The History of Burlesque and POle Dancing

The History of Pole/Burlesque

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The History of BURLESQUE and Pole Dancing

Burlesque Dancers are the original Pole Dancers

The 1920s saw a new twist to the Burlesque with the addition of Pole Dancing. Pole Dancing originated at the height of our country’s Depression. At the time, traveling fairs trekked from town to town to entertain with many different types of sideshows, which were held in tents. In one of the side tents, women would striptease (NOT STRIPPING) on a small stage in front of cheering men. The ladies incorporated the tent pole into their striptease routine, climbing to the top of the pole, grabbing the pole and swirling around it, and grinding and gyrating against it. The tent pole became known as the “dance pole.”


In the 1950s, Burlesque Pole Dancing graduated from tents to bars that catered a new form of entertainment, Burlesque/Pole Dancing. The Burlesque/Pole Dancers wore elaborate and sexy costumes while performing a self-choreographed Burlesque Striptease Show, in bars and clubs across the country. A segment of the traditional Burlesque/Pole Dancers redefined the term Striptease, by dancing topless or nude, creating a new form of entertainment, the American Stripper. 


In the 1980’s Michael J. Peter was featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy and Penthouse magazines all chronicling the success of his phenomenally successful enterprises including the ground-breaking prototypes for the modern-day, high-end, sophisticated Gentleman's Club. Micheal J Peter is the Godfather of the modern-day Gentleman’s Club, with the opening of Solid Gold” and “Pure Platinum” nightclubs. His “DollHouse” operation in Fort Lauderdale was the inspiration for Motley Crue’s biggest hit “Girls, Girls, Girls.”


Pole/Fitness began back in the early 1990s, when a Stripper from Canada, FAWNIA MONDEY, the organizer of Pole Expo Dance Competition in Vegas and the Owner of a Pole Fitness Studio Las Vegas, developed a specialize pole fitness program for the Strippers in Vegas. Over the years, this single fitness program evolved into a curious hybrid of art, sport, exotic dance and fitness craze, which has developed a mainstream following. Unfortunately, the promoters of the Pole / Fitness Dance Competitions have eliminated Adult Entertainers, Burlesque Dancers, Show Girls, Go-Go Dancers, Big Girls, Transgenders, Drag Queens and others who do not fit their Barbie Doll image the Pole / Fitness community has CREATED for all those who compete in Pole Competitions. 


Exotic Pole Dancing:

Pole dancing and the particular moves that it involves – squatting with open legs, crawling on the floor, swinging and wrapping oneself on the pole — seem to counteract the constrictions that history, society, and culture have imposed on female sexuality. The Pole/Burlesque Competition helps to liberate women from the inside. Pole/Burlesque includes ways of moving that are aimed at helping women to re-experience their bodies within an environment that is about self-indulgence, in that it encourages what feels sexy. 


For many, exotic pole dancing involves re-claiming their sexuality, by incorporating elements of their performance that helps to create their true erotic creature – the costumes, shoes, dance movements, music, theatrics, stage show, sensual appearance, sexy attitude, flirty facial expressions and other accouterments that they select for their stage performance, has a powerful effect on how they embody and express their sexuality to an audience while riding an emotional roller coaster.    


Pole Dancing is Pure Entertainment!

The Pole Fitness Competitions Promoters have managed to remove the entertainment value-form every competition they promote. All Pole Fitness Competitions feature a single-pole dancing style, by performers wearing the same gym outfit, dancing to the same tired music, performing the same mandatory movements, on a stage without proper lighting and sound, has created a Gymnastics Style Sports Event, as seen on ESPN.


In recent decades, there has been a revival of Burlesque, called Neo-Burlesque, which created a new a new generation of performers nostalgic for the spectacle and perceived glamour of Classic American Burlesque. In the early 1990s at Billie Madley's "Cinema" and later at the "Dutch Weismann's Follies" revues in New York City, "The Velvet Hammer" troupe in Los Angeles and The Shim-Shamettes in New Orleans. Ivan Kane's Royal Jelly Burlesque Nightclub at Revel Atlantic City opened in 2012.  Notable Neo-Burlesque performers include Dita Von Teese, Julie Atlas Muz and Agitprop groups like Cabaret Red Carpet incorporated political satire and performance art into their burlesque shows. Annual conventions such as the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival and the Miss Exotic World Pagent. Over the past decade pole/fitness dancers, pole/sport dancers, pole/exotic dancers, strippers and other styles of dancers have performed in local, regional, national and international Dance and Pole Dance Competitions.  These dancers have performed for a Trophy, Cash, Instant Stardom and even on Reality TV Shows such as America's Got Talent.  


The Pole/Burlesque Dance Competition invites all Burlesque Dancers, Pole Dancers, Adult Entertainers and all other women who would love the opportunity to choreography a true Burlesque Style performance while being allowed to express their sexuality on stage.

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