Now I had heard that pole dancing had become popular in the United States, but had not hear about the rising popularity of the “exercise” in China. In today’s New York Times, the newspaper reports “From the Erotic Domain, an Aerobic Trend in China” and interviews the woman who brought pole dancing into the mainstream in China:
“The woman who claims to have brought pole dancing to China, Luo Lan, 39, is from Yichun, a small town in Jiangxi Province in southeastern China… She traveled to Paris in 2006 for vacation. It was there that she first saw pole dancing… Ms. Luo, who quickly discovered that pole dancing for fitness was popular in America, realized that if she could take away the shadier aspects of the erotic dance and repackage it into an activity more acceptable to mainstream Chinese women, she might create a Chinese fitness revolution. Here was an exercise that would allow women to stay fit and express their sexuality with an unprecedented degree of openness and freedom. But she remained keenly aware of the challenges in a society where traditional values dictate that women be loyal, faithful and modestly dressed.”
I am all for more exercise! :-). Seriously, I wonder if the average Chinese woman taking pole dancing lessons knows about the shadier purposes of pole dancing in West and whether or not she would take up pole dancing if she knew? I don’t recall seeing any strip clubs in my travels in China (but I wasn’t exactly looking). I don’t even know if strip clubs are legal in China ?
I had blogged about “Chinese-American women create a line-dancing craze,” but somehow, I just don’t see pole dancing at least in my parents’ generation becoming too popular… But maybe a future competition in the Miss Chinatown USA Pageant? I’d like to see that! (OK, I’m a pig…) Actually, I have never been to the Miss Chinatown USA Pageant competition – which is I believe held every year in San Francisco. Maybe I will in February 2009. Maybe I can get press credentials as a blogger (hey, 8Asians actually gets invitations for all sorts of events, screenings, etc.)