I come across posts on social media sites and in pole periodicals, and lately I have noticed an increase in negative comments aimed at the sensual style of pole dancing, and how these styles are holding pole back. Pole fitness has grown exponentially, and has changed the lives of so many men and women. Why can’t every style of pole dancing be acceptable, why can’t we revel in the metamorphosis of pole dancing, the dissimilarity between styles, and the lack of rigidity.
As human beings we are socially constructed to categorize, to stratify people and styles. At the end of the day; polers all want the same thing, to be understood, to show people that what we do is legitimate and beneficial. Whether dancing is performed barefoot or in heels, under strobe or fluorescent lighting, in a club or in an international competition; it is pole dance, it is unique and incredible and as a community we should support each other – because we are all on the same team. I am not saying that I do not believe that all styles should be performed in the appropriate arena! There is a time and a place for everything.
For some men and women pole dancing will never be more than a novelty, and that is okay, if we all had the same pursuits, they would not be nearly as extraordinary. Part of the draw of pole dancing is that it does not appeal to the masses. The sense of achievement in pole dance is therefore elevated, not only is something physically demanding being accomplished, but something distinct and unique.
Pole dancing can benefit people of every age, from the deconditioned to the athlete, some people will never be able to accomplish the advanced tricks that are so desirable in the industry and others never want to. Flow or “liquid” pole dancing is the use of the pole without ascending it and is an art all its own, men and women who can awe the spectator and tell a story without a single trick have an ability that is astonishing.
Pole dancing has changed my life, and in many ways made me a better person. As human beings we will always have preferences and bias. Regardless, we can still appreciate another dancer’s strength, grace, creativity, or intensity. We should not blame another variety of pole dance for our lack of growth as an industry, the offending form may be the reason another joined our ranks.
By Sarah Jade