I decided to take up pole dancing when I was 17 and just starting year 12. I just thought it looked like fun on television and YouTube. In the later days of year 11 I used to ride to a youth resource centre called 360 after school and on the way I would see this building with a large picture of a gorgeous girl leaning up against a pole.
In year 11 I did theatre dancing and the more I saw that picture I rode past, the more I wanted to swap dancing styles next year. And I did. Pole dancing is really fun. You get to dress up in large shiny sparkly heels, Socialise with the others in your class, work on tricks each week, and so a super fun dance routine. Each week I set goals to learn new tricks and skills, and once I master them I go home feeling accomplished. The burlesque dance we do makes me feel confident both mind and body wise and I feel like a really attractive girl. I am not ashamed to admit that I do this performing art/sport and why should I be? When I get fitter and thinner and more confident and get to meet other awesome dancers and it just makes me feel, ‘alive ‘ and sexy. However, when I tell people I do pole dancing as a hobby, I get two different kinds of reactions.
#1 Goes something along the lines of: “Oh that’s so cool! I heard that it’s really good for fitness. Is it fun? I really wanna try it some day! What do you wear? Do you do a concert? Etc.
#2 Goes something along the lines of: Are you serious? OMG really?! WHAT?! Umm.. why?? That’s disgusting. You wanna be a stripper or something? Slut!! Etc.
I’ll tell you now I’m NOT a slut. I have never had sex in my life. I don’t go clubbing in miniskirts, revealing tops and a cake face, I go clubbing in modest clothes and with no make-up. I don’t play strip poker or do drugs or prostitution or pole dance at any strip clubs. I am just an ordinary girl who’s studying children’s services at TAFE, rides her scooter down the street when she gets home, collects coins and loves bike riding and taking my BMX down to the local skate park.
I have no intention to become a prostitute or be a sex object at a club. I take pole dancing classes because it’s what makes me feel alive, happy and I feel safe from the rest of the harsh cruel world behind the studio walls with all the lovely people I know there. So please, from now on, if you’re the kind of person who thinks of #2 when the performing art of ‘pole dancing’ comes to mind, please consider the bigger picture.