Friday, 5 December 2014

The Stripper Gymnast's Gym Shoes

Here is the third in the series of posts my colleague Ann Marie on pole dancing. You can find the earlier posts hereherehere and here

When a stripper gymnast heads to the gym (aka pole studio) for training, our gym bags look very similar to someone normal going to the normal gym:
Crop top/sports bra
Hand grip/gloves
Water bottle

Yes, our "gym" shoes are actually "stripper heels". That is, if we choose to wear them. 

Nothing irks us pole dancers more than to see someone stomping into the studio wearing shoes that have clearly been worn outdoors. Besides the obvious disgusting factor of carrying germs into our beloved studios (and yes, sometimes we get a bit too attached to our studios since we're there so often!). Regular heels also carry grit and bits of sand from the "outside world" and that, in the long run, ruins the flooring of the studio. 

Also, it's just disgusting. So no heels that have touched the outside world are allowed, okay?

Another part of the reason why we're so particular about which shoes to use is because of safety reasons. 

But these are so high! How are they safe? 


Okay, on a more serious note: As mentioned in a previous post, these heels are made in one complete piece for the sole. Which means that it is very durable and can withstand hard knocks. Also, the PVC upper, which comprises of most shoes, actually helps pole dancers to grip the poles while climbing.

About the shoes being too high? Don't lie, we've seen you walking around like a giraffe in heels on the street. You'll be fine in these. They are actually more comfortable than normal heels. 
See? Reaaallly comfy.
Dancing with heels

It's a completely new skill we had to learn. We were comfortable with most intermediate tricks when we first put on our heels. Suddenly, beginner tricks like inverts and walking became very difficult. I went a bit too ambitious with a 7.5 inch pair as my first pair of heels. 

Re-enactment. Real video deleted out of shame.
The heel policy differs across studios:
It's a good idea to try heels out if you haven't already, as it opens up a whole new style of pole dancing and stripper gymnastics. Who knows, you might love it and never take them off. If you're not up for dropping SGD100 on yet another pair of shoes, you can borrow from a pole friend or instructor with the same shoe size.

When you're just starting, take it easy in those babies. 

I want a pair!

Studios in Singapore stock a small range of shoes at any time, with Milan Pole Dance Studio and SLAP having some ready stock for a few styles of shoes. You can also place your order for pole dancing heels through your studio, which is what Bobbis does. Acropolates' students often have mass pole shoe orders among themselves.

For a wider selection, it's online shopping all the way. To save money, make your girlfriends collate orders and save on shipping! Here's a non-exhaustive list to get you started: 

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