used in conjunction with strobe lighting, as well as lighting hidden in their base joists. However, these poles are not favorable to a dancer wanting to achieve better pole tricks, as they bend slightly and have a tendency to create a friction burn when slid down with any sort of speed.
Grab the pole with your dominant hand. Start by standing slightly behind the pole on the side of your dominant hand. Position your inside foot close to the base of the pole. Use your dominant hand to grab the pole at about head height. Allow your arm to straighten so that your weight is hanging away from the pole. Keep your other hand down during this time.[7]
Because what we do is still considered taboo by many, there is a unique closeness that bonds us together. There are pole dancers of all professions, ethnicities, religions, cultures, sizes, and ages. I have friends all over the world because of pole dancing. I have friends who have been able to travel the world because of it. We support each other through learning new moves. We share each other’s videos. We watch each other perform. This shared interest bonds us with a special understanding.
A wide range of amateur and professional competitions are held in many countries around the world. They are strictly non-nude and focus on pole dance as an athletic and artistic form of dance and fitness. The first "Miss Pole Dance World" competition was held in November 2005 in Amsterdam and Elena Gibson from the UK won the championship. The following day Elena was disqualified by the organizer John Benner amongst much controversy and the title went to the runner up Reiko Suemune from Japan.[citation needed]
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Despite progress in the public’s understanding of what we do, many of us still fight stereotypes. Some of pole dancing’s loudest critics have never tried it themselves. Just last year, Marina Heck, a schoolteacher, was forced to resign from her position following controversy that she is a pole dancer. Even if what we are doing is completely athletic and far removed from the type of pole dancing performed in strip clubs, we still need to explain ourselves. Many times when revealing to strangers what it is I do, I find myself hesitating because I don’t feel like justifying my passion to a skeptic.
Since 2003,[further explanation needed] pole dancing has been transitioning from an exotic performance to a recreational activity. Pole dancing as a sport differs from pole dancing as a recreation as recreational pole dancing is undertaken mainly for enjoyment rather than fitness. Recreational pole dancing can be seen as empowering to women as it can make women feel positively about themselves. This is because pole dancing builds confidence, power and is a way to express one’s self. When pole dancing is undertaken for enjoyment the idea of an exotic performance specifically for titillation is enhanced. Whilst undertaking pole class women will learn a variety of different ways to use the pole to execute spins, tricks, climbs and hangs. Check all studios' credentials before committing to a pole dance studio. It is common knowledge that as the difficulty of tricks and spins increase, so do the levels.[27][28]
The rock and roll invasion in the 1950s saw the introduction of the pole to a wider audience, with Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" movie and video in 1957. The video featured Presley's famous gyrating hips as well as numerous pole slides, grinds, and twirls. [14] Eventually the pole dancing moved from tents to bars, and combined with burlesque dance. Since the 1980s, pole dancing has incorporated athletic moves such as climbs, spins, and inversions into striptease routines, first in Canada and then in the United States. In the 1990s, pole dancing commenced to be taught as an art by Fawnia Mondey, a Canadian who moved to Las Vegas, US. She created the first pole training video to use in fitness exercises.[citation needed] Since then, pole dancing classes have become a popular form of recreational and competitive sport, practiced and performed in a variety of sexual, non-sexual, and athletic settings.