It's unfortunate that pole dancing still has a huge stigma. I don't even realize it anymore. I am the lucky one who can talk about it openly with my family, friends and clients and since I am in the fitness field people tend to believe me when I say pole dancing is a form of fitness. I still get a few giggles from guys who I am sure picture a strip club when they hear "pole", and I still get a few judgmental looks from women who perceive it as something dirty, but mostly, people are starting to respect it as a sport. At least in the metropolitan areas people have heard by now about pole fitness competitions and championships that are being held all over the world and are realizing that pole dancing is an aerial art and a serious sport. But it can still be the elephant in the room.

 

Pretty much everyone in my pole community has a story of how they "came out" to their families, friends, co-workers. And some haven't yet, but would eventually like to.

 

The story usually goes something like this:

 

You find a pole dancing studio and fall in love with your new workout routine. You start feeling strong and sexy and people soon notice there is something different about you and start asking what you do. (Or perhaps some notice your bruises and are horrified you might be getting abused and demand an explanation of your "new look".) You really want to share your passion with them, show them the pictures and videos that are cluttering your phone and you are just dying to scream out "I pole dance!", but instead you say "I have found a new workout", or "I started taking dance classes" all because of a fear of being judged. I get it. You feel that some family members and friends are just not ready yet to hear that you are a pole dancer now. And several students of mine confessed that with coworkers it's even worse, you are downright afraid of being exposed at your workplace. The taboo is still there.

 

Pole dancing is slowly making a name for itself and I think the more we educate the public about our sport the sooner we can stop tiptoeing around what we do and say loud and proud "I pole dance and there is nothing wrong with it!" If you are passionate about your pole journey, please share your stories with us!