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Why pole-dancing shoes should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe

pole dancer image www.goodgirlsgo.com

I WOULD consider myself an average kind of girl; not particularly feminine, but definitely not a tomboy.

I suppose I do like to dress nicely, but when it comes to high heels I have absolutely no time for them at all. Okay, that’s a lie — I have a standard pair of chunky black high heels that I will reluctantly wear to formal events, but I usually end up in bare feet after the 4th or 5th champagne. Other than my sturdy and faithful black heels which I wear on the very rare occasion, I’m all about the ballet flats for work and Birkenstocks on weekends.

However, a few years ago I tried on a pair of heels that would change my life forever. They were the most comfortable pair of heels — maybe even shoes — that had ever adorned my feet. The cushioning on the sole provided a level of comfort that I had never experienced before. The straps over my toes and around my ankles moulded perfectly to my foot, as if I was Cinderella trying on the glass slipper. The grip on the bottom of the heels made me feel balanced and confident, and my legs had never looked better. Since then, I have worn them about two or three times a week with absolutely no pain, no blisters and no complaints.

I have all the time in the world for these babies — I’m talking about my hot pink, 6 inch platform heels. They’re perfect for spinning around a pole.

pole dancing shoes image www.goodgirlsgo.com

Grip on the bottom and cushioning on the inner sole … So easy to wear.

Now before you jump to conclusions I do pole dancing for fitness, not as a profession — although I have absolutely no problem with those who do. Anyone who has tried the increasingly popular sport will tell you how exhilarating and empowering pole dancing is. Nothing beats the feeling of when you’ve nailed that super scary move that you never thought you would be able to do. Pole dancing has been amazing for my confidence and self-esteem, I feel like I’m continuously surprising myself in every class. If you told me years ago that one day I would feel comfortable enough to wear booty shorts with massive high heels, I would never have believed you.

What many people don’t realise about those “crazy stripper” heels is that they do actually serve a purpose and many dancer (myself included) struggle without them. Firstly the straps are usually latex or patent leather, which helps you grip when you’re climbing a pole and protects the delicate bones on top of your feet. Secondly, the grip on the bottom of the shoes help you pivot and do pretty turns. And thirdly, the height of the platform helps you grab the pole higher than you usually would be able to.

The platform under the ball of the foot and the ankle strap also makes them incredibly comfortable image www.goodgirlsgo.com

The platform under the ball of the foot and the ankle strap also makes them incredibly comfortable.

All of these factors make for a seriously deceivingly comfortable pair of heels, that even male dancers manage to perform their tricks in. I’ve seen guys wear massive platforms so big that they put my measly 6 inches to shame.

Michelle Shimmy in her pole heels pole dancer image www.goodgirlsgo.com

I’ve discussed the comfort level of these shoes with my fellow dancers. The general consensus is that the combination of a non-slip sole, a heavily cushioned inner sole and ankle support from the strap that makes these the most deceptively comfortable shoes on the market.

Michelle Shimmy, professional pole dancer and co-owner of the Pole Dance Academy adds that the platform base that balances the stiletto heel is the icing on the cake.

“I think it’s because the platform is so high that it takes the pressure off ball of your foot” she says.

“I can wear them all night.”

Oh, and the best bit? You can buy them online for about $80. What’s not to like?

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Henry Sapiecha

BELLY DANCING ROUTINE AT CHILDERS FESTIVAL QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA ON VIDEO

A short video on women dancing in a belly dancing routine where Henry & his very special close friend Holly for over 6 years watch the show, while Henry does his amateur video of the belly dancing with the crowd looking on, Holly takes in the belly dancing scene. She has done belly dancing before & was enjoying the moment. Perhaps you can enjoy the journey that Holly & myself took on this day. She certainly stands out amongst the superb belly dancing members.

belly dancing pics childers festival qld australia july 2015 image www.goodgirlsgo (20)

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HOLLY & HENRY AT CHILDERS FESTIVAL 2015

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belly dancing pics childers festival qld australia july 2015 image www.goodgirlsgo (39)

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belly dancing pics childers festival qld australia july 2015 image www.goodgirlsgo (20)

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The editor & owner Henry Sapiecha

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GOOD GIRLS DON’T DANCE…!! A FILM FOR THE MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL

Oh really? Padmalatha Ravi’s 15-minute documentary presents prejudice at its worst. Rama Sreekant attempts to decipher the ‘good girl’ checklist.

Padmalatha Ravi

16 December 2012 is a black date in Indian history. Angry voices, national outrage, high decibel prime-time debates and a case that set a precedent on how the judiciary responds to cases of rape. It was not the first rape we, as a nation, witnessed; it was not the last either. While most of us engaged in online rants, armchair conversations and dinner-table discussions, Bangalore-based Padmalatha Ravi decided to walk the talk.

GOOD BUT BAD
A journalist, by profession, Padmalatha who has written extensively on gender-related issues, was pushed to the brink after the Delhi rape. That the pen is mightier than the sword may be true but Padmalatha wanted a voice for her words, a voice that would question the stereotypes, the moral policing and the misogynist attitudes. “The debate on whether the victim was right in stepping out at night that too with a man she was not related to, was loud. I had to understand why this was so, hence the film,” she says.

Good Girls Don’t Dance, a 15-minute documentary, is Padmalatha’s first independent crowd-sourced film that questions the notions of society’s reactions to sexual harassment, molestation and rape.

Released earlier this year, the film attempts to understand why victim-blaming is so rampant. It explores how individuals define  ‘good girl’ and ‘bad girl’ through interviews with 45 people from Bangalore, across age groups, social and economic backgrounds.

The list to check off while attempting to be a “good girl” is long. But the don’ts outnumber the dos. “The conversations in the film will tell you that our reactions depend on whether the woman is considered good or bad. Notions of good and bad are ruled by morality and patriarchy, which are so deeply entrenched we don’t even realize it,” says Padmalatha.

THE BLAME GAME
Long after the Delhi and Shakti Mills rapes, questions like ‘Why did she go out so late in the night, what was she wearing?’ are still being asked. And being asked by the fairer sex, as well. In a recent interview, actress Gul Panag had categorically stated, “Women, in India, are their own worst enemy.” But Padmalatha refuses to understand the urgency to blame women for their own plight. Women, she says, are a part of the same society that has confined them to gender stereotypes for several ages. In her opinion, the question to ask is, “When will men realise that women are people too; and that women need not be a means to show off their machismo?”

Just like the hijab has, in France, a special power to inflame public debate, in India too, what women should wear has been a point of argument, for decades. Can clothes  really be a yardstick of virtue? Padmalatha firmly believes that this is the biggest myth that has been perennially recycled. “Sexual violence is never about lust, it is about power and domination. It will happen no matter what clothes women do or do not wear, as long as the man thinks it is normal to subjugate a woman,” she explains. Campaigns such as Pink Chaddi and Sampat Pal’s Gulabi Gang were born of these attitudes.

While both movements garnered an equal amount of brickbats and bouquets, they have often been trivialised by pseudo-moral conformists. More recently, actor Kalki Koechlin and VJ Juhi Pandey hammered home with a satirical online video, Rape, it’s my fault!, which lamented the deep-seated patriarchal belief system wherein women are invariably held responsible for inviting sexual harassment. Sustained campaigning is the need of the hour, according to Padmalatha. Many outspoken traditionalists have openly declared that women should cover themselves, not go out after sunset, be ‘good girls’ and obey other moral bindings.

It’s a matter of perspective, she says. “Many of the dance forms that we are so proud of today were once considered immoral. In the early days, only Devdasis and courtesans performed, not women from ‘decent families’. Today, we respect artists and revere their art forms,” she elaborates.

Good Girls Don’t Dance, was recently nominated to be a part of the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival. While it didn’t win an award, Padmalatha was moved to see that, “young women took away the fact that you cannot be blamed for what you are wearing.” She now plans to have screenings of the film at various colleges and start a sustained discussion. While a well-known college in Bangalore turned her down, “because the subject was too controversial,” Padmalatha continues to be hopeful.

When will men realize that women are people too and that women need not be a means to show off their machismo? — Padmalatha Ravi

AAA

Henry Sapiecha