Pole Dancing in New York – A Women’s Revolution

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I heard about the U.S. Pole Dancing Competition a few weeks ago and decided to book a trip to the Big Apple to check it out.

My interest was first peaked when a fitness trainer introduced me to the sport.

It’s definitely a sport.

Yes pole dancing does immediately take you to flying dollar bills, big booty women droppin’ it like it’s hot, along with the occasional grab from a dirty slobbering man, with his tongue hanging out. But, this pole dancing without the stripping part, is truly a sport and an art. I know, I witnessed it first hand.

This was a first class event, something like seeing a “Rock of Ages” at the local theater. There was a line snaking its way around the block in front of Symphony Space in New York City. There was a will call, ticket booth and all that.

At first glance, I didn’t notice the men in the crowd, but when we all filed in, it was quite apparent the audience had a few pepper sprinkles of men – some yelled, “You can do it!” and “I love you!” Later I found out most of the attendees weren’t new to the pole dancing world and either knew someone on the stage, been on a stage, or is a part of a pole dancing company at a local studio. Wild, I know.

Backstage, it was like being in a dressing room with athletes. Walk with me… There was a vanity and a team of make up artists, touching up the faces of attractively muscular women. Wearing what they call yoga-wear, the ladies were tastefully scantly clad. How does that work? I don’t really know, but they made it happen. The competitors were going over their routines, playing music through their iPod, stretching and contorting their bodies in ways most of us didn’t know were possible, all in 6-inch heels. Oh, remember, this is just backstage. These ladies were in the zone.

Anyway, hosted by pole dancer (and winner of “Survivor Amazon”) Jenna Morasca, wearing a curve cutting off-white mermaid dress, the show began with a demonstration of all the moves and judging points.

A dancer hopped right up on that pole and got the twirlin’ and the splittin’ and the flippin’, and the posin’. I knew then, it was going to be a good show.

Alright, so I never been to a pole dancing anything before, so I was definitely intrigued and sitting at the edge of my seat.

The first contestant was good and did all the moves they’ve got names for – I’m working on learning those. It was pretty good.

But things got a little turned up when the only brown woman in the contestant got on stage. She was an African American woman, strutting out in all confidence. I knew she was going to be the best! She was actually just the beginning of a nice round of great performances.

The second round was what the show wasall about!

But before I go on there, in between time, we were totally entertained by The Pulse Project. These ladies seriously worked it. It was modern dance with poles. Absolutely beautiful. And somehow every woman on the stage touched the pole at least once, doing some kind of high-flying, miraculous spin move, arm hold things in a split second.

And guess who joined them? The 2011 U.S. Pole Dancing Champion, Natasha Wang. She’s serious y’all.

At the end of the whole competition, she blessed us with an elegant modern pole dance that brought the audience to its feet. I’m telling you, if she had the chance to compete this year, she would have swept ‘em.

 

 

 

The Pulse Project Photo by – Brittney M. Walker

Back to round two, the optional round.

Since the first round was sort of high-buttoned, if you will, the ladies let loose and spilled their guts on the stage, shedding those claustrophobic, boring yoga clothes and slipped into something more amusing.

While they were still classy, they got a little more sassy and sexy with a unique outfit that showed off their personality.

After the judges took to the back for a round of excruciating decision-making, they brought out the ladies in red, white and blue jackets and black bottoms, looking like beautiful Olympians.

There is a huge push to get pole dancing into the international sport competition, and rightfully so. These women are in shape like gymnasts and track stars. They work out, they sweat, they have technical terms; they’re doing it all.

But my friend (who went with) pointed out that the judging system needs to be revamped to be taken seriously.

Each round had a winner… the same one. And the overall competition had a runner up and a winner, who happened to win the two rounds. It was terribly confusing, especially because I know one of the other ladies had a better something at one point. But whatever, the results are what they are.

Pole dancing – a new women’s revolution. Well, there are men getting into it, but I don’t know how that’s going to take among the mainstream world.

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