I know the problem with pole dancing. It's the pole. A simple cylinder of
metal, but boy does it have the power to fire people up. Usually for all the wrong reasons.
Problem is, for many, it's less a physical piece of kit, and more a potent symptom of whatever social ill one wants to fling at it, from the corruption of kids to international people trafficking (yes I've read these and worse in many media pieces on the pole).
Obviously this is partly due to pole dancing's erotic origins, which gave the pole the brainless symbolism it still has today. However, in an age of sound-bites, rapid-fire turnaround of copy and commercial pressure to shift product, such prejudices are largely due to the continued ignorance and industrial-strength journalistic laziness of the Press.
Over the last 4-5 years, significant numbers of instructors and performers have made deliberate efforts to distance themselves from the adult pole dance sector. They do this by aligning themselves determinedly to the fitness industry, by focussing on the artistry, technicality and immense physical discipline of pole dancing, by presenting themselves in the workout gear of the gym and by leaving any 'suggestive' moves firmly at the studio door.
This is the reality for many people who pole dance today. It couldn't be further removed from what goes on at Stringfellows.
However, real as it may be, it seems modern fitness pole dancing does not good copy make. So, when Sam Remmer from The Art of Dance took her beautiful and gymnastic display of the art to a local College in Devon, promoting pole as an alternative means of exercise, the media leapt into action, and cranked out the same old reactionary prejudices. Inevitably, within a day the story went international.
So, sleazy pole dancing? You decide:
I admire Sam for having to take all this on the chin, for sticking to her guns in not removing the internet video, and for laughing at The Sun who called her a 'busty brunette' (the poor guys just can't help themselves, can they?!)