[Krutika Behrawala | Mid Day]

“Being on a pole is like flying. It is meditative and one of the most beautiful ways to connect with yourself,”

“Being on a pole is like flying. It is meditative and one of the most beautiful ways to connect with yourself,” says 27-year-old Aarifa Bhinderwala, as she caresses a 10-feet high steel rod under the dim glow of yellow lights in a mirrored room.

Like poetry in motion, she firmly grips it with her hands and a leg, pushes herself off the ground and spins on it mid-air. Donning a black two-piece, she syncs her lithe movements to a soulful melody in a four-minute video uploaded recently on Culture Machine’s digital channel, Blush.

She gracefully twists on the pole — stretching herself in a way that she is parallel to the ground and even defying gravity by turning upside down. The video aims to break the stereotype that pole dancing is a thing of strip clubs. It celebrates Bhinderwala’s journey with the pole that helped her deal with Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and shed insecurities about her body.

On top of things
Bhinderwala discovered pole dancing three years back, when she visited her sister and newborn nephew in Perth, Australia.

“I was looking for things to do in Perth and came across a class on pole dancing at Shemoves Pole Dance Fitness Studio. There wasn’t anything like this in our country,” says the Malad resident, who took to the pole in the first class itself. “I had never considered myself to be a strong person since I wasn’t much into fitness. In the first class, I learnt to hold my own body weight because we had to try aerial movements using the pole. The motion of spinning on it reminded me of my childhood when I would fling my arms and twirl, feeling a buzz in my head,” says the artiste.

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