Encyclopedia of dance: Pole dance


Pole dance is often mistakenly associated exclusively with striptease, although this direction is a dance discipline in its own right.

The idea of ​​pole dancing in modern society is ambiguous. Some reproachfully claim that this is an unworthy occupation, a kind of striptease. And others — prove that this is an art form that has the right to exist and respect. For those who are not yet familiar with this type of dance, we suggest first of all to find out what pole dance really is, how it differs from erotic dances and why it is considered a full-fledged independent direction that has millions of fans around the world.

History of dance

The first mention of the prototypes of the pole dance was noted many hundreds of years ago. Tales of people using the pole for dancing or strength training are found in the legends and myths of ancient Sumerian culture, Egypt, Rome, and many other early civilizations.

However, real information about the emergence and development of the forerunners of pole dance concerns much later times. The story can begin around the 12th century AD, when the Mallakhamb culture, a form of yoga on a wooden pole, first appeared in India. Or from the time when another culture of Mallastambha was practiced in the same India, which involved training strength and endurance in young guys by doing tricks and exercises on a wooden pole.

The next step towards the emergence of pole dance can be considered the centuries-old work of circus acrobats. They not only borrowed the experience of previous cultures using the pole as a tool for tricks, but also developed the knowledge gained and invented something new. It should be noted that many tricks performed by circus acrobats on a pole are actively used in modern pole dance.

With the advent and development of striptease, striptease dancers began to use elements of pole dance. Thus, they showed a higher level of professionalism (erotic positions, demonstration of their virtues, etc.). It is believed that for the first time pole dance was used in striptease in Canada. But there is no reliable confirmation of this fact.

But, despite the fact that the «erotic» image is clearly tied to pole dancing, true connoisseurs and connoisseurs of pole dance are sure that pole dancing is an independent dance discipline that is not directly related to striptease.

In 2003, the first official pole dance competitions were held, and since then various regional and international pole dance competitions and championships have been actively held all over the world. Most often, girls take part in them, but there are also male categories. By the way, one of the rules of official competitions is a ban on explicitly sexual images, gestures and outfits.

What is pole dance?

The discipline of pole dance is a combination of dance elements and acrobatics. The main feature of this dance direction is that pole dance is danced “vertically”. This means that all elements of the dance are built around the pole, and not along the horizontal of the dance floor. The dance is performed on three main levels:

  • Upper level (the dancer performs tricks «under the ceiling» on the top of the pole)
  • Intermediate level (involves performing a variety of rotations around the pole — usually more than 360 degrees, overflights, and various elements that demonstrate plasticity and flexibility)
  • Lower level (dance on the floor around the pole, parterre)

The dance pole (pylon) is usually made of metal (stainless steel, titanium, copper) and has a cross-sectional circle with a diameter of 38 mm to 52 mm. The material for the manufacture of the pylon affects the accuracy of the elements (the degree of sliding, the degree of adhesion, etc.). It should also be noted that the pylon can be fixed and be static, or it can rotate around its axis. The second type of pylon is often used for performances to increase the level of showiness of spins.

Despite the apparent ease, pole dancing is a very difficult task. The dancer must have a high level of endurance, flexibility and plasticity. Also, to perform tricks, you need good coordination and dexterity. In addition, the dance requires very good physical preparation, endurance. The dancer must develop both the muscles of the upper body, which bear the load while holding his own body on the pole, as well as the back, abs and legs.

That is why when preparing dancers in pole dance schools, in addition to the ability to work on a pole, they teach a list of other disciplines that develop not only artistry, but also physical fitness. Among them:

  • Classics (work at the machine)
  • Strength training for pole dance
  • Go-Go Dance
  • Sexy Mix Dance
  • Booty Dance
  • Stretching
  • strip of plastic
  • Pilates and others

During the competition, dancers perform in two categories — «artistic» and «fitness». So the judges can appreciate both the artistry of the dancer and the possibilities of his body and skills in pole dance.

Dance with pleasure!

Author: Natalia Kay

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