As pole dancers, we demand certain inalienable rights in the pursuit of our sport/dance/passion/hobby/career.
- The right to a positive experience. All pole dancers (studio owners, teachers, students, competitors, etc.) have the right to a positive and healthy experience in pursuit of their sport/dance/passion/hobby/career free of prohibitions in exercising that right insomuch that it does not prohibit nor interfere with another’s free and positive exercising of that experience.
- The right of respect regardless of race, gender, style, body size, age, or level of ability. All pole dancers (studio owners, teachers, students, competitors, etc.) have the right to respect in their chosen pursuit of pole; free of social media or real-world bullying, judgments, or unwelcome commentary. All pole dancers will support and respect each other internally and provide a united front to the outside world, welcoming all those who wish to engage with us in this industry.
- The right to a safe experience. All studio owners and teachers will practice, teach, and promote safety in all classes; using spotting and/or using safety apparatus as appropriate, and; discouraging unsafe behavior by students. Students will self-police their own safety practices and understand when to ask for help and when to encourage their fellow students to ask for help.
- The right to quality equipment. All studio owners and competition/event organizers will supply quality equipment for both aerial and floor based movement, which are checked and maintained regularly to ensure safety and quality. All students/competitors who witness cracks, scratches, tears, and other potential signs of wear or damage must alert teachers and/or studio owners immediately.
- The right to a clean studio. All studio owners, teachers, and students will be jointly complicit in providing a clean studio inclusive of: regularly clean floors (with NO street shoes), regularly cleaned poles, and regularly cleaned common areas (restrooms, locker rooms, reception areas etc.). EVERYONE will do their part in respecting the studio spaces and maintaining cleanliness.
- The right to fair competitions. All those choosing to enter into pole dance/pole fitness competitions of any size in any location around the world have the right to receive clear scoring and judging criteria, be subject to impartial and educated judges, and to abide by the final outcomes of any judged competition.
- The right to fair compensation. All those selling pole or related services/products have a right to fair compensation for their time and money as agreed upon before providing those services or products. All those receiving the products/services have a right to comply with compensation payments in a timely manner and those with any issues, have right #9 as protection against any (unlikely) potential unfair business practices.
- The right to a community of support and representation. All pole dancers (studio owners, teachers, students, competitors, etc.) have the right to expect a community of support available immediately, local and international, when they enter into this industry. This support may be mental, emotional, physical, financial, or digital pursuant to agreement of all parties in such that neither prohibit nor interfere with another’s free and positive exercising of a positive experience. Furthermore, all pole dancers will safely promote their individual diversity of experience in support of others who are unable to promote their diversity insomuch that all pole styles/polers are represented in addition to respected (#2) within the industry.
- The right to a speedy resolution of any issues. All pole dancers (studio owners, teachers, students, competitors, etc.) with a concern or complaint to another person or business within this industry regardless of detail have the right to a professional interaction with all parties involved and speedy resolution of the issue. Communication, clarity, respect, and if needed, an impartial formal or informal trial of facts is used to determine outcomes.
- The right to create your own path. The powers not delegated by this Bill or Rights, nor prohibited by it to the individual pole studios, are reserved to the studios respectively, or to the pole dancers of the world. Go make your own path and rejoice in it!
Colleen Jolly is an AFAA-certified personal trainer, elevatED-certified pole teacher, entrepreneur and pole dance competitor. She has been poling for seven years, is the CEO of the International Pole Convention and teaches pole dancing online for 123Poling.com and in the DC metro area at FIT4Polers and MyBodyShop. She is active in leadership roles and Board positions in arts and association non-profit organizations; and is also an award-winning pole dancer, artist, writer, and speaker on visual communications and general business topics around the world.