[Laura Jaye Cramer | SFWeekly | Aug 25, 2014]

This weekend, the Bay Area witnessed the inaugural Northern California Pole Presentational, a showcase for pole enthusiasts from San Francisco and the surrounding areas. The brainchild of pole dancers Lori Meyers, Amy Bond, and Ellen Lovelace is billed as “a safe place for dancers to share their talent, and develop their pole skills by presenting their unique artistry in a supportive and inspiring environment.”

In other words, (and probably to the disappointment of some) the presentation is decidedly one about fitness, not stripclub-esque erotic dancing.

The NCPP encouraged anyone to participate; male, female, young, old, plus-size, tiny – a true “come as you are” attitude. And the all-inclusive event did feature a diverse group; many races, sizes — even a pregnant woman (who nailed it, by the way). Broken into four categories — beginners, intermediate, advanced, and duo/groups — the showing was judged by a panel of pole experts from all over California, Oregon, and New York. Rather than awarding places or scorecards, each participant was given personal feedback for performance. The goal? Everyone walks away with a few words of advice from some of the best in the biz feeling like winner.

The lack of competitiveness among the performers, as well as the varying degrees in experience, made for casual, friendly atmosphere. Even the shakiest of performers must have felt the support from the audience – made up mostly of boyfriends, teachers, and fellow dancers – in the intimate setting of the San Jose Stage Company’s blackbox-style stage.

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