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.
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, performed mostly by Ghawazi dancers making their first appearance in America. In an era where women dressed modestly in corsets, the dancers, dressed in short skirts and richly adorned in jewelry, caused quite a stir. During the 1920s, dancers introduced pole by sensually gyrating on the wooden tent poles to attract crowds.