Wicked Wednesday

Uh... yeh I know it's really Thursday and I am sorry about that.. just to caught up in my week and Wednesday snuck right by me! But as promised here is my interview with the loverly Jennifer of Pole Skivvies. I still have not found a local place to learn to pole but that has not stopped me from wanting to do it! ( The photo is of Yannori from Express the Sensual )

Jennifer, how did you come to pole dancing?
I have belly danced since I was 19 years old, which is something I've always loved. But when I was 39, I found I was getting really bored with it. The music and moves I'd been doing happily for so long, suddenly didn't motivate me at all. It was heading into winter and I was having to really push myself to work out at all, which is not like me. Then, a co-worker's roommate lent me her copy of The S Factor (great book!), and it talked about her exploration of pole dancing and exotic dancing, and how it made her feel so beautiful and sexy and so empowered - like she could finally release the person she had always been deep down inside. And I thought, that's exactly the way I felt when I started belly dancing, so it really resonated with me, and I read it and read it and started getting intrigued by the pole.
That's when it hit - the pole addiction. Ladies, it hits hard. I went from having previously - before reading that book - thought pole was cool, but not my thing, to being obsessed with that book, then Youtube videos of pole dancers, then all the different pole forums (thank god for the internet), and within a week I was so nuts I had ordered my own pole and was stuck to the youtube videos like glue. A few months later I would wind up explaining to my eye doctor that my eyes were sleepy all the time and I couldn't handle glare. He asked how long I was at the computer, and I realized that I had been, for weeks and weeks, coming home from a full day's work at a computer to spending another five hours or so watching pole videos. I'm telling you, pole dancers LOVE pole. :)

What was the first big hurtle you had to over come in order to "see"
yourself as some one who did the pole?
This wasn't a big issue for me. I've belly danced professionally and give one hell of a striptease, so there wasn't a lot of mental stuff to overcome.

Did it feel like the " right" thing for you the minute you did it or did you need to warm up to it?
The first time I saw pole, I remember thinking no one's thighs need to be that strong. But when I revisited it via a book that really spoke to me, I was hooked.

Do you pole more for exercise or amusement ( or someone elses amusement?)
It's a combination for me. I like to stay in shape, but I also love the challenge, and I love the community that comes with it. There are no pole classes in Vermont, so I study with a teacher in Canada via webcam (live, private lessons), but I also chat and email and message with a ton of pole dancers from all over the world. They are really the most amazing group of women - I love them!

How does a shy or fat or clumsy or whatever person even get up the guts to do such a thing?
Well, this I understand, because I got into belly dancing because I was the clutziest, most graceless girl you ever could hope to see. So, if even I could turn into a graceful, sexy dancer, then ANYONE can. As for pole, one of my biggest inspirations is Olivia Shelster, whose youtube videos made me feel I could learn to be a great pole dancer. She is this wonderful young woman, a little on the large size (less so, after a few years on the pole), who just has a natural exuberance when she dances, and comes across just like any cool woman you know. She made me feel anybody could pole and make it beautiful. I still love to watch her videos.

If you have kids...what do they think of you dancing?
I have a stepdaughter (she's ten), and she's not into me poling, but she loves to play on the pole herself. She is very much a girl of her own mind, though, so she does not like lessons. But she loves to twirl and climb and creates the coolest Martha Graham-esque choreographies with my belly dance veils.
What I worried about was what her mom would think, but I am blessed that my boyfriend's ex is a very cool woman and a great mom, and she thinks it's great. My man and I are just moving in together this summer, so when we're all living here, I will likely remove the pole when her friend's come to play, if I get the sense any neighbor would misinterpret it. I don't want my little girl having to get caught in the middle of anything unpleasant just because I pole dance.

How do people normally react when they find out your hobby?
Well, they generally know me, so it doesn't surprise them. :) My boyfriend plays it up to his buddies. "You know my girlfriend the belly dancer? Yeah, she's into pole dancing now - got one set up in the basement."

Do you pole dance for others or with others in social situations?...
or is that just not something that happens in the world of pole dancing?
Well, the weird yet delicious part of my world is that, while Vermont has no pole dance classes, there is a really cool little pub near me that has two poles. Generally I just pole at home, but sometimes I drag the man (or a pole dancing buddy of mine in Montreal, if we can work out our schedules) to the pub. He has a few beers and I pole. It's the funniest little place - totally Vermont. There's a nice sports bar with NASCAR on the screen, some booths if you want something to eat, a pool table, a dance area - and then these two poles. I found out about the place because they had a pole dancing contest when they first put in the poles. I couldn't resist - I had to go! I had a lot of funm but, unfortunately, they had (totally unintentionally) bought some really poor quality poles and the pole came crashing down in the middle of one of my spins. So I spoke to the owner and told him what he should buy, and he replaced them right away. So now I have these gorgeous poles to play with when we go out dancing.
I admit it can be awkward at first, since almost no one else ever poles there, they just grind on the pole when drunk, so I attract a lot of attention - but I live for that kind of thing. The best part, really, is the ladies' room, because whenever I go for a bathroom break, all the women there start asking me to show them moves and where I learned. It's fun!
And if there were more pole dancers in my area, we would go out poling ALL THE TIME. :)

If someone wanted to start but could not find classes in their area what should they do?.. besides hang out at the playground with their kids and goof around with the pole there ( hey.. I am just sayin...)
First, you're lucky to have poles on your playgrounds. Vermont has these weird brackety things everywhere and you can't spin on the street signs or most playground equipment. Very sad.
But you could do what I do - take classes with Alena Downs of www.polejunkies.com. She knows her stuff, is absolutely sweet, and is a great teacher. That's important, because you can injure yourself, even doing simple spins, if you're not sure how to hold yourself in the proper way. Believe me, I know. I self-taught at first and had to take six weeks off due to self-inflicted tendonitis, a broken toe, and shoulder pain.

Does your mom/great aunt/priest know that you are a pole dancer?
My family isn't close, so no, they don't. But everybody else does. From my boyfriend's ex to my boss' boss. Who found out over lunch one day, when, over lunch with a friend, he found out I'd been featured in a local newspaper article on pole.

Tell us a little about your business.... those shorts sure do look comfy!
Thank you. :) I came up with the idea to make better pole shorts because, since I don't have pole buddies locally, I wind up posting pole videos on youtube to share. Well, what you might wear at home is not always the same as what you might wear on youtube, for all the world to see. And the first thing I noticed was that almost all shorts of the "booty short" variety gap in the crotch. I mean GAP. Yowzah! I don't need that much sharing, thank you very much. So I started thinking about all I wanted in a pole short and asking what other pole dancers wanted, and came up with PoleSkivvies, which now carries the Tail Spin Short and - coming soon - the Fireman Tank. They are named after pole moves.
They are wonderful - comfy and the right proportions for pole, but they don't give any unnecessary exposure. As I always say, a girl's bikini wax is her own business.
But, really, the business is more than that - it's about connecting with other women who love pole, and who love the sense of freedom it gives them to explore their own flirtatious and sexual side. I try to post a lot of good information on pole dancing and performance, but general fun stuff, too.
Thank you, Maddie, for this chance to talk to you and all your readers. Great questions!

Thank you Jennifer... I hope lots of people stop by to see you and your great shorts! (uhhh..you know what I mean!) Check out Jennifer struting her stuff with a pole dance burlesque style!

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