Black Girls Pole Encourages Pole Diversity
By: Briana Gunter
Have you heard of Black Girls Pole? They are very active online, encouraging African American women to get involved in pole dance for fun and fitness. But why was Black Girls Pole created anyway?
In the past few years, pole dancing has emerged from the shadows to become a premier way for people (and especially women) to get fit, express their sensuality, and discover their inner vixen. Once only associated with professional exotic dancers, the pole is now a fitness tool for everyone from school teachers, to athletes, to stay-at-home moms.
However, as with many forms of fitness, such as yoga or gymnastics, it seems that there is one prevailing aesthetic that comes to mind when people think of pole dancing: slender, white, and female.
Although there are people from all walks of life who enjoy pole as an art form, it seems that diversity is often missed or overlooked in the world of pole.
Enter Dalijah Franklin, founder of the Black Girls Pole movement. A pole artist herself, traveling and competing in pole competitions, Franklin didn’t see significant numbers of enthusiasts who looked like her. Knowing she couldn’t be the only black girl who loved to pole, she formed Black Girls Pole in order to shine a light on those women of color who enjoy and excel at the sport.
Since its inception in 2014, it has gained momentum in incredible ways. Some of the biggest names in the game have come to be ambassadors of the movement, including Nicole “The Pole” Williams, featured in a variety of mainstream music videos by artists such as Rihanna, Ne-Yo, and Bruno Mars.
One reason BGP has found such success is that it truly practices what it preaches when it comes to diversity. We’re not just talking diversity in skin color here; Black Girls Pole celebrates the variety of shapes, sizes, and backgrounds that pole artists come from, and it shows in its choice of ambassadors.
Take Roz the Diva for example. If there’s any stereotype that’s most prominent about pole dancing, it’s that you have to be stick thin to do it. Well if that’s the case, nobody told Roz.
Proud owner of a curvy body, this plus sized dancer serves up all the right moves with every bit of strength, grace, and confidence as her more slender counterparts. Additionally, she’s created a lane for other curvy divas to show off how big girls can get down on the pole with her “Dangerous Curves” talent showcase, which features plus sized women who work the pole with sultry confidence and sex appeal.
Black Girls Pole really walks its talk when it comes to bringing variety to the pole world. With that variety comes a shift in mindset that Franklin hopes will not only change the perception of pole dancing, but specifically what it means to be a pole dancer of color.
This month week we’ll be highlighting some of the standout Black women in pole across our social media platforms. To get more involved in the BGP movement, follow Black Girls Pole on FaceBook or Instagram …
Blogger Briana Gunter is new to the Pole Dance Nation family. Check out her social media pages below: