Saturday September 30th, 2023. A white gold autumnal sunny early afternoon in Berlin, sipping an oat flat white in a hipster café near the Spree. I snap a photo of my coffee, put it in black and white and send to a close friend: ‘I’m here, I’ve made it. Living the dream’…
This might seem like it has no relevance whatsoever to the ‘Save The Last Dance’ Showcase at Drehmoment Pole Aerial Dance in Berlin, but I assure you that it does. If you’re someone that enjoys my reflective writing, please read on and enjoy as I indulge myself. Or if you are just here for sexy dancing and photos of my arse, go on ahead and scroll to the bottom.
The sense of peace that I feel as I sit in the coffee shop seeps into the fabric of my being. Not only is my heart full from a morning of roaming the streets of Berlin, every cell of my body vibrates with excitement and curiosity. I feel like I am plugged directly into the source of all joy before I’ve even had my coffee.
I’m here in Berlin as a special guest at Drehmoment, which is a pole dancing studio in Mariendorf owned by my dear friend Alisa Saric. Tonight will be an in-house showcase of pole dance performances made by a number of her students. I’m on co-hosting duty with Alisa, as well as making a performance with a brand new pole dance act, which is semi-improvised and semi-choreographed.
Drehmoment will be closing it’s physical doors in December this year and moving into an online-only space*. It’s a journey that I’ve also made myself earlier this year, when I handed over the keys to what was my studio space in Dublin for over 9 years to a new owner and transitioned Irish Pole Dance Academy to an online-only studio. Being in Berlin now, I can see my own journey reflected in Alisa; the necessity for change being met with open arms, heart and mind, even if it’s nothing less than terrifying initially.
(*On a serious note though, if you’re looking for pole dancing classes in Berlin you simply must get your fine butt to Drehmoment before it closes it’s doors in December! I’ve been to a lot of pole dancing studios over the years across Europe, the USA and even as far as Moscow, Argentina and New Zealand, and Drehmoment is one of the most considered and beautifully put together studios that I’ve set foot in.)
Alisa has made a brave decision in honouring her need to evolve and letting go of her beautiful studio. It’s not an easy decision to walk away from a gorgeous place that you’ve poured so much love, sweat and tears into forging. In my own experience as a studio owner, the pole dancing studio can become a second home and a haven, not just for those who take classes there but also for the person who owns it. Leaving that hard worked for sanctuary, by choice or otherwise, is scary. And at the risk of sounding like a trite inspirational fridge magnet, I am reminded that the only certainty in this universe is that of constant change; all things must eventually dissolve and evolve.
It is my great honour to be here in person to support Alisa with this big event and all the emotions that is brings, as someone to who has already walked this path. As I watch her students make their performances, I am moved and then overcome with emotion. I remember how exactly one year earlier, I was about to embark on a similar journey with my MA in Fine Art; I had been overwhelmed and stressed out, unsure of how the next 12 months would work out or what shape they would take. I trusted that it would all be ok, making a pact with myself that by October 2023 I would be in a very different place…
And it leads me to this moment. I close the showcase by quickly changing out ‘MC mode’, skirt off, lingerie on, and making my guest performance. My intention is to channel my signature sexistential dread vibes as well as the concept of ‘beautiful pointlessness’, which to me is about creating beauty without the necessity of meaning, just existing in the moment and feeling deeply.
As I make my performance, I envision something dear to my heart. I channel my best erotic self, or as Audrey Lorde aptly puts it in her 1978 essay titled ‘Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power’, that which provides ‘…the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person’.
I hope you will enjoy the video and images from my performance! As always, you might like to buy me a coffee if you enjoy the video, photos and these words (which I partly wrote in Berlin on the date above, and the rest upon reflection afterwards). Thank you!
All images are by Claudia Steck, please do not download or share without permission from the photographer.
The song that I am dancing to in my performance is ‘Pulling Stitches’ by bdrmm.
If you enjoyed this video and these photos and want to show your appreciation, you can do so by buying me a coffee. I greatly appreciate the support! ✨