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Last summer on the way back from my annual holiday, I read a piece in a magazine explaining the word “selfie” – “A photograph that you take of yourself, usually with a mobile phone. Selfies are often published using social media”.
Later that year, on Novermber 13th 2013, Oxford Dictionaries annoucned Selfie as their International Word of the Year.
True, selfies are nothing new. I remember taking them with a pink Le Clic disc camera and getting the film developed at the local chemists only to discover that what I’d photographed was in fact a reflection of the flash in the mirror, or a dodgy shot of the ceiling fixture, complete with dangling camera wrist strap. We had a long way to go before filters, clever camera angles (double chin, begone!) and standing sideways and breathing in.

This is what we had instead of Instagram

Selfies are now a regular part of our social landscape. In fact, more photos are taken per second today than in the whole of the 18th century. I’m sure I read that somewhere.
So of course, it was only a matter of time before the phenomena reached the pole dancing world. Pole selfies –  “Pelfies” , or “Polfies” as Annemarie Davies and Nadia Sharif christened them – have taken over as the most recent “move of the moment” – and is something everyone can be part of – no matter where you are on your pole journey, be it absolute beginner or elite professional, the object of the polfie is not to shoot your best move or showcase your unique skills, but to capture the sense of fun, the spontaneity and the unique appeal of this, our topsy turvy pole world.

Annemarie Davies’ polfie

But before you embark on your quest for the perfect polfie, let me share with you my pole selfie experiences.

Firstly, consider the practicalities. You need both hands to hold a lot of moves. Even the one handed moves will usually require both hands to get into them. Anyone who has trained with Deb Roach will know how different it is to work the pole with one arm. Tucking a phone into your waistband or bra is not a reliable form of transit. Tip: Have a helpful and tolerant friend to hand you your camera. Just trust me on this. If in doubt, go for floorwork polfies.

 One thing we polers already know is the effect of gravity on our (sometimes ravaged forms). Upside down boobs can often be a good look. Even the oldest and droopiest of boobs look a lot better upside down. At least, mine do. It’s like a natural wonderbra. The reverse cleavage look is flattering for all but the largest of boobs, when suffocation may be an issue. The upside down look can also be complimentary for the face – a natural facelift, unless your cheeks are so careworn that they start sliding up over your forehead as you hang in a gemini. 
The natural muscle tone that pops out when holding your favourite pole move is another reason to love a polfie: watch in wonder as your quads, abs, traps, lats or whatever your preferred musculature is leaps to the fore, gleaming in all its buffed, pulsing wonder. What could be better?
On  side note, my own journey into the world of the polfie taught me that the pole community loves nothing more than a Wonder Woman bikini. Why do we identify so intensely with the Princess Diana of Themyscira? Maybe it’s the strength, the range of superhuman powers and superior combat and battle skills – useful tools in the arsenal of the pole dancer. Maybe it’s the shiny gold bits. Whatever it is, if you spot a sassy toned girl in a Wonder Woman bikini by the pool this summer taking a selfie, chances are she is part of the pole dancing tribe.
Pole selfies are not about vanity. They are not about showcasing your best moves. They are about capturing a moment, that spirit of the studio, your own split second in your training. Enjoy it, and have fun with it.


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