Pole dancing. The two words probably bring a number of judgments to mind (or perhaps just jealousy that there’s no way you could swing your body around a pole without serious injury). 

Pole dance, one of the most vigorous forms of exercise, serves many different purposes to different people: for some, it’s a career — for others, it’s a hobby or an escape, or even an opportunity to step outside themselves into something new. 

Pole dancers opened up to Whisper about why they chose this activity and what they wish people knew:

  1. I feel beautiful when I pole dance. Real pole dancing and tricks. I feel invincible and confident. My stress melts and I'm free again.
  2. People sometimes ask if I get beaten because I'm covered in bruises, thankfully it's only because I'm a pole dancer
  3. I'm a pole dancer but that doesn't mean I can dance.
  4. I'm a pole dance teacher and I work at a bar, but I take off my wedding ring for both because it helps business...
  5. I'm a pole dancer. Outside of work I struggle with self confidence. But thanks to my job I can pay my bills and feel a little more in love with myself and body.
  6. I'm a pole dancer, not a stripper, not a prostitute. It's a hobby, not my career. My audience: party of 1
  7. I'm a pole dancer and I feel like that's the only reason my boyfriend in dating me.
  8. I wish the uptight, judgemental clients I work with during the day knew that I'm a pole dancer.
  9. I'm a successful business woman and in my spare time I'm a pole dancer
  10. When I say I pole dance, I don't mean I'm a stripper. I mean I can lift my whole body weight vertical and then upside down while smiling in seven inch platform heels.
  11. I feel like people judge me the second I tell them I'm a pole-dancer.
  12. I'm a pole dancer. I've never even been to a strip club
  13. I pole dance so that I am strong enough to throw anyone who tells me that it's slutty degrading or not a real sport across the room.
  14. I really want to tell people around me that I'm a pole dancer but people are so quick to judge. I don't feel comfortable talking about something I love.
  15. I can't date, because guys only see me as a pole dancer and not a person.
  16. I'm a pole dancer. Not because I have to be, but because I want to be.
  17. I pole dance-it is ridiculously hard to look elegant when your legs are ripping on metal!
  18. I feel like a ninja when I pole dance.
  19. I'm a pole dancer. I'm not a stripper, I'm a fucking engineer, I just love pole dancing. No sexuality involved, why can't people understand that?
  20. I pole dance because at the end of the day I want to be ripped as hell, graceful, and capable of hanging upside down for extended periods of time