Sensual, erotic, sporty. These are just some of the terms used to describe a sport that has such a rich culture surrounding it. Pole fitness has so many different parts that people can enjoy. Whether you just want to become stronger learning moves, practise exotic dancing, or showcase your skills to the public, there is an avenue for everyone to enjoy the sport.
I first become interested in pole when I was in second year of university. I did not think much of it, imagining it would be a fun experience that only take up one evening of my friends and I’s life. I have never been more wrong! After one evening, (of one of the more intense workouts I have ever done) I was sold. I am not a ‘sporty’ person to say the least, I have never enjoyed the environment at gyms, it simply does not feel accessible and you tend to feel like the odd one out if you don’t know what you’re doing. Though at the pole studio, even being a low-level beginner, the feeling of inclusion and people genuinely wanting to see you succeed and improve was something I hadn’t ever experience before (in this setting). Everyone moved at their own speeds, going as far as they were comfortable (with a slight push when needed), but everyone supported you, there no sense of rivalry or competition between the women here.
At the beginning, I was just going to go to the fitness classes, focusing on moves, core strength etc. But, that was only half the experience, I had been going to classes for about eight months before I dared to try my first exotic class. I am not a dancer, I would go as far to say that I have two left feet, but these classes were some of the most fun I would have all week. This was a space that you felt supported and safe to explore who you were and work on how you felt about yourself. These classes taught me that body positivity was a good thing and that I could be happy with who I was no matter who that person was.
Pole dancing has been becoming more and more popular in recent years. Many have taken to trying to remove the ‘exotic’ terms from the sport and the ignoring the vast history that needs to be thanked for making the sport what it is. Many have now on social media been using the hashtag ‘#notastripper’ when referring to the moves or dances that they are doing. This is taking away from the history of pole dancing and fully ignoring the reasons we are able to enjoy the sport today.
In order to respect this sport for what it is, it is important to understand and appreciate that the sex industry was where this sport started. The current ‘#notastripper’ trend on social media is demeaning the beginnings of pole dance. It is important to respect the amazing woman that help to start this sport and create studios where we are able to learn and enjoy pole dance.
Featured Image: Clipart Library