A cheap nightclub. Burgundy curtains around a stage, surrounded by lamps and drunken men; a globe reflects its silver light on the cool metal pole, and a provocative girl spins sensually around, stripping off for money.
This is the imaginary scenario when people hear the words “pole dance”, but knowing the origin of this intriguing activity reveals how this is more about prejudice than reality.
The use of a pole for exercise has been traced back at least 800 years, all the way back to the traditional Indian sport of mallakhamb, which utilized wooden poles where men would perform “gravity defying tricks” complete with acrobatics and leaps from pole to pole. Yes, it was at that time a male activity as it involved athletic moves that required significant strength and endurance.
Through the centuries the use of a pole to exercise has changed and become a practice suitable for women – that initially started in circus performances. From the 1980s it has increasingly been incorporated into striptease routines, and Go-Go or lap dancing with women adding dance and a sexy attitude to it.
Despite Pole Dancing beginning to be taught as an art and fitness exercises, the stereotype of being exclusively a female art of seduction in night clubs is still a stigma. Curiously, hundreds of years of tradition in the East, is completely unknown in the West.
Hollywood sometimes shows pole dance scenes in a glamorous light, and regular women dream about being a dancer, having control over their bodies, endurance, flexibility, being feminine, graceful, sexy and desired. Vulgarity has no place in this. As with everything in life, clothes, make up, behavior etc., it’s simply a matter of personal style and taste.
And Hollywood is right: the art of pole dancing requires some acting in order to evoke a pseudo-erotic atmosphere which is no longer a forbidden element, but still controversial in the stigma it bears. I believe that even if pole dance were to become a category in the Olympic Games, as is the aim of the International Pole Dance Fitness Association, it will always carry with it a sort of secret … almost sinful side.
For those who believe that being sexy has nothing to do with being dirty or vulgar, this odd atmosphere around the activity brings more charm to the whole thing. From my point of view it does. And being a pole dancer doesn’t seek to provoke, but to enchant.
Now in the 2000s it’s wonderful watching Western men engaging with pole dance and impressing onlookers with their endurance and strength, while regular women leave the shadows and the fear to swing around a metal pole and challenge themselves.
It doesn’t matter if your point is getting fit, having fun or challenging yourself. You can do it all together and discover how a simple pole can increase your self-love and reveal your inner confidence. With pole dancing, you can be strong like a rock, but sexy, feminine and powerful like a goddess.
Such a beautiful sin!
Photos courtesy of Michele Renzullo – All Rights Reserved
Guest Author Bio
My name is Michele. I am passionate about traveling, cooking, blogging, marketing and creative writing. In 2013 I founded a company that organizes hen parties in Dublin.
Blog / Website: www.henpartylatino.com