I’ll be the first to admit: I’m making the rules of this project as I go, if there are rules.
Some of the things I shoot are sports, some are competitions, some are spoofs of sports and competitions. There is no formula. But there is a reason to my madness. Are people being athletic in a fun(ny) way? Is it unique? Is it visual?
And with that in my mind, I’ve long wanted to photograph a pole fitness class. The stars aligned during a dear friend’s wedding weekend in Vegas.
Thankfully, I’ve been working on this project for some time. I can show folks what I’ve been doing and what I intend to do: take tasteful, fun, creative images that aren’t mocking or judgmental.
So, when I contacted Fawnia, the owner of Vegas’ Pole Fitness Studio, I shared with her my, um, body of work. She seemed to get what I was going for and invited me to visit her co-ed spinning pole class.
It was funny, though, when I arrived. Fawnia smiled and said, “You’re not what I imagined. After your request, I half expected a short Asian man.”
During my research, I have found various pole dance championships, which are often held in LV. But there’s usually a single pole. And I wanted more environment and substance than glitz, more of a fitness setting and less one resembling a strip club. This studio felt a little of both worlds.
The classes vary in skill. Start at Level 1, the Flirting Class. Then move on to Tempress, Vixen, Diva, and then Siren, if you can handle it.
The top two tiers are Goddess and Queen Class.
For a single one-hour class, many of my photos have a similar feel. Curious if one of these images will make the final book edit. There’s obviously a high level of athleticism required to pole dance. Was fun watching Jimi, below, the lone male in the class. Looking pretty damn good for 51, eh. He’d been going to class for 4 months and seemed to have a blast.
As I was leaving, I heard next up was the Cougar Class for ages 35 (?!) and up. I think that would have made for some interesting photos, too. Perhaps the next time I’m hanging around Las Vegas.