A challenge? Or a way of life, like most other dance traditions?
What is pole dancing?
The term “pole dance” refers to routines that use only the bodies of men and women. This includes the routine of the male dancer, followed, for example, by a series of “poles,” or vertical patterns of steps.
What is pole dancing’s relationship to dancing?
Pole dancing, according to its founders, was the only dance that “all women,” regardless of nationality, could perform, as it enabled them to blend together as one and dance as one. The dancers practiced from an early age, and according to contemporary folklore, there were as many as 400 pole parties a year in England, Germany, and Austria. Pole dances were a way of life among the elite of European society beginning in Renaissance times. As late as the 1930s, the BBC broadcast a pole dance program, “Pole Dancing Through Time!” According to the BBC’s website, the program highlights historical celebrations, including “the earliest recorded use of the Greek word pole, ‘pike’, by the Romans for a man who plays in a circus arena.”
Who invented pole dancing?
No one, really. In the mid-18th century, French noblemen discovered that the feet of men working in the woods could move in a wide variety of ways compared to the feet of other men in the countryside. These “exceptions” were quickly adopted as an art form. By the 1720s, the French were running the most successful and famous court dance companies in the world. By 1820, a dozen or more of these dance company members had traveled to the United States.
Who was the original performer?
The first “pole dancer” was an Italian named Giuseppe de Medici. By the mid-1830s, he had perfected his art over more than two decades and he had become the most popular pole dancer in Europe. His work became popular and lucrative, and he founded a company in Paris, the largest court dance company of the time.
Was the “pole dance” movement restricted to England?
Yes and no. Although Italians had been dancing and making music for hundreds of years, there had still been other forms of musical entertainment throughout the centuries. The French aristocracy and their court musicians and entertainers were often inspired primarily by the popular German music, “ballets.” But “pole dancing” continued to flourish throughout much of Europe during the 18th
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