From Tina Kelley at the New York Times:
Johnna Cottam was showing a group of her girlfriends how to do a move called the Fireman.Wow. I need to get off the computer and get out more...
As music by Shakira played, she strode up to grab the portable pole in the living room of her well-appointed lakefront home here, wrapped her right leg around it, swung wide with her left, and spun. When she reached the bottom, Ms. Cottam, in a pink “Got Pole?” tank top and black workout pants, tossed her hair back, mudflap-girl style.
“Kick it right out of the ballpark, just kick it,” she encouraged her five friends and neighbors. Making way for the women to try the move, Ms. Cottam backed into a rocking chair draped with pink and purple feather boas that partly covered her twin sons’ two teddy bears.
Pole dancing, once exclusively the province of exotic dancers, has flared up as a much-hyped Hollywood exercise craze, and has seeped into the collective unconscious through shows like “The Sopranos” and “Desperate Housewives.” A variant called motorized pole dancing, which occurs in stretch limos, has raised eyebrows as far away as Britain, where some female university students pole-danced as a fund-raiser for testicular cancer. And mini-poles have even been spotted as dance props at over-the-top bat mitzvah parties in suburban precincts.
Now the pole — think ballet barre turned vertical — is the new star at racier versions of Tupperware parties in well-heeled (if high-heeled) areas like this one in the northwest hills of Morris County, about 33 miles from Manhattan. Billed as “femme empowerment,” such at-home pole dancing lessons are taking place in the realm of book clubs, with mothers — and grandmothers — learning slinky moves for girls’ nights in, bachelorette send-offs, even the occasional 60th birthday celebration.
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