February 17, 2004

Risley Votes to Purchase Dancing Pole

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“When people hear ‘dancing pole’ they think of stripping,” says Nick James ’04, explaining why the approval of a $324 free-standing dancing pole might raise some eyebrows on campus. Risley Hall’s “Kommittee,” the representative body that vets such purchases at Cornell’s arts-themed dorm, approved the purchase at a Feb. 8 meeting.

“[Students] began researching this years ago, when there were other students in Risley who did performance art involving a pole,” Kommittee chair David Schoonover ’05 said.

“There are several people [in Risley] with a solid background in dance and/or circus performance who saw this as an opportunity to participate in a fun and challenging activity and teach others the same skills,” explained Kommittee member Erin Brewster ’04.

Brewster said that Risley residents also took inspiration from the makeshift dancing pole used by Eco House at its dance parties.

In deciding whether or not to make the purchase, some students and residential staff were concerned that students would equate the pole with lewd acts.

“When [the pole] was proposed two weeks ago there was one student in the room who thought it was perhaps too risqu