“You are an artist of the spirit.
And express yourself in your own particular way.”
After mesmerizing us all at the end of term performance night I thought it was the perfect time to share this short piece about Damien one of the few male pole dancers at The Pole Room.
For those who know him well, it would come as no surprise that what started out as a simple student interview on his pole journey soon transformed into an exploration of dance philosophy, smashing stereotypes and the art of letting go…
So how did you start pole dancing? Where did it all begin?
So, I was doing cheerleading and, normally, when I see something cool, I’m the sort of person who just goes and does it. So, I saw cheerleading and I thought ‘Oh that’s cool’, so I went and did it. And then I saw pole dancing and I though ‘Oh that’s really cool!’ so now I’m doing it.
And why pole dancing, what was it about it that intrigued you?
Because it’s beautiful. Because in the world certain things hold objective beauty and, I don’t know, I think it’s the greatest thing to be able to emulate that beauty and the natural flow of the Universe. I don’t know. I just want to be part of emulating that beauty.
And do you feel that when you dance you are?
That’s what I like about pole dancing. I don’t want to get lost in being the best and doing the next trick, because – when it comes down to it – the best thing in the world is just flowing; and you don’t try to dance the dance, you just let the dance dance you. If that makes any sense? So, it’s kind of like… Wait, I got a metaphor; it’s on the tip of my tongue… So, when you see leaves blowing in the wind, you can almost see that they’re dancing. So, I want to be the leaves. But I don’t want to try and be the best leaf dancing in the wind, I simply want to feel the dance flow through me. I think it’s really cool when that happens.
And I find that when the dance flows through me, when I completely let myself go – like the leaves in the breeze – I become mindless. It’s hard to express exactly how it feels, because in that moment I lose all words, I lose all mind and just become nothing but, I become everything at the same time. And that’s really cool.
Just give me a second to think of the next question. I feel so touched by what you just said. Um, okay… so what’s your favourite pole move?
Hmm, I don’t know. I still like the Janeiro most. It’s really back bendy and your chest is really open and it’s nice when you relax into it and it looks really pretty.
And how long have you been pole dancing for now?
Hmm, probably over a year and a bit. So it seems like I’ve been doing it for a while. But when you think about it it’s only been over a year now.
Wow, you’ve come so far so quickly.
Yeah, but it’s not about the difficulty, or getting the next skill; it’s about loving to dance.
Why do you think people like to watch dancing? What do you think it does for the observer?
So, dancing is like a fractal of the Universe. It is a small reflection of what the entire Universe is, so when you watch dancing you get a taste of the infinite, or God, whatever you want to call it.
What do your friends and family think of you pole dancing?
I think they find it interesting. I think they’re really impressed with the acrobatic nature of it, the physical strength behind it and the flexibility. I haven’t really had any negative reactions; I think it’s the people I choose to be around. If I ask a random person I’ll probably get a different answer, but anyone who I don’t really resonate with I just don’t see, or don’t talk to. Those people aren’t in my life anymore.
I find it interesting because society wants people to be more favoured towards the masculine or the feminine. And the way our society works we push people to be either one or the other and often people identify with being masculine and then completely reject all their feminine aspects of themselves, but – for some reason – I don’t really care what society thinks. So I just be whoever I want to be, and it just so happens to be that I’m comfortable with expressing both the masculine female aspects of myself, and that draws me to pole dancing.
What would you say to people that want to start pole dancing, but are maybe feeling apprehensive?
Pole dancing is an awesome expression of who you are. It’s really empowering to have an outlet to express yourself, and I find that people who start pole dancing become self-empowered to do things they haven’t done before, and express themselves in ways that haven’t done before. So I think it’s a really good way to express yourself and become empowered.
That’s perfect, thanks love.