“I came for the pole and stayed for the posse.” These are the words of Veronica Wertz ’21, one of the fourteen students performing in Cornell Pole Posse’s first annual showcase this Friday.
This performance, proceeds from which will benefit Planned Parenthood, is the first of its kind on Cornell’s campus. In fact, Cornell Pole Posse, founded in 2005, is the first pole dancing club in the Ivy League, according to officer Zara Schreiber ’21.
“Pole Posse has always been a bit of an elusive club and I’m excited to get to share it with the larger Cornell community,” Schreiber told The Sun.
Wertz also spoke about her experience in the community. “The support all of the members give each other is incredible and is what makes my own personal experience in Pole Posse so great. I am not sure I would have continued without such great people surrounding me,” she said.
According to Wertz, Pole Posse has had a deep personal impact on her, giving her more confidence and helping her become more body positive.
Anthony Ricketts ’19, spoke about his decision to join Pole Posse. “I originally was nervous about clambering about on a pole in minimal clothing while in front of strangers,” he admitted.
But after some time, he became more comfortable.
“It’s a place I can go to hang out with fun people while being active without having to stress about judgment or be worried about messing up,” Ricketts said.
Senior member Alison Zhao ’19 picked up pole dancing because she disliked running, had never been to the gym and wanted to try something “unconventional,” she told The Sun.
However, she quickly came to appreciate the artistry of pole dancing. “There’s always something new to create with a pole, and my strength [and] physical ability has almost become secondary to the self expression pole dance has enabled me.”
There are no pole dancing studios in or near Ithaca, Zhao said, and as such “Pole Dancers for Planned Parenthood is pretty much the only opportunity this semester to discover how lovely and hilarious pole dancing can be.”
According to Zhao, the club chose to donate profits for the event to Planned Parenthood because they wanted to support sexual health care in “Cornell’s own backyard.”
Ricketts encouraged all members of the Cornell community to attend the showcase and experience the hard work that their peers put into the performance throughout the semester.
“More than anything, I just feel really proud not only of myself, but also of all the other members of Pole Posse,” he concluded. “This is our chance to show everyone what we’ve learned, and I know we’re going to knock it out of the park.”
The showcase will be held this Friday at 8:30 p.m. in Klarman KG70. Tickets can be purchased online via a Facebook event.