Telling people you pole dance…or not

June 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

So you’ve just started pole dancing… You’re feeling strong, confident and happy – you just nailed that amazing move you’ve been working on for ages, and you want to tell everyone about all the cool new things you know how to do.  But then you remember:

Most people associate pole dancing with stripping.

…Oh.  Right.

So how do you tell your parents/friends/coworkers/etc. about your new hobby without them judging you or blowing a gasket?  You have a couple options:

  1. Just don’t tell them.  While you may be familiar with the level of skill and dedication required to pole dance, most people don’t know anything about it beyond the fact that strippers do it (not to say that pole dancers and strippers are necessarily the same thing, but you get the idea).  It’s not their fault, really.  Even with all of the publicity pole dancing has been getting lately, it is still developing as a sport and an art form.  And honestly, there was probably a time before you started when you associated pole dancing with stripping, too.  I know I did.  And there’s a good reason for that: pole dancing originated in strip clubs.  Unfortunately, people who don’t know any better are consequently going to judge you for that, and there’s little you can do to avoid the initial shock value.  While you have nothing to be ashamed of, consider, too, that not everyone needs to know you pole dance.  I’m not saying you should actively hide it, but is it really necessary, for example, to tell your boss?  Your call.
  2. Then again, there are probably at least a few people you’re dying to tell.  When I started pole dancing, I really wanted my parents to know because I wanted to share my successes with them and I didn’t like hiding it.  When I did tell them, I was armed with the most impressive videos I could find on YouTube (like this one of Becca Butcher) and pictures and videos of my own that showed off my new strength.  Once they realized how difficult and artistic pole dancing could be, they were proud of me and the progress I’d made.

The point I’m trying to make is that, if you do decide to tell someone about your new hobby, remember that a picture (or video!) is worth a thousand words.  However, be prepared to face the fact that the person you’re telling might still not get it, despite your best efforts.  It might take a while for the idea to sink in and for them to open up to it; use your judgment.  And of course, if you don’t want the world to know that you pole dance, don’t post anything online you wouldn’t want everyone to see.  While I don’t hide the fact that I pole dance, I am uncomfortable with posting any of my videos on YouTube unless they’re private and I’m sharing them with people I know – I just don’t personally find it necessary or worth it to share my progress with complete strangers who might not even know anything about pole dancing.  That being said, if you want feedback on your videos, there are several supportive online pole dance communities where you can post your stuff.  Just be smart about it!  And don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you need to apologize for pole dancing, either; it’s your life.  Live it.


Entry filed under: Controversial. Tags: , , .

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