By: Krystle Crossman
When you think of pole dancing you think of a strip club right? In the last few years pole dancing has become less about the act of taking off clothes and more about art and fitness. Dalijah Franklin is aiming to change the way that black women think about pole dancing. She moved to New York City after obtaining a Bachelor’s in nutritional science. She wanted to become a dancer. After a few years of living in the big city she realized that there was a different type of dance that she wanted to do professionally but not in the conventional way that it was usually done. She took up pole dancing without taking her clothes off.
Franklin won multiple pole dancing awards thanks to her determination and her background in cheerleading and gymnastics. After she had a few awards under her belt she decided that it was time for her to start helping other black women to realize that pole dancing was great exercise. She started Black Girls Pole which is now becoming more and more popular. It all started in 2014 in NYC during a day-long workshop. Industry-leading black pole dancers came to teach workshops and show off their skills. At the end they all came together to showcase a beautiful piece that no one could take their eyes off of.
Black Girls Pole is not just about pole dancing either. It is about building confidence, getting into shape, and building relationships with other black women. Franklin tells stories during class, they laugh, they have a good time. But they also work hard and get a good amount of exercise in. Franklin is very uplifting to her students and always tries to help anyone who may need a little extra push. During the classes the students also share stories about how they got into pole fitness and how it has helped them in life. Franklin tries to teach women how to use the confidence that they gain while dancing in their everyday lives so that their mind is empowered as well as their body. Black Girls Pole held its second showcase on June 27th, 2015 and the workshops were sold out.