Nightlife

Don’t blame the pole!

Pole dance instructor Fawnia Dietrich on the pole (-dancing ban)

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Pole-dance instructor Fawnia Dietrich at Ghostbar for the Nude Ambition Magazine launch, Fall 2007
Courtesy of Pole Fitness Studio

Fawnia Dietrich, owner of Vegas' Pole Fitness Studio, has been teaching pole dancing for 15 years, four and a half of them in Vegas. Including her DVDs, Dietrich estimates that tens of thousands of women have acquired pole prowess thanks to her, myself included.

In this time of crisis (Clark County has banned non-patrons from stripper poles, platforms, go-go boxes…), I turned to my sensei to make sense of it all.

Xania Woodman: What purpose is served by having dance poles in nightclubs? What do we stand to lose here?

Fawnia Dietrich: A lot of people love the fact that there’s a pole [in a nightclub as opposed to just a gentlemen’s club]. When they started putting poles into the clubs I thought, finally! A focal point! It’s exciting. Pole dancing is coming around as a form of fitness and female empowerment and to take that away I think that’s really sad.

XW: What do you think spurred this seemingly disproportionate reaction to an isolated incident at one nightclub? Will you be following this story as it develops?

FD: I guess [the county is] just a little bit afraid. I will be following this closely.

XW: If people get a little too excited to try out a nightclub’s dance pole, whose job is it to keep them in line, the venue or the county? Is it the pole’s fault that people get out of hand and ruin it for others?

FD: The pole is meant to be fun. And I do think that the security and the bouncers have to keep and eye on everything: the dance floor, the booths, maybe someone’s getting down there in their VIP booth and taking their top off… But I don’t think it’s just the pole.

XW: What came first—the lewd and lascivious behavior or the pole?

FD: I think that any place that has loud music and alcohol … can lead to that type of behavior. I don’t blame the pole.

XW: You are so wise, Fawnia. Can you show me how to do the Fireman spin again?

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