Where Have All the Pole Stars Gone?
Where have our original pole stars gone? It can feel like they’ve moved on without us. We remember the good times when Jenyne Butterfly would guest perform at International Pole Convention or when Felix Cane would tour with her workshops. As the years roll by it’s no surprise that pole stars come into the limelight and then gracefully sashay out. The same pole dancers can’t always be on top or pole dancing wouldn’t move forward. Just like any other sport/art, our most beloved pole dancers have to eventually step down to make room for the newest up and coming pole stars. The fact that we’re seeing one generation of pole stars move on from the competition scene (i.e. Felix Cane, Jenyne Butterfly, Zoraya Judd) and another set rise up, means that pole dancing is on the right track. Just like basketball, swimming or ice skating, pole dancing is evolving and bringing in fresh, creative and energizing athletes. It’s exciting to see this switch in the pole industry because it’s the first time it’s happened. Our first generation, if you will, is moving on and the second pole generation is hot on their heels. While this can sound like a sad thing, it’s actually pretty exciting! Why? Because this means that pole has been around long enough for it to not be called a fad. We’re pushing forward toward the legitimacy we seek from others outside of the pole community. We’re showing another quality as a sport and art form that other sports and arts already have. What makes pole even better is that our pole stars don’t have to retire and let go of what they love. Take Basketball players for example. When they are done with their career and they retire, they aren’t playing basketball on any professional level. They may commentate on other games, do commercials or try another sport, but they almost never play professional basketball again. In pole dancing, our pole stars may move out of the spotlight on social media and in the pole community, but they have the chance to move on to bigger things like Cirque Du Soleil or Zen Arts. They can judge, guest perform or even try the competition route again, like Alethea Austin this past year at USPDF. They can professionally pole dance for years after their pole fame by owning a studio, touring, or doing workshops. This quality sets us a part from any other sport out there. So, what’s the point here? The point is, let this new generation of polers be proof that we are moving forward as a community, as an industry. The next time you feel like our beloved pole stars have forgotten about us or you wonder what they’re up to because their facebook page isn’t up to date, remember that there are other pole stars out there who are ready to wow you and take pole to the next level. Remember that we don’t need to be an Olympic sport in order to know that we are a sport. The second generation is here and there will be plenty of generations to follow… who knows, you could be the next pole star on the rise. Who is your favorite second generation poler or poler on the rise?