It’s an exotic form of dancing historically associated with strip clubs and night clubs, which combines dance and acrobatics centered on a vertical burlesque pole. It requires a significant amount of strength, flexibility and endurance and professionals use athletics moves such as climbs, spins and body inversions using their limbs to grip the pole.
Anchalee (May) Sevidov and Jenny Liebert are the owners of Pole Dance Phuket which is the first pole dancing school to open in Patong, Phuket.
I walked into the sports studio and Ms Anchaelee, Jenny and a student were all training away and they looked incredibly fit and toned. Jenny was teaching one of her students, and as they were moving their bodies around the pole, I couldn’t believe how well they could do it. I was mesmerised by their talents.
Their movements were stunning and the shapes they were creating gave the illusion of butterflies spiralling around in circles. Ms Anchalee walked towards me and I couldn’t help but ask her what would happen if the pole broke, to which she responded with a smile, “All the poles were bought from the USA and they are excellent quality. So, don’t worry about them breaking.”
Ms Anchalee explained that pole dancing is not very well known to the locals here and because of its history, most people still associate it with being a provocative “sexual show”.
“Pole dancing is much more sporty – it’s an acrobatic exercise but with a pole,” Ms Anchalee said.
She then showed me her hands and they appeared quite rough, probably from years of working with the poles. She said, “I used to worry that my hands were not very ladylike, but now I don’t worry so much as I just enjoy pole dancing. I am proud of it. The bruised marks on our bodies, such as on the neck, legs and arms, are known as ‘pole kisses’”.
One of the other students I came across said, “Pole dancing is a different type of movement. It’s a form of exercise that is acrobatic. It might take time to practice but I get excited about fun fitness!”
Ms Anchalee said, “Sometimes people ask me how much they will need to learn. I say, “Pole dancing is never ending, there are so many things to learn and enjoy.”
Ms Jenny said, “It’s such a great way to exercise, you can learn a lot from it. It’s all about building the confidence of each person and not worrying about your weight.
“And it’s not just for women. Sometimes we have men in the classes who want to learn too. In fact, all men can do it. Their bodies will get more toned because they’ll be exercising every muscle in their body. One of my friends does it and he is a ‘real’ man.
“So, both men and women can look and feel sexy”, she added.
Ms Anchalee said, “It’s great to be able to say that we are the first studio to have opened in Phuket.”
Pole Dance Phuket is open every day, 9.00am – 9.00 pm. For more information call 092 832 0802 or vist facebook.com/pages: Pole-Dancing-School-Phuket, www.poledanceschoolphuket.com