Introducing: CU Pole Sports Club

From a small group of pros to a community of people with love for artistry, the CU Pole Sports Team is a club unlike any you may have heard of before.

       You can catch them at many CU Club events giving pole demos and laughing among each other.  The first time these individuals caught my eye was from a distance on Farrand field; even so I got the vibe this was a club not only for those interested in a challenge, but for anyone interested in simply having unique fun with other college students. We had the opportunity to sit down with a few members and get a better look at what this club is (and find out why you should try it out).

Image Credit: Kassidy

       The CU Pole Sport Club originated as a group of students who had already practiced pole dance regularly.  Usually group meetings consisted of practice for showcases, but quickly, an abundance of students began showing up with pure curiosity for learning the art.  This divergence of curiosity modeled the club to be inclusive for any individual at any level. Now, the group involves itself with not only community events and showcases, but also with far more relaxed activities such as meeting to learn new tricks from Instagram, teaching the newer members basic tricks and more.  This is done at a local studio in order to ensure a safe environment for practice.

Image Credit: CU Pole Sport FB

The diversity of this group is clear, all the way down to how each became a member.

Some had previous experience:

Kara was a gymnast in high school and discovered one of her coaches did pole dancing.  This coach allowed Kara to experiment with and just have fun with the pole at her house. Moving on to college Kara saw a flier for pole sport and knew this was a club she would like to be a part of.

Some just found it exciting and knew they needed to try it out:

        Kassidy saw the table for this club at Involvement Fair of freshman year; it wasn’t until junior year that Kassidy spotted the team again, this time with their portable pole.  He immediately texted his roommate, Sean with excitement saying, “We should try this!”

Still others joined for laughs:

Sean (Kassidy’s roommate), recalls that day when Kassidy burst into the room saying “Oh my gosh there is a CU pole club you have to join!” Sean initially joined because he thought it may be comical.  However, he discovered much more than comedy; the fun and the health benefits made him stay.

Image Credit: Sean 

      Another aspect of this club to rebel against any stigma that remains behind pole dancing.  Another member, MC, recalls the first time she told her roommate about the club. MC said that the initial response is usually to sexualize the activity; her roommate responded, “Do I even want to know what you do?” However, once explained in more detail, others tend to be more understanding.  Several female members recall times at club fairs in which guys come up and ask questions to the effect of “Is this stripper club?” or “Can we just come and watch?” Kassidy further added that this sexualization is not immune to the LGBTQ community either as he often performs in drag and still faces demeaning comments from those within the community.  Sean finally added he has noticed a difference in the way men and women respond; he said typically guys joke about the idea (though, thankfully, they do not tear him down for it), but when women find out they typically respond with more curiosity and encouragement.

Image Credit: CU Pole Sport Team Instagram

      Despite all of these mixed reactions, the last ten years have brought about a great deal of sexual freedom and expression and the club observes this.  They say the number of negative comments cannot compare with the extensive number of positive ones. Co-president, Kelly, gave props to the beautiful town of Boulder and its high degree of acceptance as opposed to the town she grew up in. She wisely stated "To act like it’s a big deal' encourages people to overthink the activity. Don’t keep it a secret! I talk openly as if I were a gymnast, soccer player etc. Talking openly is what moves the movement".   

 

There are 5 awesome values this club prides itself on:

Inclusion

Empowerment

Excellence

Self-expression

Safety

 

So are you still debating whether or not to give CU Pole Sports Club a try? Well, take it from the members:

“ANYONE can do it, and they should do it.”

“Its mind opening, an experience you can’t get doing anything else.”

“Guys should do it too, there so much more strength in it than you know.”

“Everyone has to start somewhere.”

“Your feet don’t even have to leave the ground to pole dance!”

 

From the diversity to the strength and health benefits, and to the fantastic movement this club involves itself with; I am pleasantly surprised and proud of this admirable group of people.

Here are the links to everything you need to know:

www.cupolesport.com

Facebook

Instagram

Image Credit: Kara Ratcliff

 

(P.S. Even if pole fitness/art is not quite your thing, you should still give them a follow to show support for the growing community!)

 

Special Thanks to Her Campus members Lydia Stalcup and Hannah Starnes for assisting with this interview