10 years ago, most people pictured pole dancing as the main attraction at a gentlemen’s club. All of the attention would be on the female body, clad in tiny bits of fabric, leaving the men crowded around the stage wanting more, or rather, less. As she swings around the pole, discarding her clothing piece by piece, men fight for the chance to strategically place bills of various amounts on her. Indeed, pole dancing is most commonly associated with a seedy strip club, but that perception is rapidly changing.
Pole dancing is being recognized as a style of dance, artistic expression, recreational activity and fitness. While the trend is gaining traction, it still has opponents. Feminists largely disapprove of pole dancing, mainly because they deem it degrading for women. They do not see pole dancing, even recreationally, as a way for women to move away from objectification.
Futhermore,many also believe that there is a very thin line between stripping and prostitution. With the nudity and sexual thoughts that exotic dancing may conjure, paying for sex is not unimaginable. Some can even deem exotic dancing as foreplay.
However, pole dancing can also be viewed as having an elegance similar to that of ballet. After speaking to a few students that are currently taking classes at Brass Ovaries, the only fitness studio in Austin that teaches pole dancing to both male and female students, the similarities between traditional dance classes and pole dancing are much clearer.
Katie*, a Brass Ovaries student, said that the reason why she took a sudden interest in pole dancing was because of a YouTube video of a woman who performs under the moniker Dirdy Birdy. Her video currently has over 2.5 million views; perhaps another indicator of pole dancing as a new trend.
“She makes pole dancing look graceful, and more importantly, tasteful,” Katie said.
Another student mentioned that she has a newfound respect for strippers because of the difficulty of pole dancing.
“It’s really hard to do some of the moves and still be able to maintain the sex appeal,” said Lauren. “I’m always struggling to keep from sliding off the pole because it requires a lot of upper body strength. It really pushes you to work your core.”
Brass Ovaries offers group and individual classes at all different levels. In addition to pole dancing classes, Brass Ovaries offers aerial hoop, stretching and conditioning and dance-based classes, like Twerk.
Instead of judging a book by its cover, consider trying it out for yourself. You’ll get in a great workout to help you accomplish those New Year’s resolutions.
*Names have been changed