Pole pas de deux

Pole pas de deux

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

White Rat

Last Thursday I was interviewed by a University of Colorado School of Journalism graduate student. The topic of the project she is working on is men who pole dance. I'm usually the one asking the questions and trying to put the answers together in my own mind. My dance teacher asked me if it was ok for her to contact me and I am really excited about the project.

When I told my wife that I was doing the interview we were walking through the parking lot of the Denver Center for Performing Arts after an event. Her reply to me was, "My husband is a white rat." I think she meant one of those poor little white mice that they do stupid things to in laboratories.

So what is it like being the white rat? I liked it. The person asking the questions is a wonderful woman and she is also a pole dancer. I didn't shy away from any question and I was as open and honest as I could be. The hardest question was, "What does your wife think about your pole dancing?" The simple answer is that she doesn't get it. She doesn't understand pole dance as an art form and at the heart of it has a problem with the fact that I have become friends with quite a few women. How can I help it? At my dance studio I am outnumbered.

Today is going to be a little challenging. As we were walking out of the Starbucks where we met for the interview our aspiring journalist asked if she could sit in on one of my private dance lessons, watch and take pictures. Yesterday she asked if it would be ok to videotape. I agreed.

I find myself closing my eyes in embarrassment when I watch myself on tape. It never looks right to me. So this is going to be difficult. Nonetheless the subject is male pole dancers and the way I dance today will be the way I dance. My art, my attempt to be as honest with my body as I was with my words.

I think it was the great choreographer Martha Graham who said, "The body never lies." That scares me a little bit.