Pole dancing is perhaps finding it difficult to gain social acceptance and the respect it deserves as a dance form and as a great workout, given the negative connotations that are associated with it. The perception we have of pole dancing is very much influenced by how the mass media has chosen to portray it. Much of what we see of pole dancing in the movies, immediately gives us the impression of gyrating scantily clad women taking off their clothes on a dimly lit bar top or floor, such as was the case in the 1996 movie Striptease starring Demi Moore. More recently, the recent exposé stirring the controversy surrounding this year’s Miss USA, Rima Fakih, revolves around the perception that is created by such movies, however innocent it may have been.
I recently had an opportunity to have my own perceptions changed of the dance form, having been invited to do a photo shoot of a group of graduating pole dancers. So, armed with my trusty camera, I braved my way around the swirling mass of women who seemed to defy gravity with their every move in the pink glow of the studio. On another day, the pink glow may have masked the blush that would have been brought about by the embarrassment of being in the company of women with muscles in places where I did not seem to have any, but the distraction offered by the sight of the fluid and graceful movements around the pole was enough to make me forget about my embarrassment. While there is an element of sexiness in some of the moves that were made by the women, much of the routines they did would certainly require a great deal of skill and strength, as is evident in the well toned bodies of the pole dancers that would be the envy of many. I was told that many who do join in the classes, do it for the great workout pole dancing provides – especially for the abs and upper body.
Interestingly, pole dancing has been growing in popularity in Singapore, something that was quite ignorant about, and featured in last year’s National Day Parade (not without controversy)! There certainly isn’t much I can find wrong with men (yes men do it too!) and women in figure hugging and what some would say, skimpy outfits, dancing around a pole. If we are to see this as a sleazy activity that should be confined to adults only bars, then I guess we shouldn’t be watching sports such as diving, gymnastics and even beach volleyball as well. There would be those who would be inspired by the great bodies that you see in the photographs, and if you are, you can certainly work your way towards it too! You can sign up for lessons at Bobbi’s Pole Studio, which is at the former Catholic High School building in Queen Street. Do visit their website for further information: www.bobbispolestudio.com.sg. For those who are need a little convincing, one hour trial lessons are also offered at the studio.
More photographs from the pole dancing classes at Bobbi’s …