Pole Dancing Auto-ethnography

Practice, Pedagogy, Performance

In this research paper, the author addresses the following four questions: 1) What are the implications of bringing pole dancing into concert dance, not as a caricature or theatrical version of what is performed in strip clubs, but as its own, free-standing art form? 2) In what ways will years of ballet and modern dance training influence the type of dancing that emerges from dancers when poles and other apparatuses are introduced? 3) How can the author create an original pole dancing style and pedagogical methods for teaching it? 4) Who participates in pole fitness classes and how does the demographic change based on location? What about when pole fitness classes are offered in an academic setting? The author shares first-hand experiences of investigating pole dancing in fitness classes, attending performances, engaging in a rehearsal process with highly trained dancers, and teaching pole dancing to movers with a wide range of abilities. The author addresses how research plans changed as she encountered limitations of budget and time constraints. The author also elaborates on the creative process that she engaged in with her thesis cast, collaborators, and supporting designers in the making of Super-beneath, a theatrical dance work that uses five, free-standing poles. She outline the vignettes, overall structure, and narrative of the work. The author then discusses where this research fits into the larger field of pole dancing, and the even larger field of dance. In the final sections of this paper, the author describes her pedagogical practices relating to pole classes, what “practice as research” means to her, and how she would like to continue on this research trajectory in the future.

Journal Accelerando
Year 2017
Issue 2

Cadwallader, Amy Patricia (2017) Pole Dancing Auto-ethnography: Practice, Pedagogy, Performance . In: Accelerando: Belgrade Journal of Music and Dance, No. 2. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/1030078/.

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