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Of all the different styles of dancing tried by Dr Emma Dunning of Marcoola Veterinary Surgery in QLD, pole dancing is definitely her favourite.
“I’ve always loved dancing and have tried many different styles including Argentine tango, ballroom, salsa, modern jive, jazz, ballet and square dancing. It brings me a lot of joy to be moving to music.
“When I was working in a previous job, one of the staff encouraged a few of us to attend a pole dancing class. It was unlike anything I had done before, and I found it quite challenging. I’m tall and not the lightest person in the world so it was extremely difficult to hang upside down on the pole.
“Generally, I think vets have trouble letting go of work and leaving it behind. For me, pole dancing is an automatic off switch. You can’t think about anything apart from what you’re doing when you’re upside down on a pole.
“There’s an element of danger to pole dancing. If you let go, you’ll fall on your head. We use mats and someone to spot us when we’re mastering advanced moves. You have to be very strong to support your body weight with various parts of your body.
“The most difficult part of pole dancing is that there’s no working up to your body weight. Your body weight is whatever it is and that’s what you’ve got to move around. You can either do it or you can’t. But it’s definitely a progression. You have to start with the easier moves and work your way up. Each class goes for about an hour and I’m absolutely exhausted at the end of it.
“Pole dancing does get a bit of a bad rap because of the men’s club connotations. But we’re no more scantily clad than you would be at the beach. Pole dancing relies on a lot of body contact with the pole. It’s the contact with the skin that keeps you from falling.
“During the COVID lockdowns, it was impossible to run classes. I managed by putting a pole in my garage and attending classes via Zoom. As it turns out, pole dancing is a COVID-friendly pastime.
“I really love the challenge of pole dancing. It’s also a very supportive environment. You never hear a negative comment about yourself—everyone is focused on improving skills and celebrating when you make a milestone. I’ve never met such a positive, encouraging bunch of people. There’s simply no room for negativity in pole dancing, that’s for sure.”