or “When Pole Dancing Is Polarized”

By Makeda Smith


“My non-pole friends LAUGH over the idea of any pole dancer on a stripper pole in stripper heels putting on airs as though she’s somehow better than any woman who works the club. They are right to laugh. If we can’t even accept each other, how do we expect the rest of the world to accept the pole community?”  

– Kitty Marie IDanceBot


I clearly remember sitting in the VIP section of the upscale gentlemen’s club in San Diego. I was absolutely mesmerized by the exotic dancer elevated several feet above the dance floor. She was performing incredible magical feats, mid air no less, on the pole!!! “Wow,” I thought to myself, “never in a million years could I ever do anything like that.” For me her dance epitomized that of a true heavenly goddess, a temple dancer, able to bewitch and bewilder with her every move.

Pole dancing is a catalyst.

Pole dancing is alchemical.

Pole dancing is art.

Pole dancing is rooted in sacred sexuality.

Pole dancing is also now becoming polarized as the great debate of “pole dancing vs. stripping” continues to rear its very ugly head.

And interestingly enough – I am finding out that poling is perhaps more polarized within the pole community than it is outside of the pole community. Crazy thing is, while most folk outside of the pole community just group pole dancers and strippers in the same category – within the pole community there is a bastion of pole dancers who actual ‘slut shame’ strippers …. even though pole dancing was directly birthed from the stripper community. Go figure!

So without going into the taxing details about the burgeoning civil war going on – I would just like to dedicate this column to exalting my love, respect, admiration and yes, adulation for strippers. I have trained under the tutelage of several strippers and I sincerely bow down to them for teaching me how to further tap into my sacredly divine feminine center… that beauty filled inner space that is the source of a woman’s real ‘powHer.’

OK, I should acknowledge here that in the ‘pole competition’ world – the excuse, I mean, explanation is given that sponsors are harder to secure when there is no line drawn between the two ( pole dancers and strippers ) – but even that theory holds little weight for me. As a glaring example, look at how hip-hop, which originated from the ghettos of society, is now totally mainstreamed. Google 50 Cent or Jay Z even – and see where they started and where they are now – and who sponsors them. Where there is a will there is a way to make every thing work and I thought poling as a sport/dance/exercise symbolized defying all odds.

Also, I thought poling was all about being a safe, non-judgmental space for women. So yeah, all hail the strippers. They carried the torch and showed us how its done and we as pole dancers need to thank our sisters, not shame them. Exotic dance and stripping are ancient bastions of matriarchy that patriarchy has distorted. Patriarchy has taken us from ourselves and believe it or not, strippers are the modern beholders of our holy feminine grail. It is patriarchy that has sullied the persona of the ‘exotic’ dancer, but at her core, she is performing sacred, sensual movement that in all honesty should be respected and revered. When a woman follows the path of patriarchy, ‘his’tory has show she is in denial about ‘her’story.

FlyingOver50 will always be a brand that exalts the Divine Feminine. Hey, some of our favorite ladies started as strippers – think Lady Gaga, Catherine Zeta- Jones, Amber Rose, NeNe Leaks and let’s not forget the rapper Eve, who is now married to a billionaire ! As I think about it, “Gypsy,” starring Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood, was one of my favorite movies growing up – so even as a young girl – I knew there was something special about the secret power of the striptease.

Strippers embody the core essence of the goddess – sacred sexuality and sexual empowerment. All hell yes to my strippers!


Let’s dance y’all !


Makeda Smith



Facebook: FlyingOver50

IG: flyingover50makeda

Twitter: FlyingOver50


Photography/Hair/Makeup:   Dr. Boogie / www.BoogieSecrets.com