Filthy Friday was the first showcase run by Beanie The Jet (pictured below), who started the #filthyfriday trend on Instagram. The evening was an absolute blast, with amazing performances from the likes of Lauren Elise, Davina Shewolf and more. So many different styles of sexy were on the stage, from fast paced rock chick, to sensual shape making.
I decided to find out more about Filthy Friday from the showcase and hashtags creator…
Peach: What is Filthy Friday? How did it come about? And what is the goal of the hashtag?
Beanie: Filthy Friday Friday came about around the second year of my pole journey. I had spent the best part of my first year obsessing over a dancer name Andrea Britz. She’s a beautiful woman and moves so perfectly. She danced to Lana Del Rey quite frequently and is definitely responsible for my Lana obsession.
Now, me and Andrea physically, are polar opposites. I wanted to move the way she did and I wanted to do it freely. When I say ‘freely’ I mean I wanted to be as sexy and exotic as she was without any hindrance. I didn’t know how the world would accept a plus size, black exotic dancer. And if I’m being honest it scared me. I’ve seen internet trolls at work and I just wasn’t ready to open myself up to that. I knew it would absolutely ruin my pole journey. My skin wasn’t thick enough just yet.
I carried on studying exotic and sensual movement, behind closed doors, away from Instagram, which is when I came across Kitty Velour, Carmine Black, Deanna (Dee The Pole Python), CiCi (chinicuainc) and a handful of other amazing women who were moving their bodies the way I wanted to. They were confident, there was no shame, they are inspirational.
Back then I worked a busy Recruitment role and very rarely had chance during the week to explore on the pole. I decided to set aside two hours every Friday night after work to really let go and just dance the way I believe I was meant to.
Still I shared nothing on Instagram. Eventually as the time went on and more Fridays past I could feel myself getting better, I was enjoying it more and more. I remember having a really shitty week at work, I came home, throwing a wig on, and I remember dancing my heart and soul out to ‘Freak’ by Lana Del Rey and that was pretty much it. I watched the video back and I loved how I looked, for the first time in a long time I felt completely Feminine. I had been dealing with PCOS, hair loss and chronic pain which had taken away so much away from me over time. I loved that by moving my body a certain way I was able to get all of my feminine power back and more.
Then I started to hashtag ‘Filthy Friday’ along with ‘Lana made me do it.’ I think the hashtag was originally something for me to hide behind, while my confidence grew, kind of like a ‘sorry not sorry’ type of thing. More dancers began tagging and I felt amazed and overwhelmed by how many dancers began to jump on board and use the hashtag or tag me in their vids. I felt supported and that was a great feeling.
The goal of the Filthy Friday hashtag is basically a massive, ‘SCREW YOU’ to the people out there slut shaming. It’s no longer an apology for any of us to hide behind, it’s a way of connecting all dancers who enjoy sensual, exotic and downright Filthy movement and all the people who enjoy looking at it. Filthy Friday is also an invitation to those who haven’t quite built up the confidence to dance this way and also a way of showing people that sexy doesn’t have a size, it doesn’t have a skin colour. There are no rules, so screw what society has led you to believe!
P: Why did you want to run a Filthy Friday showcase?
B: I wanted to run the showcase because I wanted to really bring this to life. The internet is a great place to connect, explore and learn, but there’s nothing quite like experiencing something for real. I knew the vibe and energy of the showcase would be something you can’t really get from staring at your phone, I knew it would be electric! I wanted people to come and be amazed by what they were seeing. For me, personally there is only one thing more spectacular than watching a woman dance and that’s a whole bunch of women dancing together, it really is everything.
I use term ‘women’ quite loosely as we also had a Poleboy and we have poleboys who hashtag every Friday! I was over the moon to have Alexander perform at the showcase, again this stands for everything that Filthy Friday is about, a huge fuck you to the expectations society has of us, and showing people you don’t have to follow a certain set of rules in life, it’s okay to not fit inside the box, it’s okay not to fit in at all. Stand out, be you!
I loved that the showcase came slightly after the whole Olympics shabang. I have nothing against Pole being recognised as an Olympic Sport there are girls and guys out there who bust their arses daily nailing some of the hardest tricks I’ve ever seen. However for me, I wasn’t inspired to dance by men climbing wooden sticks. The history of poledance should never be forgotten and Filthy Friday is a little reminder of that.
P: Are you planning on running more showcases?
B: I am definitely planning on running more showcases, absolutely! Considering I live in a popular city with many studios and dancers there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on for us, so most definitely. I have started planning for a Valentines showcase which I am super, super excited for. What a perfect night for a little extra Filth! I’ve also been thinking about the possibility of additional locations, that way more people get the chance to take part and support the movement.
P: I noticed that against other showcases, which could be criticised for being overwhelmingly white and thin etc, your showcase was pretty diverse, with different races, body types and genders involved. Was this a deliberate choice on your part?
B: A few people mentioned that they loved how different the dancers on the night looked to one-another. Honestly, I hadn’t even realised until afterwards. That’s not ignorance on my part, more of a reflection on how I’ve been raised and how I choose to live, I’m aware of the issues going on right now regarding race, sexuality, body type, but this wasn’t a deliberate choice on my part. I think the line up on the night just goes to show how very diverse Filthy Friday participants are. This is 100% why I had to put this together and why I am still over the moon it happened.
P: Where and when can we catch you teaching?
B: You can find me at Urbanized Dance Academy, East Manchester Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Also at Poletastic, Manchester City Centre teaching Filthy Friday style classes on a Monday and Thursday evening. I’m also in the process of putting together workshops so if you want me at your studio get in touch.
There you have it. Filthy Friday was a fun, inclusive environment with dancers from all different styles of sexy pole entertaining and expressing themselves on stage. So, make sure you start using #filthyfriday on your instagram posts!