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]
The standard dance pole typically consists of a hollow chrome, steel, or brass pole with a circular cross section, running from floor to ceiling. Affixing at the ceiling gives more stability, but is not always realized, especially at night clubs with higher ceilings or at transportable devices.[17] In most countries,[18] including the United States, the diameter is usually 50 mm (2 inches), or the now more popular 45 mm (1.75 inches), allowing it to be gripped comfortably with one hand. In Asia, the diameter is usually 45 mm or less.[19] In Australia a 38 mm pole is popular.[18]
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]
The use of pole for sports and exercise has been traced back at least eight hundred years to the traditional Indian sport of mallakhamb, which utilizes principles of endurance and strength using a wooden pole, wider in diameter than a modern standard pole. The Chinese pole, originating in India, uses two poles on which men would perform "gravity defying tricks" as they leap from pole to pole, at approximately twenty feet in the air, further information can be seen in the old vintage documentary series of mallakhamb, by yasho purush film on YouTube.[8]
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