I have to admit that the more time I spend in pole dance, the stronger I feel about the sexy side of pole. Less than a year ago I tended to have a stroke anytime someone said, "Bring back the sexy." I took it to mean, "Women Only." I no longer dance at the little studio that was more about the dance and less about the tricks and sexy. I've come to a fork in the road and I've decided to head on over to the sexy, artsy side of pole and never look back.
I maybe a guy, but I feel the need for emotion and expression. I feel art in movement. I'm getting away from over fifty years of, "Boys don't cry." Empowerment is becoming an overused buzzword in pole. But dancing expressively from deep inside is my revolt, and my rejection of the conventional male box where I used to live. If you would like to call that "empowerment" I'm ok with it. There is a power and sexy in artistic dance.
This past January I took a series of pole classes that were designed for men. It was called Acro Pole and most of the men in the class were married to women who also pole danced in the studio or knew female pole dancers from their involvement in parkour. We worked on pole tricks. The guys were great. The atmosphere was fun, and hilarious at times. Contrary to popular myths propagated by "Women Only" pole studio owners it didn't turn into a penis comparing contest. I enjoyed the class and really respect the courage of the studio owner.
However, something was missing and I felt it when I would finish a move. I've very conscious of lines and the way I connect the pole moves. The first time the entire class was working on basic inversions the guys were just lowering themselves down the pole into a handstand or rolling over on their shoulders. For me some things are just muscle memory now. Without thinking I inverted, hooked my outside leg, slid down a little, put my hand on the floor, tucked under my arm, and spiraled my body around the pole. Amber Richard taught me that dismount years ago. To my surprise a few of the guys noticed and complimented me. Some of the guys were so strong that in the second class they were able to go straight into an Iron-X or reverse a shoulder mount. I have spent most of my time in pole with women and I was amazed at the way men could go from a fireman spin to reversing shoulder mounts in two weeks.
But I found myself wanting the studio to be dark so I could put on some really emotional music and dance. I wanted to feel. I felt like the kid stuck in school on a warm spring day. When do we get to freestyle teach? When I dance I never get feedback on the way I actually do a certain move. The feedback is always about musicality or the story I'm trying to tell. I look at pictures taken of me during performances and I find myself looking at them and thinking, "Is that really me?"
I've come to the conclusion that I really don't want to see how long I can hold a flagpole move or spend hours smashing my legs into the pole trying to figure out the brass monkey. I'm driven by the music. I like having women compliment me on my expressiveness and grace. I looked at the scoring system that has been proposed by the IPSF a few days ago. It was then that I knew that my pole style was much better suited for dancing with the lights down low and Scotch straight up. I know that I have more in commen with women who say things like,
Fuck yoga. I want to drink whiskey and dance to Alice in Chains. ~ Alethea Austin
I don't do tricks, I just do pretty stuff. So, deal with it. ~ Amber Richard
We need to address the issue of sensuality, the inherent value of the sexiness of the movement before we can defend it as nothing more than a form of fitness. ~ Claire Griffin Sterrett