The Big Apple in April: tulips everywhere, spring showers. I went to New York to face a fear: the erotic aspect of dancing. I wanted to face it up front, so that when I go to learn tango and belly dance – even the two-step in Texas – I’ll have owned and gained some comfort with the voluptuous and flirtatious elements of dancing. At Body & Pole – reputed as the mecca of pole dancing in New York – students of all kinds (young and old, big and small, lean and round, cis and trans, etc. etc.) come to get more comfortable with their body – and celebrate it.
Classes eliminate sexual projection, creating a safe space for students to experiment and play with empowered movement. In windowless studios with mirrored walls, wooden floors, and half a dozen gleaming steel poles, instructors demonstrate moves – and then dim the lights, turn up the music, turn on the club lights that paint the room in pinks and purples and blues, and let the students find their own styles and rhythms.
Just from following along with hip warm-ups and practicing body waves in a safe environment, I learned life-changing truths about sexuality and power – so difficult to learn in a hypersexualized and misogynistic society. Pole dancing gave me my sexuality back. It’s also huge fun and a great workout.
With the confidence I’ve gained from ballet and pole dancing, I’m excited to join in some fun social dancing next month, when I fly to Dublin for Irish set dancing!