Demystifying the art of Pole Dancing

You’ve probably had some experience with Pole Dance in your life, even a tiny one. Wheter in nightclubs or intimate situations, Pole Dance is known for its sensual connotation. What most common people don’t know is that for decades Pole Dance has been practiced as physical activity for many people, specially women –  although there are also many men practicing! –, and today, Pole Dance as a sport modality has branched out into several varieties.

Pole Dance has its origins associated to ancient practices such as Mallakhamb, a traditional indian sport, and Chinese Pole, from the circus arts. Later, in the decade of 1920, with the Hoochi Coochi dancers performing in small tents during the Tour Fair Shows in the USA, Pole Dance as we know it was brought into existence. In the fifties, pole dancing became prevalent in the burlesque scene.

Man practicing Mallakhamb (Image: Google)
Chinese Pole on Cirque du Soleil (Image: Google)

In the eighties, modern Pole Dance started to become popular in Canada and in the US, especially in nightclubs. The sport as we know it today is an artistic combination of ancient dance styles and traditions, incorporating acrobatics, strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and, sometimes, sexy moves.

Nowadays, there are many branches that came from the ancient practices. Pole Sport – or Pole Fitness –, with no erotic appeal and more focused on gymnastics, has been attracting more and more practitioners. It’s amazing what people can make on the Pole!

Pole Sport (Imagem: maxim-magazin)

In the sexy field, we have the Classic Pole Dance with burlesque elements of exotic dance, striptease, Pole Dance base moves and high heels on. Recently, a style called Exotic Pole has become very popular. Exotic Pole is also sexy as hell, but differs from the Classic in some aspects, since it uses few base movements and more of the floorwork techniques – movements on the floor –, handstands, elbow stands, headstands and very unusual tricks, requiring also a lot of strength and flexibility.

Strength and flexibility in our Spicy Pole class

Also, there’s Pole Art, a mix of elements from all the other styles, and Pole Street, practiced on street poles.

Pole Street (Image: Pinterest)

At first, it’s not necessary to know the difference between all the styles. The important thing is to be aware that Pole Dance today is not strictly bound to nightclubs or sensual dance. Personally, the sexy one is my favorite, but there is also the athletic option for those who want to exercise in an unusual and fun way. Any of the mentioned types is an amazing way of transforming the body and health. Strength, endurance and flexibility are a few examples of the benefits that pole dancers get from practicing.

Pole Art or Pole Fitness

Championships and encounters related to Pole Dance occur all the time worldwide and there is a global community fighting for the recognition of Pole Dance as an Olympic sport.

Resultado de imagem para Daisy Gaviota, colorado Pole Championship 2015.
Daisy Gaviota, Colorado Pole Championship 2015. (Image: Nina Reed)

In our oppressive society, everything that is new and different takes time to be accepted and understood. Unfortunately, Pole Dance is still misjudged by many people, especially because of ignorance or lack of knowledge about the practice. There are people that simply don’t accept the sport, for cultural or personal reasons. The truth is that nobody has the obligation to like anything, but it’s essential that people respect each other. Our artistic freedom cannot be taken away from us just because some people simply don’t like it.

As a pole dancer, I can tell with conviction that Pole Dance is a delicious activity that brings uncountable benefits for the body and mind. There are pros and cons like everything in this life and certainly the practitioner will face many difficulties. It is definitely not an easy sport and that makes each achievement even more rewarding. Pole dancing is about breaking taboos, overcoming fears and limits, discovering your potential and boosting self-esteem. Total empowerment!

Come and try it with us at Cosmika Fit Studio, in Santos, Brazil. Or if you live somewhere else, just type “Pole Dance Studio” on Google and find a place to practice near you.


Marina Lescreck

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