The answer, I think, is that people are drawn to it because it is something different, a different culture, a different way of being. It’s not like just playing music. It’s a whole other thing.
How did you get interested in pole dancing?
For me pole dancing started, at the very beginning, with a guy I had an affinity for. It wasn’t something I came up with. I had a fascination with the body that was so big that I couldn’t figure out the mechanics of it for several years. I became interested in the sport when he told me I could teach someone how to pole dance. I had done several dance classes before, but I had never really been active in it. After a few years I was able to teach it, and he said I would become very successful. I had to travel a lot to participate in the pole dancing. I moved to Europe and I moved back to the United States for a couple years, but the opportunities there were very limited as far as my work was concerned. One day I was at the pole dance class, and there was a woman who was on a pole and she said something to me that stuck with me. I said, “Do you know what that is?” She said, “It’s the ‘Hollywood girl.'”
So they were wearing black and white?
When she was on stage she was wearing black and white and she was dancing with a white pole…I’ve been in the game for almost thirty years and it really hit me that it wasn’t going to be me. It was going to be someone else who didn’t have to wear a costume, who didn’t have to dance as much.
The original version of your performance art piece “You can’t take me out of pole dance”:
“So that was the inspiration.”
You were originally going to use a pole. It was going to be the center piece of the piece and you’d have something between the pole and the audience to hold.
At first I didn’t want to use a pole, because I didn’t want to go too heavy with it. I didn’t want to do something that was like being in a circus costume or a circus act. A lot of it is about the environment you’re in and how people are, so I thought I would show a lot more emotion through a body rather than just a pole because there’s a lot more that goes into it to make a pole more than just a piece
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