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Keeping the Pole Dance Industry Healthy

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We were saddened to hear this week that one of our clothing suppliers, Pole Skivvies, will no longer be making their specialized pole dance friendly clothing. Although we don't believe the bad economy has anything to do with Pole Skivvies closing its doors, it does bring to the forefront of our minds the health of the industry and how we can keep it strong.

Rita, Bel and Lori Pole DancingThe first thing you can do is support your local studios. Pole dancing studios are popping up all over the world. Get in there and take a class. Sadly, studios are also failing at an astounding rate. This is not because pole dance isn’t a sustainable industry. Being a small business owner is hard – you have to be everything to everyone, which can tax you mentally and physically. Help your local studio owner out by bringing a friend to class as well. Many of these studios are like a second home to their students, and family supports family. If there aren’t any studios close to you, websites like StudioVeena.com provide excellent instruction so you can learn at home.

It can be tempting to pick up a cheap bikini or some workout shorts from Walmart, but buying your pole clothes from a “mom and pop shop” and supporting businesses, such as The Pole Dancing Shop, will help drive our industry in the right direction so that we can thrive. From high heels to pole dance clothing, grip aids to pole DVDs, The Pole Dancing Shop carries the items you need to make your poling experience everything you imagined.

Talk about pole. On Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram. If you are “out of the pole dance closet,” tell your friends about your pole experience. Some of us like to keep our dancing to ourselves, and we might be surprised to learn that if we just mentioned that we love pole dance, one or two of our friends might finally be inspired to try it as well. If you hear of pole-related events, are reading interesting articles, and are finding inspiring pole dance photos and videos, social media is a great way to share the love.

Support the arts. Some of us enjoy pole dance as a form of exercise and to let off some steam. Some of us do it for a living. If you hear of a local showcase, buy a ticket and go enjoy the show. Pole and aerial showcases are increasing exponentially in 2013. Chances are, there’s a show in your area that will amaze and inspire you.

Encourage competitions. There may be some bad press out there about some pole competitions, but it doesn’t change the fact that competitions are the driving force behind this industry. This is one of the ways we get the pros that can then tour and teach workshops to all of the hungry little pole dancers. If you hear of a good competition, support it. Even if you don’t want to compete, or can’t attend, share their information on Facebook and encourage others to submit or attend the show.

If you are studio owner, host pro workshops. Sure, sometimes money is tight and there are a lot of pros traveling around, so hosting a monthly workshop might not be in the budget. But, you would be surprised at the benefit to your students when they are able to learn from other pole instructors. Everyone learns in their own way. Even though you and your instructors are probably amazing, it never hurts to see a trick taught in a different way. Also, the pros can help promote your workshops so that your studio may be introduced to other potential new students in the area.

Make friends with other local studios. It might seem counter-productive to support the competition, but keeping things friendly with other local studios helps promote a positive atmosphere. Plus, depending on where you live, it might be nice to have someone to help throw a local pole dancing event. Besides, if the closest studio to yours is 40 miles away, they are not truly your competition, so bake some cookies and go make friends.

Pole dancing is not a fad. We are here to stay, but we need to support each other and nurture our growing industry so that we can be around for many years to come. Do you have some ideas on how we can keep the pole community thriving? We always love hearing your ideas!

Photo credit: Rita, Bel and Lori of Twirly Girls Pole Fitness. Photo by Liquidpulp Photography (2012).