The history of pole

Many history guides reference mallakhamb, maypole, Chinese pole, and/or other pole-like apparatuses. Our studio disagrees with this take. We honor and celebrate the definitive influencers of pole dance in the United States.

Sources: Vertical Wise, IPDFA, Pole Parlour

1890-1920's

Traveling "girlie shows" introduced pole by using the wooden tent supports to draw crowds

1950's

Pole transitions into bars and infuses itself with burlesque

1960's

Influenced by the Sexual Revolution, full nudity at clubs is more common. Belle Jangles is credited with the earliest recorded pole dance.

1970's

Poles are commonplace in Canadian and US strip clubs. Exotic dancers teach one another and build the modern-day repertoire

1990's

Canadian stripper Fawnia Monday brings pole to the US with her VHS instructional video

2000's 

Pole starts to gain mainstream appeal and dedicated pole dance and fitness studios open across the US

2010's

Instagram and YouTube make pole accessible for even larger audiences. Toxic hastags like #notastripper doubled-down on the stigma sex workers face

Today

The discussion on how to honor the roots of pole is ongoing.