Tue, Oct 25, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Pole dancers in Manila seek respect for their art
力抗刻板印象 鋼管舞者與管弦樂團同登大雅之堂

Dancer Marcela Betancourt takes part in a pole dancing contest in the beginners category in Medellin, Colombia on July 2.

Photo: EPA

Pole dancing to the music of a 20-piece live orchestra, including violins? Yes, says one Philippine pole dance troupe that seeks respect for its art and athleticism.

Against the background of women around the world turning to pole dancing as a form of exercise, the Manila-based group Polecats proved at a recent weekend show that performances are no longer only for strip clubs and sleazy bars — or just for women, either.

As the orchestra played classical-style arrangements of modern songs, dancers of both genders swung and climbed gracefully up 4m poles, combining flexibility, strength, and moves bordering on acrobatics, with sensuality.

“You don’t go to Cirque du Soleil to get turned on, although maybe you will, but I just want people to see that we’re really good at what we do, and not just hot,” said Christina Dy, the Polecats director.

Routines involving swings and twirls require balance, concentration and a high level of technical skills, and that is what audiences should appreciate, she added.

“I just want people to see that this is very hard ... if you just want the hair flipping, the grinding and all that, the boob popping, you can get that anywhere.”

The group has gathered male performers, as well as male viewers, by focusing on the athletic aspects of performing, said Job Bautista, the first man to become a regular Polecats member.

Organizations such as the International Pole Dance Fitness Association have been advocating professional pole dancing for fitness and sport. Ultimately, the goal is to include it in the Olympics.





1. sleazy adj. 聲色的;風化的 (sheng1 se4 de5 ; feng1 hua4 de5)

例: Some people call it the sleazy district because of all the brothels located in that part of the city.


2. athletic adj. 體育的 (ti3 yu4 de5)

例: Mark prefers slow relaxing strolls in the park to strenuous athletic activity.


3. fitness n. 健身 (jian4 shen1)

例: I spent the evening working out at the fitness center last night.









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