Friday, July 6, 2012
So much debate about pole lately. Sexy. Not sexy. What to choose...what to choose. Are we strippers in training? Are we gymnasts in training? Do we really need to pick?
We have talked about pole fitness versus pole dancing, and about getting pole into the Olympics. I've struggled with the need to define pole dancing in the past. I think it's okay to be sexy if you want. It's also okay to focus on fitness if that is what you prefer. It's all still performing on or around a pole.
Well, if you are a Chinese Pole Artist, you know exactly what to choose! I featured Timber Brown last year. In that post, he stated:
"People sometimes refer to me as a person who does Chinese poles, an aerialist or a pole dancer.... I ask that people to refer to me as a 'pole artist.' Not because I am not any of the above things, but because I am all of them. In my work I strive to encompass a little bit of what all of those things means to me."
Although he identifies himself as a well-rounded pole artist (which he absolutely is...please look him up on YouTube!), I wanted to focus today on the Chinese Pole part of the man that is such an amazing artist.
I briefly looked into the history of pole dancing for my blog and then for The Pole Dancing Shop. Chinese Pole is defined by wikipedia as follows:
Chinese poles are vertical poles on which circus performers climb, slide down and hold poses. The poles are generally between 3 and 9 metres in height and approximately 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Some poles have a slightly larger pole that rotates around the static central pole using ball bearings. This rotating pole allows a performer to spin on the vertical axis, giving a performer the ability to incorporate rate of spin into what would otherwise be static moves. bringing the body closer into the pole causes the performer to spin faster. A few Chinese pole tricks have been incorporated with pole dancing techniques.
The poles are sometimes covered with rubber to improve grip. However, the rubber can cause friction burns on parts of the Chinese pole artists' bodies.
The most famous trick is "the flag" where the artist hangs straight out from the pole with his or her hands. This requires a very strong upper body. A few people are able to do push ups in this position, and even fewer can rotate the legs around in a circle—this requires enormous core strength.
Check out some amazing videos below:
And, although Chinese Pole appears to be dominated by men, here is a female Chinese Pole Acrobat:
So, although Chinese Pole certain focuses on amazing feats of strength and tricks, there is still a lot of theatrics and artistry required. I would dare call that a little bit of a dance. :-)
What do you think?