I went to a strip club last weekend. After nine months of pole dancing and about three years of obsessing about other people who pole dance really well, I have spent countless conversations explaining that pole dance is NOT the same thing as stripping.
Well, now I have been to a strip club and I can definitely say that I’ve been telling the truth: stripping has pretty much nothing in common with pole dancing.
For one thing, my friends who organized this outing had to call a few different clubs before we even found a club that had poles. Clearly, pole dancing cannot be synonymous with stripping if you have to work so damn hard to find a strip club that even has poles.
When we found a club with poles, most of the strippers (with a few exceptions) stayed off of the poles and on the floor. As it turns out, there’s more money in rubbing your breasts in someone’s face and shaking your ass than there is in doing awesome pole moves.
Which is another big difference. Strippers make a lot of money dancing. Pole dancers spend a lot of money dancing. Classes, privates, pole clothes, shoes, bodywork so you can still walk after training so hard, and workshops are all really expensive. I’ve never stripped, but it didn’t look like it required a lot of money for training.
While I appreciate that dancing in heels for hours is probably pretty strenuous for strippers, I really just didn’t get a feeling of athleticism or musicality from the strip club. Unlike pole, stripping doesn’t appear to have any challenge or feeling of accomplishment. There was no storyline in the dancing, and definitely not any of the emotion that you get out of watching any pro (or any good pole artist at all), including sexy-style artists. The strippers looked bored, and I was bored too.
So please, please, please be clear- even if pole choreography can be sexy as hell, pole dancing is not stripping. They pretty much have nothing in common except the shoes, which are optional.