The answer is often, “not very much room,” said James D. Olesen, a professor emeritus of dance and music at the University of Washington.
He pointed to the number of dancers who sit and kick for two hours, which Olesen believes is not enough. “It’s like a little child,” he said. “You don’t know if that thing is going to go right or it is going to go wrong.”
Olesen pointed out the problem is even more complex for women, since the music they prefer involves long-range footwork, which involves long leg falls that can make it easy to lose balance when moving up. “I think what is true of male dancers is true of women as well,” Olesen added.
In order to promote the idea of an alternative dance, dancers will also need to persuade parents, teachers (especially music teachers), and community members that pole dancing should be included as part of the curriculum, according to Olesen.
“There is a culture that has to accept that pole dancing, unlike basketball, has not yet been developed, nor can it be developed,” he said. “But there is a big gap between that gap of acceptance and the reality.”
The dance world has a lot of experience with teaching women to dance and, according to Mandy Smith, an instructor and instructor assistant at Women’s Union Pole Dance Company in Minneapolis, there is a lot of evidence that women are able to learn the dance.
Smith recently traveled to Australia and took her students to a class by the legendary choreographer, Debbie Harry. During the lesson, one of the students asked the class leader how she could teach a pole dance to a woman. The leader told them that a pole dance could not be taught to a woman.
Smith said that, in Australia, pole dancing is taught as part of a more formal curriculum, with lessons ranging from beginner to advanced. There are no formal lessons at her company in Minneapolis, and “it’s very much a female-friendly dance,” she said.
And there are many reasons to believe that pole dancing is becoming popular among women in the U.S.
Smith said she believes that the reasons are many, and mostly involve women’s rising incomes and concerns about obesity. There is also strong economic support for local dance companies, she said, so more women can find ways to pay for dancing and other forms of artistic expression.
There have been few major changes regarding gender
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