To all you fabulous ladies out there!

 

Isn’t it ironic, how pole fitness peeps are always defending the sport from its seedy, stripper reputation but that legit pole dance studios are still playing both sides of the fence by offering exotic classes… with really great interest, may we add?!

So, why are we still pushing exotic if we’re trying so hard to “disconnect” the raunchy side of pole?

We asked our Wonderland caterpillar for advice –

(Absolem, Wonderland’s blue caterpillar in our recent pole production A Feast of Flight: Alistair in Wonderland was performed by our exotic pole students: Leigh, Kelsey, Robynn and Dani, and exotic instructors: Leda and Kathy)

Leigh 

“In exotic pole, there is nowhere to hide”

  • Why did you choose to do exotic pole dance classes?

Initially, for the dance side. I wanted movement and flow to be a bigger part of my pole training and I felt that exotic would be a good way to bring it in.

I was intimidated and shy as all hell. The exotic ladies carried themselves with such confidence and fierceness, and I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to own it in the same way because of my own inhibitions. It’s been such a journey and I’ve never looked back!

  • How has exotic pole dance changed you?

Seven-inch heels will change anyone! 😉 Exotic has made me so much more comfortable with myself and helped me to really embrace my strong and feminine sensuality.

  • Would you encourage other women to do exotic pole dance and why?

For the majority of people, our ability to express ourselves sensually becomes so repressed by the pressure we put on ourselves to be “perfect” and by society’s definition of what is “appropriate”. We see all the flaws in ourselves rather than the beauty and try to hide all the things that we’re not “supposed” to be proud of. In exotic pole, there is nowhere to hide. You face yourself in the mirror, surrounded by incredible and supportive women all on the same journey as you. Initially, you’re just trying to learn routines. Then you start trying out the sassiness, but it feels like you’re faking it. Then your perception of yourself starts to change – you stop faking it and start actually feeling sexy, start accepting it and owning it, and start loving it. The confidence that you feel in those heels starts to become a part of who you are, and your self-acceptance and confidence begins to transcend the studio walls. Exotic pole empowers women to embrace the strong, physical and sensual side of themselves, and every woman deserves to feel that.

Robynn

“I’m more confident and respectful of my self-image”

  • Why did you choose to do exotic pole dance classes?

I watched other women do it and I wanted to move as fiercely and sensually as they did – it’s captivating to watch. The dancer holds the control.

There are very few opportunities in the world as I know it that provide people, particularly women, with the chance to explore their inner sensual being. Exotic offers this. Further, while pole is a sport it IS sexy and this aspect of it can’t be denied or masked – it should be embraced!

  • How has exotic pole dance changed you?

I’m more confident and respectful of my self-image and I’m comfortable with my body and attitude. I have complete freedom and ease in expressing my sexiness and I feel so much power in making myself the subject.

  • Would you encourage other women to do exotic pole dance and why?

I would! If you want to give yourself the chance to discover just how sexy you really are and how powerful that sexiness can be, try exotic dance.

Dani

“Who doesn’t want to feel like a vixen goddess”

  • Why did you choose to do exotic pole dance classes?

I chose to do an exotic pole class because it’s so sexy and intriguing, I just couldn’t help myself.

I have so much fun doing it but I think, more than anything, it has given me confidence which I know I would never have accessed if I had never tried it, continued and progressed to where I am now.

  • How has exotic pole dance changed you?

Exotic has changed me immensely! It gave me confidence, challenged me and pushed me to my limits – there were skills I needed to learn to make it look effortless.

Plus, it’s provided motivation to keep progressing physically, to keep my body moving and to be a better version of myself.

  • Would you encourage other women to do exotic pole dance and why?

Absolutely! And if they were willing to try, I would encourage them to keep at it after the first class – it gets easier, I swear! 

Do it because it gives you a reason to be sexy, the motivation to be better, a pass to have loads of fun and because…  who doesn’t want to feel like a vixen goddess who owns the world even if only for a few seconds?!

Leda 

“It is a great cardio workout, improves coordination and makes you feel empowered”

  • Why did you choose to do exotic pole dance classes?

I tried pole fitness back in 2014 and immediately fell in love with the pole community, but because I’ve trained in multiple styles of dance throughout my life, I was looking for

something that was more challenging and dance orientated – exotic pole was the answer.

I love combining beastly strength moves with the sensual side of dance.

  • How has exotic pole dance changed you?

Wow, it has given me so much confidence and taught me to accept my body with pride.

  • Would you encourage other women to do exotic pole dance and why?

100%.

It is a great cardio workout, improves coordination and makes you feel empowered.

Kathy

“It’s a powerful feeling and every woman needs to feel that”

  • Why did you choose to do exotic pole dance classes?

I had started pole dancing because of the combination of fitness and dance, and initially exotic pole dance appealed as an opportunity to explore the movement and flow side of pole dancing. Most women are

also intrigued by and attracted to the “sexy” side of pole dance, and I was no different.

I love how exotic pole dance combines the execution of crazy, interesting transitions, highly technical strength moves around the pole, with raw fierceness and seductive movement.

  • How has exotic pole dance changed you?

It helped me find my “identity” as a pole dancer. The nice thing about pole dancing is that it’s evolved into predominantly three different styles – sport, art and exotic, all of which coexist and continue to thrive side by side. We all have different strengths, and I know I will never be the one with the crazy acrobatic tricks, or the ex-ballerina now pole dancer with the flawless lines and perfect feet. Exotic pole dance has however allowed me to discover a style I truly love and flourish in, and really fires up my passion for pole; whenever I am feeling uninspired or like I’ve lost my “pole mojo”, I always come back to exotic. It is when I really feel like I am dancing for myself, true to my own style.

  • Would you encourage other women to do exotic pole dance and why?

Well that’s an obvious answer, which just leaves me to explain “why” 😉

Sexiness is an attitude. Which means everyone has it in them. What exotic pole does for you is that it forces you to shake off inhibitions or perceptions of what is “acceptable” or “appropriate”. It builds you up and empowers you with the confidence to embrace your strong and sensual side. It’s a powerful feeling and every woman needs to feel that.

Kelsey

“It is extremely gratifying and liberating if you allow yourself to embrace the freedom of movement that comes with this discipline”

  • Why did you choose to do exotic pole dance classes?

I’ve always wanted to be better at dancing, and it’s a big challenge for me to convince my body to do what my brain is asking it to. I wanted to be able to regularly practice a mind-body connection with regards to 

movement, and the challenge exotic pole presents is two-fold, in terms of remembering choreo but also utilising strength and flexibility skills that are intrinsic to pole dancing. I love the combination of skill sets involved in the art form. I’m also not particularly graceful, so it’s nice to have the opportunity to practice that as well.

  • How has exotic pole dance changed you?

Learning to feel music and letting it guide my movements requires using a part of my brain that I am not that familiar with. So exotic pole has changed me in helping me to exercise – and strengthen – parts of my mind that weren’t regularly used. I get insanely excited when I feel like I’m growing more competent or skilled at anything physical, and it’s a huge victory when moves or choreography become “easier” to pick up.

  • Would you encourage other women to do exotic pole dance and why?

F*ck yeah! It’s an amazing chance to take stock of your body. What works, what doesn’t. What hurts, what doesn’t. Your focus also shifts from pure aesthetic concerns to aspects such as movement, or tuning in to how effectively your body is working as a tool, and what you can do to help it move and work better. It can be a huge challenge, especially when this is something your body is unfamiliar with. But it is extremely gratifying and liberating if you allow yourself to embrace the freedom of movement that comes with this discipline.

Photographs all taken by Lindsey Appolis.