Well we all know how this story goes. The misconception of pole as a sex show rather than an actual form of fitness.
How many times have people asked you what you do at the gym or how you managed to tone up those abs and you cringe as you say "I do pole dancing... for fitness, not money!" or "I do pole fitness classes. It's not like stripping, hence the word fitness". Luckily it's more and more popular and accepted so often you have understanding. However, there are still people who build up a fallacious argument by deeming the whole idea of pole in any format as purely sexual and degrading.
I once dated a guy who was so disgusted by the idea of me dancing with a pole as a prop that he told me he would forbid me from performing in public. In fact, after just a few months of poling, I participated in a charity dancethon and he refused to give me his blessing or support. Naturally, my relationship with the pole has stood the test of time far longer than we did and I'm proud of it.
Even when you show pictures or videos of amazing tricks enhancing the strength, courage and agility required to perform these moves, there is still that narrow-minded human being who smirks and makes leery or degrading comments.
Joining a pole class is not seedy at all. We won't stop the snide comments but we can remember that not only do we get to do something we love, feel empowered, revitalised and importantly, just happy, we can do it in a safe environment.
Let's not forget our friends the male polers, fed up with the jokes and ridiculing as much as us ladies. I’d like to laugh it off as jealousy, based on the sheer strength these men have performing some outstanding, jaw-dropping tricks. And for some of our male polers, the hard work of becoming more agile and graceful (and pointing those toes!!) takes real dedication and practice.
It would almost make us feel better if it was a minority group, like just a sexist view point, or age. Sadly, I have heard these comments from young women, older men, fellow fitness fanatics and just about anybody you can think of. Trying to correct them is like fighting a never ending battle, but it's one I think we can all do without even attempting to do it. How? Just by never giving up or showing defeat. By continually doing what we do. Promoting pole in the right format and publishing every photo of every move and showcasing our talents. Who even knows, one day we may be watching pole performances at the Olympics.
In a society where the pressure is on for women to perform in certain ways and adhere to certain formalities, why should we conform?
By participating in pole lessons we can break the mould and ideologies that we need to be a certain person or do certain things, without being controversial at all.