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8 Ways to Deal with Pole Dance Haters

By on September 14, 2017

As pole makes its way into the mainstream, it’s becoming more widely accepted. Still, every pole dancer is eventually bound to cross paths with a pole dance hater. Pole dance haters are people who hold one or both of the following outdated beliefs:

  1. They think pole dancing has to be sexual all the time.
  2. They think human sexuality and anything associated with it is dirty and taboo.

So how should we handle pole dance haters? Read on to find out.

1. Expose them to the Many Diverse Styles of Pole

Ultimately, stigma surrounding human sexuality is at the root of the problem with many pole dance haters. On a broad level, we need to fight for the acceptance of all pole styles and stand by our sisters who strip. However, if Grandma is horrified when she finds out you’ve started taking pole fitness classes, this might be the quick fix you need. (Shout out to my grandma for being my number one pole fan!) The history of pole dance is varied, and the art form is only becoming more expansive. Beyond exotic pole dance, the art of pole is expanding to include pole fitness, circus performances, contemporary dance pieces, and even ballet dances.

2. Point out the Long Standing Relationship between Dance and Sexuality

For generations, dancing was used as a means to court and find a mate. Dance became a tool in the sexualization of women’s bodies long before it was done on a chrome pole. For these reasons, various cultures throughout history attempted to ban dancing all together. While styles of dance lie on a wide spectrum when it comes to overt sexuality, pole is far from the only form of dance with a sexual association. Would this pole hater have the same reaction if you started taking, for example, tango lessons?

3. Remind them Who we Dance for

(source: popsugar.com)

Even some feminists may have concerns about pole, arguing that it was developed as yet another way to use the female body as a tool for men’s pleasure. Most dancers dance for themselves, and some never perform or dance for anyone besides their teachers and classmates. Even those who do perform, regardless of the venue, dance because they love it, not because others love to watch. So clearly, pole is not danced for the benefit of men. Unless, of course, the dancer himself is a man.

 

4. Emphasize our Diverse Demographics

In fact, more and more men are learning pole dance. There are now men’s divisions in many pole competitions, men’s pole clothing brands, and men’s classes. Men tend to build upper body strength quickly, making them prime contenders for the sport. I’m not sure why men have to do something before it becomes socially acceptable, but that’s a whole other issue.

Furthermore, people of all ages are learning to pole. Unlike many sports, pole is inviting to beginners of all ages, so there’s no shame in starting as an older adult.

 

5. Share inspiring stories

You may have your own inspiring story to share, but if not, there’s plenty around the web! Pole dance has helped people improve both their mental and physical health. Plus, pole dance is one of the only strengthening activities that appeals specifically to women. Women are often discouraged from participating in strength based sports from an early age. Pole shows them just how strong their bodies can be.

6. There’s even religious pole dance groups

If they still don’t believe that pole dance has many purposes, maybe this video of women who pole for Jesus will help!

7. Bring them to class!

This may not always be an option, and please don’t bring them if they’re going to be rude to other students, but someone who’s slightly skeptical just might change their mind once they see for them self what taking a pole dance class actually means! Pole is both a great workout, and a great way to build strong community and quality relationships. At a good studio, students support and encourage one another as they experience positive changes mentally and physically, while having a great time!

8. Ignore them!

Whether you’ve tried everything you can, or you just don’t feel like dealing with the pole dance haters today, it’s totally acceptable to ignore them. Your pole journey is your own, so don’t let the haters get you down!

Do you have more ideas? Leave them in the comments!

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Alyssa Taubin

Alyssa Taubin

Alyssa is traveling the world to visit as many pole studios as possible and compile everything she learns to share with dancers like you. You can follow her pole dance tourism project at poledanceobsession.com/pole-dance-tourism/
Alyssa Taubin

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