Pole dancing in Zimbabwe getting dirtier

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By Ruth Butaumocho

HARARE- Pole dancing, a new entertainment craze that has literally taken Harare by storm, seems to be getting dirtier each day on and off the stage following reports that some of the girls are now stripping in a bid to lure more revellers.

Beverly Sibanda
Beverly Sibanda

As if that is not enough, two of the top dancing girls have launched a war against each other, through mudslinging, probably in a bid to maintain pole positions as more girls join the turf.

In an ugly turn of events, rival dancers Beverly Sibanda and Zoey Selani are engaged in a war of words, accusing each other of stripping after work, following the two’s successful performance at the City Sports Bar last weekend.

In a shocking outburst, Beverley, who has for the past few months rocked the joints with her sexy dance routines, accused rival Zoey of “parading cheap dancing tactics, which are nothing short of stripping”.

“The girl does not know what she is doing. All her acts, dancing and even the pole antics that she claims to do are fake.

“I just don’t know why she continues with the act, when she knows that she is not good enough. At one time, we held a joint show, and we were almost arrested by the police, after she (Zoey) started stripping in front of the patrons,” she alleged.

In response to Beverly’s accusations, Zoey had no kind words either. “I taught her all that she is showcasing though I do not go for the rhumba dancing that she does (Ukararera imbwa nemukaka mangwana inofuma yokuruma).

“I don’t strip.”

“I am a professional pole dancer, whose limits are bum shorts and not nudity like some might think.

“We (Zoey’s camp) have always given her space to prove her mettle but at times she snubs the shows,” she alleged referring to the Upper Lounge show, on February 16 at which Beverly was conspicuous by her absence.

“Fans are always complaining that she has a bad attitude as she sometimes insults them, something which is anathema to me. If she wants a show then I will give her one, so we can prove who is the best.”

Female dance groups take Zim by storm
Female dance groups take Zim by storm

Despite their simmering differences, the two seem to get along very well when they are on stage. They have also been holding joint shows in the last few months following the introduction of pole dancing in Harare.

Pole dancing has come to many of Harare’s hangouts and clubs where patrons turn up in large numbers to watch young women wearing very skimpy and revealing clothing dance on poles.

This new dancing craze has pushed the dance groups that used to be popular at these joints into the background. No one knows if this is a passing phenomenon or something a little more permanent. Oddly enough, not many people in Harare know exactly what is involved in pole dancing.

Some think it’s the same as strip tease, probably from watching too many American movies where stripping while draping the body around a pole seems, at least so Hollywood imagines it to be the main entertainment in bars.

Pole dancers in Harare technically do not strip, although some costumes leave very little to the imagination.

According to Wikipedia, pole dancing is a form of performing arts, which is a combination of dance and gymnastics. It involves dancing and performing acrobatic tricks with a vertical pole and is an increasingly popular form of fitness and dance practised by many enthusiasts in gyms or dedicated dance studios.

A wide range of amateur and professional competitions are held in many countries around the world.

Before the mid-2000s, pole dancing mainly took place in strips clubs. Since then, promoters of pole dance fitness competitions have been trying to change people’s perception of pole dancing and to promote it as a legitimate form of dance and acrobatics.