A look at the art of pole dancing from the viewpoint of a male dancer
Pole pas de deux
Friday, November 30, 2012
I found this picture on Facebook and it just resonated inside of me. The caption with the picture was, "The Calm Before the Storm". If you have ever danced before an audience you know that feeling. You are alone with your thoughts, sometimes staring at your demons. Sometimes I visualize. At other times I just think, "Merde", and not in that good way that you wish another dancer" Merde" before they dance. It's that, oh shit I'm the only guy here dancing and every male significant other is going to be wondering what the hell is wrong with me.
I danced for the first time in front of an audience in May of 2009 and every studio showcase after that I told myself that next year I would pass. Every year I danced. Now that my dance has grown I've become proud of it. I understand why dancers live for that adrenaline moment you get when you count down those final seconds before you show your soul to everyone sitting in front of you.
And now I have made the decision to enter my first pole dance competition. This isn't going to be Five String Serenade by Mazzy Star in front of sixty people. It is going to be the Great Midwest Pole Dance Competition. Even if I do not place in the Over 40 Masters Division I want to dance in the showcase.
Just looking at the Rules a few nights ago almost made me hyperventilate. When I found a 45 mm chrome X-Pole I could hear Estee telling me that the pole she teaches on is the competition standard. I'm really glad I listened. I have never had a time limit on music, pole moves I had to execute, or a dress code. There were two voices in my head Sunday night (11/25). One was telling me that I am too old and too fat. The other one was telling me,
“Life should not be a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved
body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly
used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” ― Hunter S. Thompson
The more I though about the way I have already lived my last fifty-five years, the more I knew I would be booking a room in Chicago in August. The way I dance is different. One teacher called it honest and mature. Estee told me weeks ago that I had to perform. I sent Estee a text message and the journey to Chicago started two days ago. November 28, 2012. My music is going to have to be cut down to fit the limit. Estee and I have a rough sketch of the moves we want to choreograph. One of my ballet teachers has graciously agreed to help me work out the ballet floor work. I asked her because her adagio music is the music I picked for my dance. Divenire by the Italian composer Ludivico Einaudi is the one. In English Divenire means, To Become.
People have asked me why I chose to be a dancer. I did not choose: I
was chosen to be a dancer, and, with that, you live all your life.― Martha Graham
I'm a pole dancer, ballet dancer, ice hockey player and research meteorologist. I live in Denver, Colorado with my wife of 20 years and two Siamese cats. I found the gift late in life. I was 52 the first time I went around the dance pole and 53 when I made my first plié.