Pole-Dancing & Raunch Culture

I have wanted to try pole-dancing for a really long time. When I first heard that it was the new ‘fitness craze’, I passed it off as more of the same rubbish, but the more of it I see, the more appealing it becomes.

If you want proof that pole-dancing requires strength, fitness & grace, watch this (& be astounded):

Damn, she’s good.

I think my primary reason for wanting to do pole-dancing is that I have always been attracted to sports which are graceful & feminine but which kick your ass at the same time. (Hmmm, that sums up a lot of my life…) Gymnastics, trapeze, pole-dancing, yoga, butoh & cheerleading all fit into that category, & I’ve done all of them (except cheerleading, but not for lack of wanting to!).

I have wanted to take up pole-dancing for an incredibly long time. A friend of mine, Nadia, upon hearing this, suggested that we go along together, but then said, “And then there’s the whole moral dimension – would a pole-dancing class actually be buying into what Ariel Levi calls ‘raunch culture?'”

I saw her the day after she made this comment & we discussed the ‘raunch culture’ thing a little bit. My take on it is this. People should do what they want to do, as long as it makes them happy, & doesn’t involve maiming anyone else. It might be a simple philosophy, but it works for me. I think trying to constantly revolt against one agenda or another is very tiring & counter-productive. I don’t feel like I need to make a strong statement against the patriarchy by refusing to bake, if baking brings me pleasure. If I had a husband who expected me to be chained to the oven, making cakes & birthin’ babies, yes, I’d be doing something about it, but that’s not the life I live.

It might be a bit simplistic, but I think being happy is a pretty strong political statement.

Thoughts? (& anyone who’s given pole-dancing a go, let us know whether it works for you!)