I am a classique poler; when I try to demonstrate any other style, whether lyrical, ballet, or salsa, my pole buddies just shake their heads at me and say ‘Peach, that was totally stripper’. I love this style of pole dance, and that is why I am so grateful that competitions like The Authentics, Dance Filthy, Pole Theatre, and some regional competitions such as the LucyPole Cup, exist to keep this style of pole alive on the competition circuit.
Competing isn’t just about who goes home with the medal, it is about having the opportunity to share your talent with a room full of people with a shared passion. It is about expressing your creativity, your personality, your confidence, your dedication, your strength, and so many more things. Everyone who competes will say that those 5 minutes on stage are simultaneously the most blurred, hectic moment of their life, and the most enjoyable and exhilarating experience of their life. It is only right that there is just as much opportunity for stripper style polers to have this moment, as any other style of pole, whether it be the sporty, gymnastics pole athletes, or the lyrical pole artists.
Unless you work in a strip club (and even then!), there aren’t always a great deal of opportunities for stripper style polers to perform, especially if they live in a suburban area that mostly caters to ‘Pole Fitness’ enthusiasts. Having the chance to express you sensuality and your love of pole in a non-judgmental environment is amazing, and that is exactly what I saw when I went to The Authentics competition on the 18th June this year. With over 20 performers the stage was on fire with confident, amazing individuals, owning their bodies and their right to dance however the hell they want to.
We need to keep stripper style pole alive. We are coming out of a period where the sanitisation of pole competitions had become the norm. Sally-Ann said so herself whilst compering The Authentics that she stopped competing the day they told her she couldn’t wear her heels. But sexy is coming back (if indeed it ever left), and the rising popularity of these competitions is proving that stripper style is here to stay. Workshops with dancers such as Lux ATL, Jamie Taylor, Tiff Finney, and other iconic ‘sexy’ polers are in high demand. The pole world is thirsty once more for their high heels, their hair flicks, their shoe bangs, and their body rolls. We want to embrace our sensuality, and have it embrace us back; because that is what stripper style does, it nurtures you, it cares for you, it brings you happiness, comfort and self-confidence.
There’s a new generation of poler dancers, with a resilient ‘zero f*cks’ attitude to society, coming through to join the OGs of the scene – and it shows in our loud and proud expressions of self. It shows in how we navigate our social media, how we network, and how we perform. In the UK at least, girls are making names for themselves through Instagram and Facebook. If you follow stripper style you undoubtedly know Kitty Velour, Rhiannon White, Sarah Blackmilk, Anna Frost, and many more – many of these girls are competing amateur and semi-pro, or are just breaking through the pro scene, and winning the medals and getting the exposure they have earned. It is amazing to see that with the power and attraction of stripper style, and its growing resurgence in popularity, we have new, fresh talent coming through, and they are demanding the attention that stripper style deserves.
Competitions like The Authentics are integral in giving this community of stripper style pole dancers a voice, a battle-cry of ‘Yes we are here’ and ‘No we aren’t leaving’. There is room in this beautiful pole world for all of us to coexist. To feed on each other’s creativity, genius and spectacle. To build bridges, to work together to stand strong united, to lovingly embrace all styles of pole dance, no matter which you choose. Here is to another year of The Authentics, and here is to many more!
Find out more about The Authentic Pole Competition HERE.
Find Venus Velvet on Facebook HERE.
Find Wendy Woo on Facebook HERE.