Pole Then vs Pole Now

 
emmasculator
So I've read some articles as of late talking about how in recent years pole has exploded and with that expansions has changed a lot. I started my pole journey in 2013 and am curious to hear from people who started earlier about how it has changed. It seems a lot of articles look back nostalgicly on how it was simpler back then and how the focus was less on nailing the next trick and more on being in tune with your personal movement. I know my experience with pole started off with a kinda of "gotta catch em all" mentality I would love to hear other people's thoughts on this!
Apr 9, 2017
dustbunny Paid Member
Shoulder mounts and Superman were some of the most advanced tricks lol.
Apr 9, 2017
Cherished
I liked the emphasis of fluidity from the old days. I do love what's going on now and how far the pole community has advanced but maybe back then there was more of a connection between everyone since there was a smaller number of people involved and everyone was pretty much headed in the same direction. To me there was almost an end goal for advanced moves (if you could do XYZ you made it). Now there are so many more moves and so many different directions you can go with in pole it's harder for me to keep up with every aspect and all the dancers who put themselves online. I think I miss knowing everything that's out there and being aware of a lot of the people who participate but it's a trade off for all the crazy amazing progress I think.
Apr 9, 2017
emmasculator
Do you think there was more emphasis on sexy along with the fluidity? I love love love fluidity. Im terrible at it but I love it! I think that was something missing from my very early training.
Apr 9, 2017
Cherished
@Emmasculator: To an extent, since pole fitness mainly started from ex-exotic dancers opening studios to teach but I'd say I noticed 3 groups: the sexy flow dancers, the contemporary flow dancers and the mainly for tricks and fitness group. I think once competitions became more of a thing there was this anti-stripper anti-sexy sentiment that started to develop which I personally didn't like.
Also I'm such a fluidity fan too :)
Apr 9, 2017
LatinPoler Paid Member
I started pole dancing in 2015 so I cannot speak for the early years. But I think I would have loved them, since I belong to the sexy fluidity vs. fitness tricks group 😉👯
Apr 10, 2017
Baudelaire
I started pole dancing in 2011. There were only 3 studios that I knew of in Sydney - Bobbies, PDA and Jamilla's Art of Pole. I liked the emphasis on dance that was a strong point of Jamilla's studio. We used to learn a new routine every two weeks in some classes! It was great for opening up your repertoire and get used to just dancing, especially for those like me without a dance background. As the studios evolved in Sydney, there was a trend for routine classes where you would focus on a song for a whole term, but they were full of lots of fancy tricks and less fluidity and dance.
So many people come to pole these days with training in other fields - gymnastics, figure skating, cheer leading, circus, dance, ballet, even crossfit. Their strength, flexibility and stamina are way more advanced than anyone I knew poling in 2011. It has allowed them to progress quickly and extend on tricks to the point of making them their own. For example, the rainbow marchenko was something we could only dream about in 2011, yet now it's one of the most famous tricks out there!
It is great that the field of pole dance is so diverse but it does make it hard to have a single vision of where it's headed - dance, fitness, sexy, Olympics? everyone has their own preference and opinions. It's exciting to think about, we really are on the cusp of it turning into anything!
Apr 10, 2017
Veena
I started in August 2007. There were 2 forums I knew of, I was asked to leave one when I became pregnant and the other was pretty unfriendly towards me, as I was a fast learner and they didn't seem to care for that. Everything I said was shut down, challenged, made fun of or disregarded by the main members. Back then I also had to create a new YT channel after I became pregnant as other dancers began flagging my videos and harassing me. It was a small group of petty women, thankfully there are far more people participating in pole now and although you still see bitch fights over what pole should be, in general, new pole dancers are welcomed by others!

When I started learning in 07 I printed off photos from a website (I wish I could remember the name) and taught myself from those. Then I discovered YT and found Tara Karina, Jamilla, Candy Cane (spelling may be wrong) and some others who I don't recall their name. There were not tutorials for pole on YT that I knew of, (other than a few from Candy Cane that were off a DVD) so I just watched and figured it out for myself. I started SV soon after finding YT and I could already do a handspring and cartwheel mount... at the time it was impressive. lol

From the beginning of Studioveena in 2009 I've taken the stance that pole is 3 things. Art, sport and exotic. Sometime a mix! [www.studioveena.com]

About a year in to starting SV the most advanced trick I knew of was a shoulder mount flip to drop split [www.studioveena.com] and all spins were still considered "beginner" even reverse grab...not by me tho!!!!!

Unlike most other polers back in the day, I came from a personal training back ground and not an exotic dancer background. My focus as a teacher has been on injury prevention and strength building, but not necessarily only trick pole, I need the dance in pole. My personal focus was usually on the artistic and often sexy side. In fact, my FIRST ever YT upload, 9 years ago, the first comment I ever had was that they liked my moves but my dancing and music was too raunchy for pole. This was at the beginning of the "pole is for fitness movement". So I deleted it and uploaded later with a new song...[www.youtube.com] I still wish I had just left the original video post, but at the time I wanted to be accepted in this group of pole dancers. I've since learned not to change who I am for others.

There were not certifications for pole when I started. To my knowledge I was the first to teach that strength building moves should be taught first before moves like spins. I was also the first to create a method using my theory of teaching moves like pole hold and pole sits first to build strength. I believe I was the first (online anyway) to suggest we do off pole conditioning and strength work for shoulders and such, to prevent injury and prepare for static spins. As far as I know I was the first to interview pole dancers both famous and beloved SV members! [www.studioveena.com] SV was the first website with more than just a forum and chat. We were the first to offer members a place to upload videos instead of just link them. We were the first to have a fully mobile website. We are still the only online studio that has all lessons placed in progressive order and includes related lessons below.

Now that pole is well known and mostly accepted, gymnasts, dancers, and contortionists have taken it to elite levels. It's amazing and inspiring, but makes it hard for instructors to explain why some things are best left to elite pros because of how quick things have changed. That's part of why I wrote the Veena method! Pole shouldn't wreck your body it should strength it and challenge your mind and soul by helping women and men tap into the sexy side from time to time too!

Pole is still very fragmented, there are still tons of names for the same move and leaders in the industry often ignore each other instead of working together.

We are making pole more complex by assuming everyone needs to learn everything. Instead we need to keep sending out the message that there are pole fundamentals, and these are the important moves. From those you move on to variations and elite levels. We also need to continue to tell students that there's no level you need to reach in order to enjoy the benefits of pole.
[www.youtube.com]
Apr 10, 2017
Veena
Here a link for the first interview. [www.studioveena.com] Hope this one works!
Apr 10, 2017
emmasculator
Wow Veena, those are some really profound points. I agree that assuming everyone has to do everything is over complicating something that should be beneficial and most importantly tailored toward the doer. I'll probably never spatchcock or rainbow marchenko, but thats a-okay in my book. Also it is shocking and dismaying that people would be so catty, petty, and jealous toward you. I'm glad you created your own space away from that nonsense. I really like how pole has changed, but at the same time part of me feels that some of the overarching competitive edge (I don't just mean competitions) but the notion that we have to master everything takes away from individual joys. Also social media may have increased that edge. Than you so much for your insights!! Super illuminating
Apr 10, 2017
LatinPoler Paid Member

Wow Veena, really good points. I really appreciate your progressive approach, not encouraging people to nail things fast but to but a solid foundations first. PS: I loved your "Gimme more" dance :-)
Apr 11, 2017
TropicalVertical Paid Member
Veena you rock so hard 💜💜💜💜
Apr 12, 2017
litlbit Paid Member
Totally agree with you Veena! We go back to the early days. It was very different, and the shoulder mount was the biggest move then! What I've noticed the most over the past 10 years or so, is that the community has split into many sub groups, unlike our beginning when we all supported each other. For myself personally, I have no local support as I did when I 1st started my studio (other than my active students). It has gotten IMHO very cut throat. It makes me so sad. As far as pole moves, I see the trend moving into the exotic again, more flow, more sensuality, and definitely more sexy. I'm just grateful I still have you, you do things properly, in orderly progression, and safely! That for me was and is important, and after years of working in nursing/OT/PT/Sports Medicine Rehab, etc. I appreciate your time, care, knowledge, and thoughtfulness put into everyone of your lessons! You are a ROCKSTAR!!
May 28, 2017
sparrow
I"m a pole OG! Joined the S Factor forums/got the videos/read the book way back in 2006-07.

When I could SM, I thought I was advanced. I knew about 10 moves total at that time. Thinking back to that cracks me up. And I remember watching youtube videos NYPD, red_ke71, and Elena Gibson to name a few, and trying to figure things out from them (the HARDEST way to learn!). I also had no computer in my room where my pole was (and of course no ipod or iphone!) so I'd have to leave the room, watch, and come back. I think my music was even burned onto cd's! Crazy.
May 31, 2017
StrangeFox Paid Member
Veena, you are amazing and I love your approach to pole! I'm sorry you had to deal with such pettiness. Kudos to you for putting all that behind you and going on to develop the greatest pole resource on the web. :)

One thing I'm feeling as a total beginner is that there seems to be a push to get all new polers "up to speed" as quickly as possible. I don't know if that's because there are now so many new moves to try, or because some studios fear students will get put off if they realize it takes months and sometimes years to develop the strength, coordination, and flexibility to do all of those cool tricks they see on YouTube.

The studio I go to teaches the sexy flow and trick portions as one, which I love. One of my goals is to slow down a bit and focus more on the sexy dance side of pole. I find even as a newbie I'm getting a bit wrapped up in that rush to learn one trick after another without bothering to master any of them. I also noticed that without mastery these moves look less than impressive when you throw them into your freestyle.

I love that pole is becoming more wide-spread and that there are tons of talented men and women posting their seriously impressive moves on Instagram and YouTube, but I agree that the dark side of that is that it seems to be warping everyone's expectations of both themselves and other polers. Sometimes it feels like if you're not hanging upside down and twisted into a pretzel you're not being "impressive enough" and therefore not a legitimate pole dancer, which is really silly.
Jun 1, 2017
Veena
Strangefox I totally get it and I see so many of the newer generation rushing for tricks and not spending time on fundamentals! Just make sure to enjoy your journey xoxox
Jun 1, 2017
emmasculator
I agree wholeheartedly, Veena. So many people underestimate the joy, beauty, and FUNCTIONALITY of the basics. We don't all need to fonji or rainbow marchenko, or spatchcock. (I mean that would be nice, don't get me wrong.) But pole should have a strong focus on individuals' personal development.
Jun 4, 2017
Ingrid
Completely can se myselfe in what you said Veena. I started pole in 2008. I loved it so much. But had alot of focus on spins and dancing. Started to advance and when i nailed the Scorpio and Gemini (as we called itway back when)i thougth myselfe to be really Advanced :P
Learned some Things from yt spending hours looking at Tara Katrina
Jul 15, 2017
 
That one guy
I am only in day 2 of my 3 day trial, and I am 100% hooked! Veena's lessons are so beautifully detailed and cataloged I am working on exactly what I need as quickly as I need it! Veena's site is the greatest resource one could hope for.
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