A lot of people assume guys who Pole dance are all gay. Maybe that’s because we live in a culture that stereotypes people quickly. But, Pole Dancing IS a great way to workout and to express your own identity. So, for people who may feel the need to mask themselves in their daily lives, pole is a great way to get in touch with their inner authentic selves. Enter Leon the drag queen and bring on the gayness! We talk to Leon (AKA XXXotica) from Hong Kong, who is an exotic pole star and also a professional drag queen to find out what he thinks about pole!
BK: How did you start pole dancing? What did you do before pole for fitness and fun?
Leon: I started pole dancing about five years ago. I was in culinary school and one of my classmates was taking pole dancing classes. I was invited to a bi-monthly showcase. I just fell in love because it looked like it was circus, but was also something that wass easily accessible to people. I’ve always dreamed of being in the air and all of a sudden it was possible. Before pole dancing, I didn’t have any sort of fitness or dance background. I was actually quite out of shape, and pole really opened the door for me to be a bit more aware of my body not only from a health standpoint but also a mental one.
BK: What encouraged you to make the shift to pole dance?
Leon: What encouraged me to start pole dancing was definitely me being unhappy about myself and the feeling that I didn’t have an artistic medium to express myself with. Pole was also something I had never tried before. I never thought I was athletic before I started to pole dancing, nor did I think I was that sexy, you know? I did not have that feeling of sensuality in me and pole dancing definitely connected the dots about that part of myself and I am very happy that I made that choice.
BK: What is your favorite style of pole dance? Do you wear heels every time?
Leon: My favorite style of pole dancing is definitely exotic, but I have learned many types of pole dancing styles. I do like to mix lyrical movements with an exotic flare because I feel like that really speaks to me the most. I also really like all songs from the 80s rock songs, prince, AC/DC. It doesn’t have to be heavy metal (I do indulge in that sometimes) but I do like to do something that’s very rock-ballad and like just focus on extension and flow. Yes, most times I do wear heels :)!
BK: How do you think pole dancing helps with finding your identity and inner voice?
Leon: Pole dancing definitely really made me aware of my body, first of all. I am definitely a person who was affected by social media and influenced by images of what a perfect person should look like. Pole dancing didn’t make me want to attain that sort of image, but instead I became more comfortable in my own skin. By taking pole dancing classes I learned that I can be comfortable in whatever shape or form. My teachers’ guidance and learning new tricks and new ways to move made me trust my body more.
BK: Can you tell us about your drag queen life? Is it related to pole dancing?
Leon: Most people in the States or even around the world know about “RuPaul‘s Drag Race”; I was definitely impacted by this show and it really changed how I saw myself and how I express myself. So far, my Drag life is definitely separate from my pole life. I see them as two different entities, however the way I pole is meant to blur the lines because I do like to have people think about what they’re watching and maybe say, “Hey, this is not what we usually see in the media, but it looks good.” I would like to bring the message that femininity isn’t just exclusively for women and it’s not something that’s gender-bound.
BK: Are there similarities between the pole and drag scene that draw you towards performing in front of the crowd?
Leon: For me I definitely get a sort of high when I’m in front of people and performing. There’s something about the air when you are doing something extraordinary in front of people and people have smiles on their faces or looks of awe. What really drives me to do pole dancing and/or Drag is simply to give people a sort of emotion or even an adrenaline rush, since it’s something people don’t expect men to do.
BK: How do you feel when performing in front of crowds in heels? Does it intimidate you?
Leon: Wearing heels is also kind of saying “F you” to society currently telling men that we cannot be feminine or we cannot have a certain kind of look because it’s not normal. But in reality, everything is a construct, and femininity is just a word meant to put certain people’s expectations on you as a person. Being “normal” shouldn’t be something to aspire to. Instead, you should aspire to be yourself and express yourself however you feel like and be who you want to be! Wearing high heels empowers me.
BK: What does pole dancing mean to you? What future plans do you have for pole dancing?
Leon: Pole dancing means so much to me. It’s how I survive. It’s something I entertain people with. It’s something that I use to express myself when I don’t have the words. It’s something that I use to get rid of my frustrations, and sometimes it’s a struggle, like it is for everybody else. Everyone has days that they don’t feel as good or as confident but somehow everything I do comes back to pole dancing. It’s pretty much home, because it’s one of the things in my life that I can say is sort of my calling. I don’t think I would be the same person if I hadn’t found pole dancing. However, like some people I do have a fear that one day pole dancing will become a chore, but so far so good! If there does come a day where I retire from the scene, then I’m simply just going to let it be. Like pole tricks, nothing feels good if it’s forced.
This post first appeared on Bad Kitty Blog | Pole Dancing Fitness Lifestyle Ne, please read the originial post: here