Pole dance in America has its roots in the "Little Egypt" traveling sideshows of the 1890s, which featured sensual "Kouta Kouta" or "Hoochie Coochie" belly dances,[9] performed mostly by Ghawazi dancers making their first appearance in America.[10] In an era where women dressed modestly in corsets, the dancers, dressed in short skirts and richly adorned in jewelry, caused quite a stir.[11][12] During the 1920s, dancers introduced pole by sensually gyrating on the wooden tent poles to attract crowds.[13]
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]
This is another staple move for beginners to have in their repertoire. It’s also a good way to start building up your pain threshold, as this move hurts – quite a lot! You can introduce yourself to thigh-grip fairly quickly and in a controlled way, by sitting on the pole but still holding on with your hands, then you can slowly remove your hands as you build up grip strength.
A back hook spin is another classic spin that’s great for spinning with a lot of momentum all the way down to the floor on a static pole. As a beginner, it’s important to learn all these different grips for spins and holds, it can be confusing at first when you’re trying to configure your arms and legs in the right position, but you’ll be surprised at natural it feels when you get it right
Grab the pole with both hands. Stand next to the pole so that it's closer to your weaker side. Then, place both of your hands on the pole so you're gripping it like a baseball bat, with your hands a bit more than 1 foot (30 cm) apart. Put the hand closest to the pole on top, and the outside hand on the bottom. Your lower hand should be at about chest level.[18]
Slide down the pole. You can slide down using the basic fireman slide, which means just holding onto the pole with your arms and legs as you slide. Or, you can hold on to the pole with your hands and release your legs just for a moment. Bring them out in front of you and rock your hips as you move your legs down to the ground. This method will take a bit longer to master but it will look and feel fantastic.[17]
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In 2016, Daily Dot[51] ran a story which covered the attempt by some pole dancers to distance themselves from strippers, with their story "Strippers Talk Back to the hashtag #Notastripper". The story utilized the hashtag "yes a stripper" in support of the origins of pole dance. On the social media platform Instagram, some pole dancers try to differentiate between their exercise method, and the origin of the method, by using "not a stripper" as a hashtag. The hashtag can be viewed as derogatory, and pole dancing strippers utilize "yes a stripper" as a defense against the denigration of their style of dance, which is created and used in strip clubs.
Poles come in a variety of materials and coatings where each material possesses its own properties, advantages and disadvantages. The materials poles are made of are brass, titanium – gold, stainless steel and chrome.[17] The brass and titanium – gold poles are gold in colour and are used to enhance the grip between the pole and the dancer, these poles are normally used by more advanced dancers. The stainless steel poles aren’t as popular as the other types as they do not have the finest grip however, they are used by dancers who have sensitive skin. The chrome poles are silver in colour and are most popular amongst beginners. The finishes some dance poles may possess are silicone sleeves and powder coatings. Silicone sleeves can provide maximum grip, however, there are safety precautions dancers must take and consider before using silicone sleeves. These measures can include a great amount of clothing to be worn by the dancer and only static moves can be performed. Poles that are coated in powder can provide the best friction and maximum grip for dancers.[21][22]
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