I’ve always been kind of obsessed with music videos, and since I’m now kind of obsessed with pole dance, I thought: why not do a top 10 list of Pole Dance in Music Videos?! And you know what: it was harder than I thought: there are a lot of rad pole dance music videos out there! So to narrow the list, I tried to choose a diverse group of music and video genres, that didn’t just have cool pole dance alone, but were also really cool and interesting from a non-pole dance perspective. And to make some sense of it all, I’ll be listing them in chronological order.
So, let’s get going!
1. Motley Crue: Girls Girls Girls
From 1987, this video is 80’s fantastic. It’s been said that this genre of hair metal and this video specifically helped popularize the idea of poles in strip clubs and influenced the party strip club vibes we’re familiar with today. Long before the days of pole studios, these women showed us how to work the pole with just some spins and swag, and made it look hella fun at the same time.
2. Hole: Violet
Fast forward to the grunge era of 1994, and we have this aesthetically awesome 1920’s-styled strip club video by ex-stripper herself, Courtney Love and her band, Hole. In this video, burlesque dancers (who were actually strippers from Jumbo’s Clown Room in Los Angeles) shimmy and bump and grind on a pole in front of a leering audience. Juxtaposed with young ballerinas, this video was apparently created as a statement about dancing as an art form verse dancing for the sake of others' visual and sexual gratification.
3. Dr. Dre: The Next Episode
Another flash forward, and we’re now in the year 2000 with west coast rapper Dr. Dre’s video, The Next Episode. This video is an early example—and shall we say pioneering video—of the throwing money in the strip club format that we’re so familiar with today, as we see dancers on poles throughout the club with money and champagne raining from the sky. That being said, these dancers are werkin’ it, and we see early tricks including inverts and leg hangs on stage.
4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: More News from Nowhere
We’re now in 2008, and brooding Aussie musician Nick Cave and his band The Bad Seeds feed our indie rock pole dance fantasies with this admittedly long but cool & hipster-y video that takes place during what must be the slow shift at some kind of gentleman’s club. No raining dollar bills here though. Instead it’s mostly disinterested business men and bored bar patrons, but the multiple pole dancers spread throughout the club keep things fun and quirky.
5. Nero: Guilt
This is around the time in 2011 when I feel like pole dancers really started to bring their A-game and take center stage of music videos. This video features the hot and talented British pole dancer, Lucy Cork, and takes place in some futuristic club where she is entertaining an important looking business man with her bomb ass pole skills. Other than the jaw-dropping pole, this video offers lots of flashing lights, fantastic editing, and a fun surprise ending.
6. Lil’ Kim: Work the Pole
Another gem from 2011, but this time Lil’ Kim aka Sweet Chiffon is her Queen Bee, nasty self in this animated video where she is extremely phenomenal at working the pole! Making all the other animated strippers jealous with her skills, the crowd of sleezy looking men love it, and the entire 2 minutes is so fun and strangely cute despite the Rated R content!
7. Diplo: Laserdisk Party Sex
Probably the most well known and respected pole dance music video within the pole community—and for good reason—the concept of this 2012 video by Diplo was to display the artistry of “beautiful, strong women dancing on an infinite pole in outer space.” Nailed it! Look out for lots of major pole stars including Nadia Sharif, Crystal Belcher, Kyra Johannessen, Mina Mechanic, Michelle Stanek, and Marlo Fisken.
8. Ne-Yo: She Knows
This video from 2015 also some has some amazing pole stars including Pink Puma and Nicole the Pole Williams, and basically, the premise is that wherever this dude goes, from the super market to the library to a public park, there are always women dancing on poles. According to Ne-Yo, this song and video is about women who are confident and aware of their sex appeal… something he claims is a God given power that all women have. Amen, Ne-Yo!
9. Rae Sremmurd: Throw Some Mo
So at this point, in 2015, the throwing money on strippers at the club thing isn’t very novel, however, in this video, all the dancers are on roller skates! Plus, we get some Nikki Minaj! Expect lots of fun booty work and impressive pole skills, and a killer showing by video vixen Candace Cane, one of my first pole dance teachers and the first guest on my Pole Parlour podcast!
10. The Giraffes: Washing Machine
And last but not least, this is a trippy video from 2016 follows a couple of drugged out club kids and a sexually depraved hasidic man around New York City, and we see all the hilarity that ensues. But the best part of this video is when poler Aggie Ng strips down to her skivvies and pulls out some dope acro and pole skills on the New York City subway.
So there you have it! Now, as I said, those are MY top 10 favorite. And there’s a very small chance that your list will be the same of mine, especially since there were so many good pole dance music videos that pained me to leave out! So, I’ve created a larger YouTube playlist that includes all of these videos plus more if you’re interested in exploring. But more importantly: what are your favorite pole dance music videos?! Comment below, and if I haven’t already, I’ll add it to the playlist!