23 June 2023

Canberra pole dancers to bring their 'sexy style' moves to national competition

| Travis Radford
Katy Eve

Katy Eve will be one of 20 Australian pole dancers to compete at Pole Icon 2023. Photo: Supplied.

“That seems strange, but okay, we can go and try that,” Katy Eve recalls saying to her friend 12 years ago when she asked if Katy wanted to join her for a pole dancing class.

Fast forward to 2023 and Katy has qualified as one of Australia’s top 20 pole dancers, who will compete for the $10,000 prize at Pole Icon 2023 in Sydney on Saturday, 24 June.

“We went [to the class] and I just really enjoyed it,” Katy remembers of the day more than a decade ago that changed the course of the then-gym manager’s career.

Katy’s friend would later fall pregnant and drop the hobby, but Katy continued, even moving to Perth to train at the prestigious Bobbi’s Pole Studio.

“It’s one of the best in Australia. They’re a really good studio and they’re really about the sexy side of pole [because] it was founded by strippers,” she explains.

It was during these years that Katy “fell in love” with the sexy style of pole dancing, which she explains is distinct from the ‘fitness style’ which she initially learned.

“The sexy style comes from stripping and strip clubs, and it’s more vulnerable … but still has those elements of really hard tricks [like pole sports],” Katy says.

“It’s just a different balance. I think of what I do as more of an art than a sport.”

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But when Katy moved from Perth back to Canberra, she found all the studios in the capital focussed on fitness-based pole sports, as opposed to the sexy style of pole dancing.

Not sure what to do, Katy set up an impromptu studio in the back room of a friend’s dance studio where she could continue practising and hold some private classes.

Encouraged by the response, she founded Brass Room in 2016, a pole dancing studio in Fyshwick dedicated to the sexy style she had fallen in love with in Perth.

Brass Room has since expanded to a second location in Canberra City and has 22 instructors across the two studios, including Katy, who is head instructor.

One of the almost two dozen Brass Room instructors is Amy Truong (better known by her stage name, Miss Sang), who is also competing at Pole Icon.

“Katy is very floor based and she’s very sensual, smooth and fluid, whereas [my style] is quite energetic and punchy,” Amy says.

“I used to be a hip-hop dancer. I’m quite hard-hitting and my musicality is quick, so I think I bring that [experience].”

Despite her background in professional dance, Amy says she felt a stigma when she first began pole dancing in 2014, so much so that she recalls “leading a double life”.

“I felt so guilty because I would pole dance during the day and then come back to the [childhood dance] school [I direct] and have to teach three-year-olds,” she says.

“Time went by and … I found that slowly telling people what I was doing, they trusted me not to teach their kids how to drop it down and get nasty.

“I think it was a personal journey as well as validation from everyone around me to become extremely open [about pole dancing].”

She says everyone has been very supportive and a few of the teachers and past students from her dance school have even picked up ‘pole’.

Amy placed third at the inaugural Pole Icon competition in 2022, where she also competed alongside Katy, but this time she says things are a little different.

“I’ll be 19 weeks [pregnant] by the time I get to Pole Icon,” Amy says. “I’ll just have a good time and it’ll almost be like a reveal because not many people know.”

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Amy encouraged others on the fence about taking up pole dancing to “just go for it” as she and Katy did nine and 12 years ago, respectively.

“It’s the stigma, right? Like they’re scared that they’re going to be seen as something different to what it actually represents,” Amy says.

“It’s just coming in and celebrating what your body can do and enjoying it at the same time. It’s a really magical sport.”

Original Article published by Travis Radford on Riotact.

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