Sooooooo... I've decided to start a YouTube channel! I’ve really enjoyed doing the podcast over the past year or so (like, a lot), and plan to continue doing so. But depending on others to CREATE can be limiting... there is just so much shit I’m interested in and would love to chat about on a whim (and on my own... EEK!) Plus, I’ll admit, I’m getting sucked into this whole figuring out how to video edit thing. And I'm already a YouTube freak.
The intention is to create fun, engaging videos that, as the Pole Parlour motto says, "preach creativity, soulful sensuality, and empowerment through pole and erotic dance." The maiden video is the "Top 10 Reasons to Take Pole and Erotic Dance Classes." Admittedly, it's a bit long and could use some improvement, but as with dance, you can't get better until you put in the werk and put yourself out there! So if YouTube and pole/sensual dance chat is your thing, I would definitely appreciate your support by subscribing to the channel!
Though I don't intend to do this moving forward, since I have a (not word-for-word, but close enough) transcript of the video, I am sharing below!
I started taking pole and erotic dance classes in the Spring of 2013, and I know I speak for many people when I say that it has without a doubt changed my life for the better. I’ve done all types of movement over the years: yoga, running, swing dance, crossfit, pilates, kickboxing, kundalini, dance cardio… and they all served me… but I wouldn’t call any of them life changing! The transformative experience of pole and erotic dance is something that’s hard to put into words, but I’m going to try with this top 10 list.
But before I begin, let me define what I mean by pole and erotic dance. Here I’m defining erotic dance as dance movement that is seductive and sexual in nature and intent. So there are many different styles of pole—including fitness, sport, and art—but the style I’m speaking to today is the style that fits into the erotic category of dance. Other forms of erotic dance include striptease, burlesque, chair/lap dance, styles of twerking, sexy floor work, certain styles of stiletto hip hop, etc.
So let’s jump into it…
#1: So this is the one that I think is most synonymous with women doing pole dance and exploring their sexuality, and it’s empowerment! Specifically, the empowerment that comes from being in complete ownership of one’s own feminine, sensual powers. For the record, this is the complete opposite of sexual objectification, which has been the dominant force behind female sexuality for so long. But guess what: we’re taking our sexual power back. And the way we’re doing that is by releasing the social stigma of sexuality being shameful or negative, which of course has been the message forced down our throats by society—of course unless it’s being expressed for male consumption or corporate gains—and instead we’re celebrating and respecting the power of our sexuality. Truth is, we’re not taught to feel the power of our sexuality, so we have to learn. Which brings me to my next point…
#2: Pole and erotic dance classes are the perfect place to explore all this sensuality! Dance studios are safe, nurturing environments where you can let loose, feel the music, and let the movement flow through you. At first, it’s awkward. And uncomfortable. But then your primal instincts kick in, you realize no one is judging you, and you figure out how to transfer all that explosive, sexual energy into dynamic movement. It’s beautiful. But admittedly, a tough thing to explore on your own. Having the support of a trained teacher and the encouragement of classmates helps you come into your own power. When women are given an opportunity to explore the physical and creative capabilities of their bodies in a safe, empowering environment, they seriously learn to recognize the strength and beauty they possess.
#3: Once you come into this empowerment, along comes a strong sense of self love, something that so many of us have lacked our entire lives! So back to that whole sexual objectification thing: we’ve been programmed through media and society to believe that sexy is one thing: it’s young, it’s skinny, it’s big boobed, it’s expensive, it’s quote unquote flawless. But we’re starting to call bullshit on this. All humans are beautiful, and all humans are sexy in their own unique way. The problem is that we’ve been told what sexy is our entire lives, rather than actually knowing how sexy feels. It’s time we stopped allowing society to dictate to us how we should look and act and feel. And the way we do this is being okay with ourselves and having that self-love and feeling empowered, and these are qualities that come from taking pole and erotic dance classes. When a woman understands how it FEELS to be empowered, no projected “idealized” version can make her believe she is otherwise.
#4: Love and acceptance for yourself, equals love and acceptance towards others. As they say, our judgement of others is just a mirror and extension of our own self-judgment. It’s so gross to see women breaking other women down based on their looks or life choices or whatever. But I personally always remind myself that these kind of people just lack love for themselves, so are expressing this insecurity by hating on others. When we learn to feel confident with our thick thighs, or cellulite or flat chest or big ears or whatever, we find that we stop being critical of the imperfections in others. And honestly, this just makes for a more loving, tolerant society as a whole.
#5: Taking pole and erotic dance classes is an amazing way to meet new friends as an adult! When you’re younger, it’s easy to meet new people: you’re in school, or you’re out partying, or your starting new jobs, or whatever. But when you get older, life is different. People move. People marry off. And sometimes we find ourselves missing close friendships. In comes the dance studio! Here is an opportunity to meet other cool, open-minded, bad ass friends like yourself! It’s just different from a fitness or educational class. There is vulnerability and rawness in pole and exotic dance classes that creates a bond between all participants. It’s truly a sisterhood, and I can say unequivocally, I’ve created some of my deepest, most meaningful friendships of my life in my 30s in this way.
#6: We touched on our friendships, now how about our relationships?! Well, I think this comes as no surprise, but taking pole and erotic dance classes makes you a better lover! But maybe not as one would think. It has nothing to do with learning specific techniques or getting super flexible. Rather, it’s the result of feeling more confident in your own skin. Confidence is sexy as hell. Who wants to romp with someone who is preoccupied just thinking about themselves and that they are somehow inadequate naked?! Not hot. But even more importantly, taking pole and erotic classes teaches you to be open to being more playful and explorenew things! According to Women’s Health, 59% of men and women say they want to make their sex lives more playful and fun. And in pole and erotic dance classes, we learn just that. We explore. We feel okay touching ourselves. We gain confidence standing in front of a class in booty shorts and a bralette. We try different ways of moving. We may even use props or perform for our classmates. According to another study, most women are NOT satisfied with their sex lives. And it’s time to change that.
#7: Taking pole and erotic dance classes give you and excuse to buy cute sexy clothes and shoes, and a reason to wear them! Enough said.
#8: Just because it isn’t a fitness class, doesn’t mean it doesn’t help you get in shape! Swinging around a pole, crawling around the floor, holding isolated poses, dancing feverishly to music… it’s a damn workout! You’ll see physical results, and pole and erotic dance classes—in my opinion—are way more fun than grinding at a gym.
#9: In addition to benefiting your physical health, pole and erotic dance can also positively affect your emotional and spiritual health! There have been countless studies to support that dance movement helps reduce stress, increase the feel-good hormone serotonin, improves brain health, and boosts your mood. But beyond that, people have been dancing since the dawn of time, and in many historic cultures, dance is integrally connected to spirituality. The rhythmic movement found in pole and erotic dance is a key way to connect with a higher energy source, and some even argue, reach a higher level of consciousness. As prolific modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham said, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”
#10: And finally, when you take pole and exotic dance classes, you become part of a community of empowered, open-minded, bad ass women and men from around the world! Let’s keep it real: as a society, the whole idolization of celebrities and socialites has become absurd. We focus on these people. We make them rich. We even make them president. And I’d argue that these are not the type of people we should be giving our attention too. I truly think that when we find a tribe of people we can admire and relate to, we stop feeding into vapid, oftentimes negative, media culture. Instead, we spend time connected with like-minded individuals who share our same passions. In this instance, we share pole videos instead of clips from reality television. Or we are inspired by voluptuous, outspoken burlesque dancers instead of silent waif models in magazines. We see an imperfect person doing something imperfect online and we applaud their efforts rather than trolling them and posting hate filled comments. Community is everything, and I truly believe that the pole and erotic dance community is such a positive, passionate, loving force to be a part of.
I hope to go into these topics more in-depth in future videos, but for now, that was an overview of my top 10 reasons to take pole and erotic dance classes. Pole and erotic dance is for people of all ages, genders, cultures, and background… if you haven’t yet, I hope this video encourages you to look up your local studio and give it a try! Have you taken erotic dance and pole classes, and have something to add to the list? Comment below! I’d love to hear from you :)