The History of the Stripper Pole
When you think of private dancer a number of images may pop into your mind one of which is the iconic stripper pole. If you’ve ever visited an establishment with nude dancing or lap dancing then likely you’ve seen the stripper pole but most people don’t give a second thought about its history which is surprisingly quite interesting.
Tracing Its History
Here’s where things get really interesting, contrary to popular belief the first place a stripper pole was used was not at a strip club, at a bachelor party, nor a bar and not even at a burlesque club, instead its history has nothing to do with stripping at all. Dancing on a pole or around a pole can be found in the 12th century when it was used in a pagan fertility celebration called the Maypole dance. While this version of a pole looked slightly different, it was a pole all the same. The Maypole dance featured a wooden pole that dancers wound ribbons around as they danced.
Also in the 12th century was Mallakhamb, which can be explained as a sport that was done in India. It was pole gymnastics for lack of a better explanation. Which makes sense if you think about it since a stripper pole is merely a parallel bar turned sideways. Yes that’s correct, turn a stripper pole sideways and it’s an Olympic event.
So how did it go from a fertility celebration or a sport to something you now see as an art-form of sorts or as the expression of sexuality as seen in strip clubs? Well its evolution has taken quite a bit of time that’s for sure! Today’s version of the stripper pole and pole dancing really didn’t start until around the mid-1920s when a “dancing pole” was used in the middle of a circus sideshow tent. Women danced around and with the pole. Then in the 1950s burlesque suddenly popped into the scene in a big way, which used quite a bit of pole dancing moves.
Today’s Stripper Pole
Stripper poles can be found in pretty much all strip clubs nowadays and most of the exotic dancers have routines that are based on using the pole combining gymnastics, skills, and of course sexual allure. It has become such an important part of strip clubs that dancers really need to be quite athletic in order to impress patrons now performing tricks and moves that seem near impossible.
The stripper pole has also moved outside of strip clubs with “pole dancing” lessons becoming more and more popular. For entertainment and exercise. In just about any town or city you can find classes or even get private lessons at home. It’s also becoming more mainstream for people to have stripper poles installed in their homes for their own enjoyment and pleasure.
It’s important to look at pole dancing not as just something an exotic dancer does in a club but something that requires skill, a certain level of gymnastics know-how, stamina, and strength. Have you ever tried hanging upside down from a pole by one leg while looking graceful and sexy at the same time? It’s not such an easy task!
Perhaps next time you visit a strip club or attend a bachelor party where there is pole dancing you may think about just how rich its history is, the skill that goes into it and the fact that pole dancing is anything but new.