Does Pole Dancing hurt your skin? – Beginning Pole Dance Moves Olga Kodar

If it does, you are not alone.

A recent study at Duke University revealed that, at least anecdotally, people who engage in pole dancing are having trouble with their skin.

The study said that in its preliminary phase, the team observed “hundreds” of people dancing to traditional Brazilian ballroom music in an indoor gym. Half of the participants were told that they were in fact dancing to the famous South American dance, and the researchers asked the participants four questions about their physical performance. These questions included things like weightlifting and ballet. The people who were told they were in fact spinning to a dance song were far more likely to report that they had difficulty in doing these tasks than the people who were told they were moving in sync with traditional Spanish or Portuguese music. [6 Odd Facts About Brazilian Ballroom]

“People who were confused about whether they were actually dancing or spinning may have believed they were not,” the study authors wrote. This could cause people to skip the steps needed in traditional Brazilian ballroom, thus making the experience worse for them.
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It’s not clear whether this is the cause of the skin irritations. The researchers could not definitively pin down how this is related to performance. Perhaps the dancing doesn’t help people think that they’re really doing something.

The study did not look at how dancers’ skin reacts during a traditional Brazilian ballroom performance; the participants were still working with ballroom music cues at the end of the study, which may increase the chances that participants would be distracted.

The study also noted a possible connection between traditional Brazilian ballroom choreography and the use of plastic masks during pole dancing, which are meant to block the sun’s UV rays. As the researchers wrote, though, there is no concrete evidence that these masks help dancers’ skin.

It’s also possible that people are taking advantage of the confusion some dancers may have when trying to master a dance technique, the researchers said. And that sometimes even though it appears the dancers are having trouble when the researchers first ask, it doesn’t seem like they are as uncomfortable as they might believe.

“We are not saying dance has no effect on your skin,” Duke University’s Thomas B. Lipsitz, the study’s study’s lead author, said in a statement. “This has never been done. But it has been studied enough for that conclusion to have been made.”

Original article on Live Science.

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