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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Art of Exotic Pole Dancing

by Martha Punches & Marie Allison

What do you think of first when the words "pole dancing" are mentioned? Yeah, I’m sure the first thing you thought was stripper dance. Well, think again. To be honest, we thought the very same thing. But to be a good pole dancer takes dedication, agility, practice and strength for this tough and demanding profession. And yes, believe it or not, being a pole dancer is a profession and requires a lot of work.
At Romanticon© 2011, a few of us editors decided to sit in on the Pole Dancing class. No, none of us are planning a career of being a professional at this. It was more out of curiosity. What we expected and what we learned were worlds apart. This class should have been attended by any author who has plans or thinks of including a pole dance in their book.

Because boy, did we learn a lot from this short class. For instance did you know that in some countries, pole dancing is done mainly by men? Also, there are national and international organizations for professional pole dancers, some of them in the Akron/Cleveland area. (Yes, that’s what I said, international as in all over the world.) Not only that, being a pole dancer requires a great deal of body strength not found in the average man or woman. The stamina for doing this dance is tremendous. We watched several attendees try their hands, legs and arms at the pole. From what we saw, just the attempt made our bodies hurt!

First of all, clothing must be kept to a minimum. Hmm, that probably is why many associate the pole dancer with stripping. But in fact, the need for more skin to be visible isn’t for the exotic part. A pole dancer must have a great deal of friction to stick to the pole and do very impressive moves, twists, climbs, and turns. Of course, if you really want to be covered, wear leather, vinyl, or pleather so that you do not slide down to your butt in a second.

Second, the pole cannot be lubed to make those slick moves. Every pole must be as clean as possible. During our demonstration, the dancers wiped down the pole with rubbing alcohol to reduce the amount of skin oil for the next user. Some even use gymnastic rosin to be able to grip the pole tightly. Slick moves are done with a spinning, rotating pole.

Third, I don’t know about you, but when we saw those moves the pros made, we saw that there would be a lot more involved to being a professional dancer who can move up, down and around the pole AND remove her clothes in a sexy, enticing manner. I’m sure there are those doing it well in stripper clubs but very few doing gracefully. And I’m sure the clothes are specially made for a fast removal. Your average male or female audience member won’t be able to jump up and do a great job with no training. All they will do is make a fool of themselves! Grace is a necessary element for doing a good dance!

Size does matter. Honestly, those women who are more impressively endowed in the chest department are NOT going to make good pole dancers. Their center of balance and arm strength will not give them the ability to be a good dancer. Stripper yes, dancer, no! Those who do this professionally are just that, professionals, probably more on par with professional gymnastics. In fact, did you know there is a grass-roots movement to make Pole Dancing a part of the Olympics? I could see that happen, and especially after seeing this class, I’d fully agree.

So, the next you want to include a pole dancing scene in your book, think about it, act it out and see just how easy it is. NOT!

The explanations and professionalism of all three women putting on this demo made us realize that yes, some will think Pole Dancer/Stripper were the same. If more had seen this class, I’m sure their opinion would be as changed as ours was.


The women of the Cleveland Exotic Dance Troupe are all professionals. To see more, visit www.clevelandexoticdance.com Oh, and they do more than just pole dancing.

In summation:

Myth: All Pole Dancers strip.

Myth: All Pole Dancers are women.

Myth: Anyone can do this as it takes no training at all to be a good pole dancer.

Myth: You can wear all kinds of clothes, be fully clothed in any fabric and still stick to the pole.

Myth: The more lube you use, the better the dance.

Myth: Wimpy, shy women (or men) with no strength can do this.

Myth: Stripping is really easy when doing a good, graceful pole dancing routine.

Myth: Anyone can jump up from an audience and do a great pole dance with no training at all.

4 comments:

T. said...

Great post! I used to bartend in strip clubs, and got some lessons. Those women are ATHLETES.

Anonymous said...

On the last season of America's Got Talent, one of the most amazing acts was a male pole dancer.

Pole dancing isn't "like" gymnastics - it IS gymnastics. Think of it like doing a dance routine while chinning yourself in gym class. Not easy.

Mel Teshco said...

I only wish I had the strength and grace to pole dance for 'research' the ladies and men doing this are amazing =)

Cris Anson said...

Martha and Marie, thanks for such a great description of the Pole Dancing Class. I was one of the more daring (foolish?) ones to try to follow instructions. I could barely lift - not just swing - my legs waist-high as I clung precariously to that silver lifeline. I applaud both of the dancers for their expertise. They were extremely graceful and, when performing together, very well synchronized.