Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To be sexy or not to be sexy...that is the question!

So there is a push lately to get pole dancing away from the sexy stuff and move toward the fitness stuff.  Claire from The Pole Story foresaw this almost two years ago.  Well, she hoped it wouldn't happen but still understood that for pole dancing to go mainstream, there would be some people who would rebel against the sexy side.

Claire also said it best when she said:  "If for some reason, the idea of your dancing being connected to the strip club scene is upsetting to you, if you desperately need to distance what you do from what those 'other girls' do, if you truly believe that you are doing this because it’s just a really good workout, then I strongly suggest you spend some time thinking about why you chose pole dancing.  Because there are a million ways to get fit without putting on six inch stilettos, a bikini and swinging sensually around a pole."  (http://polestory.blogspot.com/2010/01/pole-dancers-guide-to-anti-poler-part-1.html)

I have thought about this quote many times over my last two years as a pole dancer.  I started thinking about it A LOT lately as I'm reading more and more posts on Facebook about pole dancing being a sport.

Why pole dancing?  What is it about pole dancing that pulled me in?  I mean, Bel and Twirly Girls, of course made it easy.  I've made lots of amazing friends and have such a great time there.  But what FIRST drew me to it?

Let's start with my history.  I was fat.  350 pounds.  Even at 6 feet tall, I couldn't justify being that heavy.  I was in my 20's when I had gastric bypass and lost 165 pounds.  But even after the weight was gone, I still wasn't happy.  I had saggy, Shar-Pei-like skin hanging all over my body.  So then I had plastic surgery to remove the skin.  Still...not really happy.  In fact, I never tried anti-depressants until AFTER I lost all of my weight.  Still, not happy and didn't really feel sexy.  Then the roller coaster of weight gain and loss.  A few years after surgery, I put on 22 pounds.  Then I lost it.  Now I'm almost eight years out and I'm dealing with 50 pounds of weight gain (and am in the process of losing it).  Definitely not happy.

Fat or skinny, apparently I'm just an unhappy girl.  I so WANT to be that sexy, skinny, beautiful girl (which doesn't mean I'd be happy but my brain swears if I get there, it will be so).  So I think that is what first made pole dancing attractive to me.  I saw gorgeous women with hot bodies doing amazing things on the pole.  And I wanted to be THAT girl.  I guess when I pole dance, I really do feel in my mind that I AM that girl.  Plus, who doesn't like to feel like they're being just a teeny bit naughty?  And whether we rebel or not, the roots of pole dancing IS in the strip club.  Nothing wrong with it but society seems to frown upon it, and I do like to be a champion for the underdog. 

Bel always gives me a hard time because, when I perform, I don't look at the audience or camera.  But, for me, pole dancing is a very personal journey.  I completely retreat into my busy little brain and I let go.  So, its really hard for me to go connect with anyone else during my dance, because *I* am not really there.  My brain ruins everything, so in order for me to truly let go and DANCE, I have to turn my brain off and let my body take over.

So, for me, I admire and LOVE the athletic side of pole dancing but I feel like it also includes the sexy side.  Women are so often looked down upon for being sexy.  You know, it's like we're damned if we do, damned if we don't.  If we're too sexy, we are whores.  If we're not sexy enough, no one wants anything to do with us.  So whatever.  I don't care what anyone thinks about my chosen past-time.  I love pole dancing, even the dirty, sexy side!  ESPECIALLY that side!

So, although I can respect that some people may be trying to remove the "sexy" from pole dancing, I choose to accept the whole package.   Pole dancing IS sexy.  It's also a great workout.  And it's fun.  And I want ALL of that.  :-)

Claire has some really great blog posts (and has now published a book).  Check out some of her posts here:

http://polestory.blogspot.com/2010/01/sensual-sexual-side-of-pole.html

http://polestory.blogspot.com/2010/01/pole-dancers-guide-to-anti-poler-part-1.html

http://polestory.blogspot.com/2010/02/pole-dancers-guide-to-anti-poler-part-2.html

http://polestory.blogspot.com/2010/03/why-cant-olympics-be-sexy-dammit.html

http://polestory.blogspot.com/2011/06/why-we-dance.html

(Pretty much every single post rocks so please click around and read her posts.)

5 comments:

  1. Well ballet also originated in a not-so-good environment like pole dancing and look where its gotten now.

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  2. I love this blog!
    As a mature (nearly 50!) Pole Fit instructor without a dance or gymnastic background; embracing my dancier, sexier alter-ego (Princess K) has been one of the greatest benefits of my Pole'ing life so far; that and my improving abs and upper body strength, of course. That alter-ego gives me permission to be whoever and whatever I choose to be.
    I've been doing Pole Fit for about 4 1/2 years and teaching for 2 years now and I really hope to carry on for a while yet!
    I'd love to be as graceful and sensual as many of the performers I love to watch (Oh I wish that it were possible - please Santa!) - there may be lots of sexiness and sauciness in their routines but one look at MTV or almost any advert on the telly and you'll see just as much. The unfortunate association with some seedier establishments will remain a point of disdain for those who do not wish to unleash their inner vixen - perhaps it's as much about the fear of what they may be tapping into - LOL!
    Let's keep on giggling ourselves fit and feel fab while we do it!

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  3. Great post and an interesting question to raise. I have definitely loosened up on the 'it's only a sport' concept since I started pole. I do love the fitness strength side personally, that's what I find particularly challenging and that's what gives me the satisfaction I get from pole, but I am learning to be a bit more graceful and incorporate some dance too. Don't ever think I personally will be a hot pants, high heels booty shaker, but that's a side of pole that I applaud as much as any other aspect.Love your work!

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  4. Nice Post. The style you choose as a dancer should be your own and not confined by anyone's judgments.

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  5. Thank you all for your comments. I'd love to feature each of you in my blog. Message me if you're interested. tazzie2010 at yahoo dot com. :-) And Bob...I do agree that people should allow themselves to grow and develop their own style of dance. And we probably judge ourselves harder than anyone else. :-)

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