History of Pole and Exotic Dance

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History of Pole and Exotic Dance

Post  honey on Wed May 28, 2008 1:19 am


I thought I would share this with everyone, because its important to understand the beginnings of an art form so we can all appreciate it and contribute positively to its growth.

This has been around a lot longer than many of us would think, but how did pole dancing originate and where did come from? The form of pole dance we know today and its origins can be traced back to exotic performance dance arts.

The first recorded striptease dates back to a myth from ancient Sumerian times involving Inanna, the Goddess of Love, and her descent into the underworld to find her lover Damouz. At each of the seven gates, she removed an article of clothing or a piece of jewellery. As long as Inanna remained in hell, the earth was barren. When she returned, the earth again became abundant and fruitful. Some believe this myth evolved in the 'Dance of the Seven Veils' of Salome from the bible.

The bible records Salome's dance but the first mention of removing veils rises from Oscar Wilde's play of 'Salome' in 1883. Some have claimed this to be the origin of modern striptease, but other influences may have come from Parisian times and the Moulin Rouge striptease through to Middle Eastern belly dancing and American burlesque.

Today many women learn the arts of Belly Dancing and dancing with Veils. Belly Dancing has been carried over from these legendary events. The skill have traveled from ancient Sumeria and into the Asia counties. It is understood to have been picked up by the gypsies who brought Belly Dancing through Europe.

The ancient Middle Eastern belly dance was thought to induce fertility in women and to strengthen their bodies in preparation for childbirth.

Throughout history there have been many forms of dance emerging. Many formed from sensual roots and bringing with them much controversy.

Another sensual form of dance, Rumba, is a dance of enticement and teasing. The tango originated in brothels of ancient Argentina. 'Gouchos' would arrive after working in the fields and the girls would entice them into going upstairs through dancing with their heads turned slightly to avoid the smell.

In the early 1900s the strip tease dance was added to burlesques shows to entice men to return. These featured famous strippers including Gypsy Lee Rose. Traveling tent shows had strip tease acts. The smaller tent dancers started to use the pole in the tent's centre to dance around. These tents became known as the dance pole tents.

Another idea of where pole dance actually started is linked to the Maypole. This Pagan ritual was seen by some as a phallic symbol which may explain why some link it to the pole dancing we know now.

The earliest recorded pole dance was in 1968 with a performance by Belle Jangles at Mugwump strip joint in Oregon.

Today's pole dancing craze is believed to have started in Canada in the 1980's in exotic table dancing and lap dance clubs. Fawnia Mondey, originally from Canada, is one of the worlds first pole dancing champions. During the 1990's Fawnia started teaching pole dancing to every day women. She produced the very first instructional pole dancing DVD.

Pole dancing quickly spread to the US followed by the rest of the world, helped by multi corporations such as Spearmint Rhino. Pole dancing is recognized throughout the world including Europe, Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and NOW MALAYSIA!

Lap dancing clubs in the UK grew in 1990's featuring pole dancing on stage. Since 2000 onwards pole dancing has become more acceptable by the general public.

Pole dancing as we know it today involves dancing around a vertical pole. The old ancient strip tease became a forerunner to the modern updated variation. Pole dancing provides a display of acrobatics and strength, combined with a combination of sensual, flowing, feminine dance movements to form the art of pole dancing we now know and recognize.

The modern form of pole dancing has only been documented since the 1980's, yet the origins appear to go back many years prior to this. Only in recent years has pole dancing become more acceptable. The stigma attached to this art may be one of the reasons why the dance appears to have little history documented and appears to have been 'underground' for many years.

More recently, pole dancing has again evolved from something performed in a strip-related environment to an art form in itself, performed in various environments from more mainstream theatre to cabaret to corporate conventions. Competitions are now run on both national and international levels, showcasing pole dancing on its own without nudity; pole dancing is now perceived by many to be a stand-alone art.

There are those who lay more significance on pole dancing being a sport; some who are even attempting to have it recognized as an Olympic event. Certainly this emphasis serves to have pole dancing recognized as something more than simply a sleazy practice. It seems to take time for the general public to embrace a phenomenon such as this, so associated with what is taboo; and presenting it as a means of achieving fitness has brought about a huge interest in pole dancing as a “regular” activity for the everyday person.

Even without removing any covering, pole dancing’s sensual and suggestive movements seem to be providing us with a means of expression healthy for both mind and body.

And while people everywhere argue about the nature of “women power” and the revolution in women’s sexuality and freedom of expression, and whether pole dancing enhances that expression or restricts it to old-fashioned stereotypes, there are nevertheless women continuing to practice their pole dancing, strengthening their bodies, challenging their minds, and extending their self expression. Viva Vertical are also countering this argument and offering FITPOLE FOR MEN!

Aplogogies if this was LONG WINDED post, but better be detailed than risk more unjustified misconceptions Smile


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Great info...

Post  jade on Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:28 am

Hey thanks Honey! I never knew there was so much background or even 'history' to exotic let alone pole dance...

Its definitely a misunderstood and totally underestimated dance form, totally cool what Viva Vertical is doing and representin it properly in Malaysia.

If theres anymore background stuff pls keep us posted, well me for sure anyways =D


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