Pole dancing has become a fitness and creative outlet for performers of all shapes, sizes and ages, and an upcoming show looks to showcase local talent — including a former national champion.
The Island Talent Pole Fitness Show takes place at Errington War Memorial Hall on Saturday, June 3.
Sixteen performers will be taking part, demonstrating feats of remarkable strength and skill, as well as dance and theatre elements, said organizer and performer Glenny Davidson.
The Bowser resident said that, while stripping is certainly part of the history of pole dancing and what many people might initially think of, that’s not what this show is about.
“I don’t feel that there is anything wrong with being sexy,” said Davidson. “But that being said, this show is more about showing off the sport of it.”
That includes acrobatics, dance, theatre, and even comedy aspects, she said.
Davidson began pole fitness as a way to get in shape during a particularly difficult time in her life, she said. Having just moved to the Island, a friend suggested they both try pole fitness together. After the first class, Davidson said it was such a good workout that she could barely walk.
“I was hooked after that,” she said.
A few years later, Davidson began competing, placing second in the B.C. Canadian Pole Fitness Association championships in the 40 and over division. Last year, Davidson placed first in nationals.
Now a pole fitness instructor, Davidson said she wanted to provide her students with a safe place to perform, as many of them want to start competing as well.
Some of her first performances took place in bars, because there weren’t any other places that would host pole dance shows, she said.
“I just wasn’t comfortable because, like I said, not that I have anything wrong with the stripping aspect of it, but that’s not what it was for me,” said Davidson.
The upcoming performance at Errington hall will include a seven-year-old performer who just began pole fitness, as well as a 54-year-old and one male performer, Davidson said. “Pole is so universal that anyone can do it,” she said.
The evening will also run as a fundraiser, with items from local businesses and artisans to be raffled off. Funds raised will go to purchasing a free-standing aerial rig structure for hoop, trapeze and silks practice.
The show takes place at Errington Hall on Saturday, June 3, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Errington Store, Cranky Dog Music and Heaven on Earth.