Monday, October 14, 2013

PDBA October Blog Hop: The Sanitization of Pole Dance: Trick or Treat

Me circa early 2011 at Pole & Body
What do you think of when you think pole dancing?  More often times than not, I get the stereotypical responses from people about pole dancing and the adult entertainment industry.  The vast majority of people don't realize there is a whole world out there of men and women athletes that train hard for pole dancing competitions and elite world titles.  It's a growing industry that is not restricted to it's exotic night club origins.  There's a real athletic and highly respected industry of pole dancing that is making head way towards the Olympics.  Debating the reasons why or why not and for or against are an entirely different discussion all together.  However, one of the key elements in the various Olympic debates has been the "sanitization of pole." 

What does "sanitization of pole" mean?  PDBA board member and fellow blogger, Sheena states, "When some people talk about “sanitizing pole”, they are referencing the need to take the “sexy” out of pole (October, 2013)."  It is no secret that pole dancing in the United States has origins within the adult entertainment industry thus explaining the high volume of misconception that still exists when people respond to the mention of pole dancing in such manner.  Or the shock many display when they find out children are participating in pole dancing. 

There has been a huge debate among the pole community regarding the movement of many groups who prefer not to incorporate sexiness in pole.  Many feel that the sexiness is what sets pole dancing apart from other forms of fitness and dance.  My personal stance on this matter remains open minded.  I feel as though dance is such a versatile form of expressive movement that no matter what form the dancer decides to create, all is equal.  I tell my students there is no right or wrong way to move your body in pole dancing.  The only thing we should be concerned about is technique and form.  The possibilities within your own personal realm of movement are endless.  These possibilities breed creativity for you to explore the different forms of dance.  All of which have made their way into the world of pole. 

Many pole dancers have extensive back grounds in various forms of dance.  Dance exposure is important as it fuels one's own style and character of movement.  I never took dance classes prior to pole dancing.  When people ask me my dance back ground, I say pole dancing.  It wasn't until I felt I needed to enrich my own practice of pole dancing that I decided to participate in ballet and modern dance.  Understanding other forms of dance have given me a deeper appreciation and understanding of the way I prefer to move as a dancer.  It has also helped me gain insight into the movement of my students as well. 

So when it comes to the removal of sexy in pole?  I think it's a personal choice.  Some people want to continue to honor the sexiness they have always known as pole dancing while others want to tap deeper into the athleticism of the sport.  Whatever your decision, it's important to find balance and acceptance within yourself as well as a willingness to explore all the options presented to you.  Your practice will be more enjoyable and better for you in the long run. 

Blog Hop is a monthly blog topic involving pole dancing blog contributors from around the world actively involved in the online Pole Dancing Bloggers Association.  Each month we write our perspective about a given topic pertaining to the pole dancing community.  To read fellow Pole Dancing Bloggers Association October Blog Hop entries: click here.

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