Thursday, August 18, 2011

The World's Most Famous Pole Dancer hits SLC

Posted By on August 18, 2011, 12:15 PM

A few years ago, the words “pole dancing” conjured up images of smoky strip clubs and scantily clad women whose risqué performances were designed to please the men who came to watch.--- Today, pole dancing is an accepted form of exercise and an established athletic pursuit, and many women pole dance to please only themselves.

This week, Pantera Blacksmith, dubbed “The World’s Most Famous Pole Dancer,” is in Salt Lake City. She attends a meet and greet at Studio Pearl today, and tomorrow she will be hosting workshops there. A performance at Club Habits will follow at 7 p.m.

Since the opening of Studio Soiree in 2007, many Salt Lake City women have had the opportunity to learn pole fitness in a positive environment. On its website, it states that “the mission of [the] organization is to empower women through movement and physical strength, to create comfort and awareness of women's sensuality when combined with female-oriented exercise.” In fact, it even makes a point to exclude men from all but a couple of classes. This burgeoning pole-fitness culture undoubtedly made Salt Lake City seem an ideal tour stop for Blacksmith.

Blacksmith began her rise to fame much like the sport of pole dancing itself. She started out as an exotic dancer working in strip clubs. But, over time, pole dancing became much more than just a way to make a living. Her passion and skill on the pole eventually allowed her to quit her job as a stripper and devote all of her energy to the art of pole dancing. Now, when she’s not performing and competing in places from Europe to Australia, she acts as a personal trainer and teacher who emphasizes health, nutrition and safety.

Blacksmith said about her trip to Salt Lake City that “it’s a beautiful city, it’s a fun city, and I enjoy the landscape and the people." When asked why she came to Utah, a conservative state, to promote pole dancing, she said “pole dancing has reached a huge diversity” and that the problem “is not the location, it’s the continued stereotype of pole dancing,” a stereotype she hopes to overcome.

Whether you’re a pole-fitness aficionado or you just want to get a different perspective on pole dancing, Pantera Blacksmith’s visit is an event you won’t want to miss. For more information or to see an incredible video of one of Blacksmith’s performances, go to her Website.

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Lexie Levitt

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