“My sister said, ‘You’re too old.’ My husband said, ‘You’re going to hurt yourself.’ My son said, ‘Pole dancing?’”
Spinning upside down and doing the splits 10 feet above the floor while clinging onto a vertical metal pole may not be for everyone.
But the second annual Minnesota Pole Competitions this weekend at the Maplewood Performing Arts Theatre will demonstrate that pole dancing has outgrown its roots in “gentlemen’s clubs.”
It’s now a form of artistic expression, exercise and competition practiced by kids and adults, male and female and body types of all sizes.
The event on Saturday and Sunday is expected to attract about 300 participants including nearly 60 competitors, according to organizer Angie Lofquist, a former fitness instructor from St. Paul who now teaches and performs pole dancing for a living. In addition to competition in categories ranging from novice to elite, the pole dancing weekend will include seminars, workshops and pole dancing vendors.
One stereotype-busting performer at the event will be Mary Giltner Serritella, a 63-year-old Minnesota native who pole dances under the name of Mary Caryl. Serritella, who now lives in the Los Angeles area, said she decided to take up pole dancing about six years ago after the kids had grown up.
“My sister said, ‘You’re too old.’ My husband said, ‘You’re going to hurt yourself.’ My son said, ‘Pole dancing?’” Serritella said.