When I started pole dancing a few years ago, I found pole as a hobbie, a way to make friends and a very welcoming environment to get involved in. For me, it has taken on a more serious aspect of my life, as now I compete and run the pole dancing club, but I do also feel that in general the pole dancing community as a whole has seen a serious and more ‘political’ change. A few years ago I had never heard of or thought about ‘pole politics’ but it seems that not a day goes by when I don’t see a pole related argument on social networks, be that in relation to local rivalry, competitions, showcases or just a general lack of support for peoples success. I could not even relate this blog to any issue in particular because there really is just so many things which happen that have lead me to this concern, that the pole dancing community is almost losing its supportive and open armed characteristics.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I understand that for many pole is life, be that through sheer love, peoples actual careers or for professional competitors what they live and breathe for every day, and that with this comes strong emotions and opinions on issues related to such a huge aspect of life. What I am concerned about is the consequences or negative impacts that such fierce rivalry, arguments and generally negative feelings towards others may have on the pole community spirit, and what it may look like to the outside world. For example, when I see football clubs fighting each other it makes me feel slightly negative about football, and whilst pole issues aren’t currently as huge as that, surely from the outside looking in it may not look as much of an appealing and life beneficiating sport as we all know it to be. Let us not forget, everything we post on these sites can be viewed by our friends, family and the general public, who may already have misinformed judgements of the pole world.
I just feel like we should be encouraging more friendships, communication and bridge building, as we share such an amazing sport together and it is those that believe we don’t deserve the recognition of a legitimate sports that we need to be challenging, not each other. I want to see less negativity and more pole jams, more nationwide competitions and more people willing to support each other’s success and be a shoulder to cry on when things go wrong. That is what pulled me into the world of pole, and it is the support of my pole friends that keep me going when I’m struggling to challenge myself and feel ready to hang up my heels and spankys.
This is not fuel to the fire to create a debate about the situations/people/stories behind all the current issues in the pole community, it is to maybe make us all sit back and think about what we bring to the pole world and think how even the smallest things we do or say can make a difference to the spirit of pole dancing.