Where there’s women there’s strength

Let’s play a word association game.


Here it is:


Up until recently I would have associated poledancing with women in skimpy-next-t0-nothings gyrating around a pole for the sexual gratification of the sleezy male onlookers.

Now when I hear the word poledancing I think of beautiful, strong, athletic, skilful dancers, performing their craft for appreciative female audiences.

So what changed?

First I came across a woman called Goddess Star Monroe. I admire her style and ethos of supporting women to step into their beauty and power. But then I found out she offers pole dancing classes.

How could a woman who was all about celebrating women condone poledancing?

This is when the word took on a different association for me.

From Goddess Star Monroe, I moved onto “Miss Pole Dance UK 2011”. An extraordinary young woman called Jess Leanne Norris won the competition and performed a mesmerising routine of beauty, grace, strength and courage.

Beauty, grace, strength and courage.

I can’t object to that.

I love that my perceptions have been challenged.

I know that the sleezy type of poledancing exists too. I feel sad and angry about that, and there’s another discussion to be had about how women’s bodies and sexuality are commodified.

Today, with International Women’s Day just around the corner, I’m choosing to celebrate all those strong, graceful, beautiful and courageous women who twirl and spin. They are gymnasts, dancers, performers. Strong, sexy women.


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