Take the Pole Dancer Pledge
Time to Take Some Responsibility
Lately, I find I’m hearing a lot about the problems some pole dancers are having with other dancers stealing and copying their work.
Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I generally think it is impossible to copy another pole dancer. I strongly believe that, even if two dancers have the same moves and do the same choreography, each dancer will still have their own individual style. (See How to Avoid Being Copied and Pole Dance Attitude Adjustment.)
But now I’m wondering if I’ve missed something.
Where do we draw the line?
Every artistic community has concerns about stealing and copying. Like, where really is the line between homage and theft? What of all you learned from your teacher is acceptable to incorporate into your own approach to instruction? When does having a similar style cross over into copying?
It got me to thinking about a pledge pole dancers should take, one that underscores what we consider to be community-minded in pole dance.
We all have responsibility.
It’s not just advanced dancers and teachers and studio owners who have a responsibility here. Even newbies have a responsibility that needs to be owned up to – a responsibility to insist on good instruction and safe teaching.
I’ve posted warnings time and again for newbie pole dancers, tips on how to tell if their teacher is any good (see How to Teach Pole and Be a Danger to the Public, Top Ten Traits of Pole Dance Instructors, Pole Dance Teachers to Avoid, and How to Find a Pole Dance Instructor).
Call for Community and Integrity
I think it’s time pole dancers took this issue a step further – I think we need to state the expectations and boundaries of our art, which is why I ask you to take this pole dancing oath along with me:
Pole Dance Pledge for Students
I swear to …
- Learn as much as possible about quality pole instruction before I find a teacher – and to hold my instructor to those standards. (Find out what those standards should be here, here, here, and here.)
- Not go beyond my skill level and to follow my teacher’s instructions.
- Acknowledge that pole dancing is complicated – far moreso than a newbie can learn in a year or two, barring an extensive background in gymnastics, aerial arts, ballet, or similar.
- Present myself honestly, not claiming more skill or authority than I have earned.
Pole Dance Pledge for Instructors:
I swear to …
- Get the very best training in anatomy, physical fitness, aerial movement, and pole dancing possible.
- Create my own choreographies and teaching methods.
- Get specific, stated permission and give due credit prior to borrowing dances or teaching methods.
- Acknowledge my skill level and refer students when necessary to studios that can provide more advanced training.
Comment below to take the pledge!
Be sure to write in what you would add or change to the oaths. Feel free to share the pledge with your students, too – let’s all get a conversation going on originality in performance and safety in instruction!
(When you share the pledge, I’d be very happy if you credited PoleSkivvvies.com. )