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Off The Floor: A Pole Dancing Film Review

By on September 18, 2014

Cast: Jessica Anderson-Gwin, Sarah Mann & Jagged company members.

Directors: Katherine Celia, Matthew Celia

Synopsis: “What would you do to share your passion and vision with the world? OFF THE FLOOR is a feature length documentary about the emerging art of contemporary pole dance and how it has evolved from its origins in strip-clubs into a movement of feminine empowerment and self-expression. Through the personal journey of one dancer and her visionary dance company, the film explores what it takes to share your artistic vision with the world and bring your dreams to life.”

While I was excited to screen and review the movie OFF THE FLOOR because I had heard some buzz about the film (but honestly didn’t know much about the dance company Jagged), I was nervous as well. Some of the other pole documentaries I have watched were not well structured, with low production value and didn’t really engage me as a viewer. OFF THE FLOOR was a pleasant surprise!

The movie begins with stylized, beautiful camera work as the Jagged company is filmed performing an artistic opening. It’s a perfect bubble, a tiny moment in time that is immediately burst as the film cuts to Jessica Anderson-Gwin’s attempts to book a space for her company to perform. It isn’t easy. We watch as Jessica struggles with the reality that pole dancing is not received in the best light nor looked at as an artistic endeavor but as a strip club pastime.otf-006

Jessica is a fun, lighthearted woman who breathes energy and comedy into the film. Trained in hip-hop and modern dance with a passion for pole dancing, she wants to build a company and share her artistic version of pole dancing with the world. She wants her pole dance company to be different, to tell a story and center around group performances – not individual ones. With a few bumps and setbacks along the way, we follow Jessica and her dream while her dance company, Jagged, performs and matures. We also get to see Jessica mature as well. She starts her journey teaching the women pole in her tiny bedroom, then move to a loft in Crenshaw. We watch a disappointing television audition, we watch her leave Los Angeles to start Jagged South, and then return back to LA to rejoin the original company and open her own pole studio. Jessica and the movie are always moving forward.Still Frame 7

The producers have managed to create a documentary that stands on its own, regardless of the subject matter. Additional interesting moments in the movie come from a few interviews with some of our current day pole “stars” and seeing the perspective of the company dancers that were dancers first and pole dancers second. There were a few awkward moments in the film, where there was an effort made to remind the audience that pole dancing isn’t stripping, nor is it is seedy. This may be helpful for an audience unfamiliar with pole, but the artistry shown in the film and the story already does a great job of dispelling this notion. Personally, I like to think that pole dancing has something for everyone and that different styles appeal to different people, so I found those reminders to be unnecessary. Technically the film was shot well and I felt the pacing of the first half of the film was perfect. I thought the second half of the film could have moved faster.

OTF_Poster_CMYKv2_sm-691x1024All in all, despite those minor shortcomings, OFF THE FLOOR is an extremely interesting, well crafted, and even at times humorous look into a different side of the pole dance performance world. I enjoyed the film a lot. It is a good documentary that I believe both pole dancing fans and non-polers can enjoy. It’s definitely something to check out!

You can find more info about the film here at their official website.

I would love to know what you think of the film! veruca blue gold glitter


Veruca Blue
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Veruca Blue

"Veruca Blue calls Southern California her home. You can find her learning to fly in her studio or read more of her adventures at "
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