Amidst upheaval, two dance studios in Israel create something great.
July 24, 2014 – This Saturday, July 26th, there’s something important happening in Israel . . . and it has absolutely nothing to do with the current war and unrest. No, what’s happening Saturday represents something wholly positive: Israel’s first-ever national pole dance championship.
Israel’s pole scene is fairly recent – Funky Goddess, the country’s first public pole studio, was founded by professional pole dancer Neta Lee Levy in 2009. Levy says that she wanted to put on a professional pole competition for a long time, but “there were not enough people to compete.” The pole industry has been steadily growing, however, and Levy has now partnered with Alexey Samsonov of Pole House to bring a group of Israel’s elite pole athletes together on stage to compete.
Levy and Samsonov concerned themselves from the start with placing high priority on professionalism and fair conduct. Judges include pole athletes, studio owners, aerialists, and competitors, with a rotation system in place to ensure that judges aren’t tasked with judging one of their own.
Dancers will compete on two 3.6-meter professionally rigged poles and will be judged on technique, composition/choreography, and artistry. IPDC’s goal: a competition that is sporty, yet artistic. Levy notes that IPDC is “still kind of free from hard rules. We gave some overall lines to keep it respectful but we want to see people dance and do acrobatics as they wish . . . the competitors are amazing!”
Saturday’s competition will feature routines from women (both amateur and professional divisions), men, and doubles. The support for this first-time event has been high, no doubt thanks to the spirit of partnership exhibited by Levy and Samsonov.
Says Levy, “We want to do this for us, because we worked so hard! We love pole dance so much, and it gives us hope, something to hold on to. Friendship, sisterhood, a great practice to take the stress out. So much, it’s a world of its own . . . We all feel the same about pole life!”
Article written by Gina Tann