Friday, February 14, 2014

PDBA February Blog Hop: Pole Dancing and Men

It shouldn't come as any surprise that the number of men that participate in pole dancing for fitness is on the rise.  I get numerous calls from men wanting to take classes at my studio.  Currently, my studio only offers classes for women.  There are many reasons why I've chosen to keep my business as a women's only business.  One reason being, I don't know how to teach men how to dance.  Just as I wouldn't know how to teach children how to pole dance, I have adapted my teaching and studies to women and how our bodies move.  After all, I am an expert in women's bodies- I am one. 

Not knowing how to teach men can be met with varying arguments.  I understand some men don't mind learning the same movement that I teach women.  This brings me into the next reason for my decision- not every female student is going to be comfortable taking pole classes with men or admitting that they aren't comfortable with coed classes.  Some women don't mind and some do.  I get enough women coming to class feeling apprehensive and not even wanting to watch themselves dance.  I can only imagine how those same women coming to a coed class for pole dancing would feel.  Most would feel as though they are being judged (although in my experience I know the men taking pole classes are not judging them in any way), the reality is, you can't simply tell someone they're not being judged when they've already convinced themselves in their mind. 

The final reason, my studio is in what most would consider the conservative Midwest.  Men taking and teaching pole dancing classes is not the same here as it is in Los Angelos and New York City.  I think the trend is much more accepting for cities on the east and west coasts.  There's higher populations and a much more fast paced lifestyle.  Theatrics and dance studies are more prevalent in those areas thus breeding men and women that are much more diverse in the movement arts. 

Although it's probably not going to be a popular stance that I have taken, many people will disagree why I don't open my business up to men.  In the bigger picture, I am just looking out for what is best for my business.  I operate in a shared space with limited days and hours.  The class days and times that I do have must be used wisely in order for my business to succeed.  There hasn't been a huge demand for men taking classes in my area so for me to create a class specifically for men on an already tight schedule, it would hurt my business more than help it.  There just isn't a demand for men's pole dancing classes here. 

I think this is changing.  I do get quite a few calls every once in awhile.  I know other studios in the area have tried to conduct classes for men, however I have yet to see this become successful locally.  I know there is a huge population of great men out there in the pole community and by no means do I want to think about where they would be if the studios that opened their doors to them had shut them out.  I know one man in particular who travels great distances throughout the Midwest to participate in events and attend classes.  Social media has been a great outlet for these men seeking to learn pole as a fitness alternative.  Just as YouTube was for women six years ago, social media has become a great way for men to network and create a community for themselves. 

I do look forward to the future of pole to continue to evolve and hope that one day there will be a successful men's class here in Indianapolis.  Pole dancing is an amazing hobby to embrace as it is always changing. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog piece. Please contact us for more information or inquiries about participating in a local men's pole dancing fitness class.

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 February Blog Hop entries: Click Here.


  1. This is a tricky position to be in--I can understand wanting to make your business financially successful and worrying about losing your clientele. I'm also in the Midwest and, hell, I get dirty looks for wearing high heels. I wonder if you asked the ladies how they felt about it if they might be open to introducing men to one of your classes? Veruca felt the same and was pleasantly surprised:

    1. I have asked and students have said no way. We don't get much interest and there is another local studio that has tried for years now to get a male class going and haven't been very successful. When men call and ask, I do refer them to the other studio.

  2. I completely understand your standpoint. I own an all female studio in San Francisco and keep it all female for some of the same reasons. Although I do not turn men away from private lessons or pole pro workshops and I would never turn away a man who identifies as a woman (transgender). Fortunately for men in SF who want to pole, there are a few studio's that have coed classes.
    I do think it is important for instructors/studios of male or coed classes to have curriculum set that works for those body types. Men and women are built very differently and a progressive/safe curriculum should be built with this in mind. Throwing random tricks their way is just cause for injury. (I see it so often!)