I failed. In all my efforts to promote pole and support it as a sport and art, I’ve failed to convince my parents, which stings a little bit. We had a conversation about it earlier today, while I was in town to visit.


“I watched your last performance,” my mom said. “You’re my little girl. I’m not into it.” She compared it to watching pole dancers (not strippers) in Vegas. She mentioned my legs- I think she was talking about all the splits.


“It’s an embarrassment to me,” my dad added. No surprises there; I knew from the start that my dad hated pole dance.


My brother thought it was sexy too. He told me he didn’t watch the full thing. He remains, as far as I can tell, supportive of pole dance, but not enough to actually watch.


I realize my last performance was very sexual, although I didn’t think it was particularly sexy. The topic was domestic violence and rape. There were body rolls, but they were violent and sharp instead of soft and sensual. In line with the lyrics of the song where it sang “shook me like a rag doll.”

It’s particularly annoying since I don’t feel sexy when I pole dance. I feel strong, powerful, confident, happy. But not sexy.


To make it worse, one of the things that attracts me to pole is that it doesn’t feel as sexy as, say, salsa dancing. I don’t have to get all up close and personal with a dance partner (although I do want to do a doubles routine- another blog post) Want an example? Check out this video.


As far as pole dancing clothes, they are a little sparse, because you need your skin to connect with the pole. I don’t think they are that bad. Check out any music video, any episode of Dancing with the Stars, any video of professional salsa dancers, any Olympic volleyball match, or any cheerleader, and you will see about the same (or less) clothes.


I’m a little disappointed, because I thought I was making headway. Pole is sexy, if you want it to be, but so are a lot of other things. I thought I was changing minds of people close to me, but it’s obvious I’ve failed, and it makes me sad.


Leave a comment


  1. Nina

     /  March 24, 2013

    There is only so much you can do to change people’s minds, and you should never feel bad about how others think/feel. All we can do is to be the best pole ambassadors possible, and the rest will follow in time..:)

    • Thanks for your support! I’m not really surprised, just disappointed- pole has been such an overwhelmingly positive thing in my life, and I want to share it. It bothers me that people close to me (like my parents) don’t see how great it’s been for me.

  2. Give it time. And don’t think of it as a failure. They may come to new conclusions slowly over time.

    • Maybe… but the reason it stings is because I’ve been open about pole since I started- it took my mom a year to come to the conclusion that she doesn’t like it. Anyways, thanks for your support!

  3. I want to comment on your feelings of not feeling sexy when performing pole, because I don’t feel sexy on the pole either. Nor do I feel sexy when I do burlesque. Both art forms are performance art, which (duh) takes both a performer and an audience. While dancing alone is a fabulous form of therapy, performance is that; a performance! We are thinking about our routine, our grips, costume pieces, pointed toes, how our muscles are feeling and working, how the audience is responding and a million other details.

    My parents and many friends don’t get my pole and burlesque obsession either, but they do understand performance art, and I have made some headway through that. “No, I’m not a doctor, I just play one on TV!” is my own little joke. “No, I’m not a “stripper” I just play one when I perform!” I am an artist and a performer and I can play a lot of roles. I’m choosing some roles that the audience may view as sexy but as a performer that’s not what I’m feeling, although if I perform well, they will think that I am!

  1. Pole Dance Is Not Empowering | poledancecompetition

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