July 9th, 2005

back - photo by Rayce

why a dancing a pole is like a lover

Last night I danced for the first time ever on a brass dancing pole. I've danced on a polished stainless steel pole (the one I have at home), on one that's chrome plated, on a couple metal poles of different texture of which one was a spinning pole.

This is what I have discovered: poles are like the human body. No two are exactly alike. Their different textures and sizes not only make each one a completely different experience, but require a different touch, speed and pressure to bring about the most harmonious dance. I've learned to approach poles with reverence because each one holds the promise of a graceful, beautiful union that gives pleasure not just to me but to those who watch...or it can be misread or rushed into, resulting in serious injury.

The brass pole I danced on last night seemed to hold body oils in a way that made the hands stick to it. It didn't have the give that allowed the glide and speed of a stainless steel pole. Yet at the same time, it proved difficult to get body parts like ankles and the inside of knees to stick to enough to easily spin around. Instead, it seemed to repel me. There was more than one occasion when I felt my legs almost fly off the pole. So there I was trying to spin with too much resistance beneath my hands and not enough hold beneath the skin of my legs. I adapted, and slowly let the pole dictate the pressure and strength of my grip. And much to my joy and surprise, the larger girth of the pole and the stickiness of the brass allowed for the most graceful and acrobatic inverted tricks ever. With more ease than ever, I could wrap my ankles around the pole and simply let go with my hands. Unlike the steel pole, there was no sliding downward toward the floor. I hung for a bit there like a bat just enjoying this new sensation until I finally relaxed my ankles just enough to gently slide toward the floor. It was like taking a new lover and discovering something wonderful and new I could do with them that I have yet to discover or experience in quite that way with any other.