When I first started at the Pink Poodle, we had no pole. None of us had worked in a club that had poles. Pole dancing was not even a phrase back then. What we did have on that stage was: a puffy chair, big, burgundy, velvet curtains in which we would enter directly from our dressing room. That was it. There was a bit of a built in "shelf" or an overhanging structure that was part of the wall on the left side of the stage. Some of the more athletic dancers (moi) would use this lift ourselves and body swing a bit.
Almost all of the dancers used a blanket for floor work. I actually miss that. I just havent' found the right blanket:-( I believe the blanket act really saved my knees. I mean, how many 53 (tomorrow) year old dancers do you know without knee problems?
The oldest dancer I knew there (although she would never admit it) was "Diana". If her overly tanned skin didn't give her age away, her dancing did. What she did was quite elegant. Almost like the tableau styles of the early 20th century. ( If you have ever seen Boardwalk Empire. The burlesque scenes with the amazing Gretchen Mol. This is pretty similar). She had her blanket and did floor work. But she never spread her legs, or blatantly touched herself. She had these slow, lyrical movements she would do with mostly her hands and arms. Being a baby stripper at the time, I didn't get it. But now, I get it. She had a style and stuck to it. There is something to be said about finding a style that works for you. However, there is a fine line between being an original and seeming dated because you haven't bothered to tweak your style to make it more modern.
The other girls were more energetic or nasty. Nasty, not in the booty-poppin' way, but just nasty. Spread eagle right in your face nasty. Since there were no lap dances back then, the patrons would love to sit right up at the stage to get a good view. (We used to jokingly call that 'gynocology row').
I had my own ideas about dancing. I thought that a healthy, lean body with tons of energy was the most beautiful thing. I still do. I have been blessed to have a lot of energy. Sometimes, too much, lol!. I used to love to get a slight running start and "dive" on my blanket to make it slide across the stage. I remember Diana constantly telling me to slow down because it wasn't 'sexy'. I couldn't help myself!
But I loved the feeling of speed, energy, flipping my body this way and that. I even added some break dancing stuff. I still dance that way, but I get the need for speed fed by a spinning pole.
I'll write more about this soon. There is so much change and evolution of exotic dancing. I can't write this in one session:-(.