The Pole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

IMG_1247One week ago the sexy ladies of LAM Comadres got together to learn the sensual art of pole dancing. Let me begin by saying that the girls and I had an amazing time. Champagne, 6” stilettos, private class, and the studio all to ourselves…what more could we ask for. Oh yeah…an amazing, vibrant, and supportive group of women.

For those ladies who have never taken a pole dancing class I can already imagine the stereotypes crossing your mind.  I know this because I went into my first class with those very same stereotypes. It conjures the images of a half-naked stripper performing naughty tricks on a pole while men are throwing money at her. Pole dancing carries a very negative connotation in both the minds of men and women.

I remember feeling so uncomfortable in my first class. Every movement, every touch, every caress was a struggle. It was a constant fight between what my mind was telling is good and what is bad – the inner war between being a saint or a sinner. As I went through the class and observed the other ladies and the instructors feeling so confident and comfortable I began to feel more relaxed but it really got me thinking. Why was I feeling so embarrassed and even slightly ashamed?

Being Latina we certainly have the Madonna/Whore complex more ingrained in us than most other cultures. Our religion, beliefs, upbringing, and traditions really “perpetuate the good girl/bad girl split that is so pervasive in our culture.”  This has really led us to shut down our bodies and “keep our sexuality in chains.”

In every woman lies a temptress waiting to be unleashed. “The temptress is an important part of a healthy female psyche because she puts us in touch with our bodies and our sexuality, both of which inform us about who we are, and what we desire.” So, why do we feel like we have to choose to be one or the other? We shouldn’t have to. What we need is to seek a balance between our civilized side and our primal side. We need to fulfill both in order to obtain becoming a full woman…a whole woman.

So, how does pole dancing help us in our exploration of our inner temptress? It is for all women, of all ages, body types, and walks of life. It is an art form that works with the natural shape and curves of a woman. Pole dancing boosts our self-esteem by allowing us to explore our femininity and express our sensuality in a safe and nurturing environment. It helps us learn to overcome our own inhibitions.

“Any movement that allows a woman to live fully in her body and her sexuality without shame is going to empower her.”

The next time you have an opportunity to take a pole dancing class, do it. Go in with no preconceived notions and just let go. You will be amazed at how liberated and empowered you will feel.

*All quotes taken from a personal interview:

Griffin Sterrett, Claire. “Interview with Sheila Kelley”. 22 April 2010