If I’m a pole dancer, the pole has to spin at a speed that’s safe to me. If it’s a pole that feels scary or it’s hard, I’d rather not do it. I’m a bit afraid of the people who get hurt. But it’s my job.”
That’s an interesting question, because people would be terrified to come to a pole dance performance in North America. What’s your stance on that?
Yeah. I really get that. When I went to the U.S. in 2006 for a TV piece, the editor-in-chief of “The New York Times” told me that he had some questions about my pole dance performance. And that’s part of the reason I’m so worried about safety. I’m very protective of it here in Korea. Because we don’t have a lot of safety legislation here, people don’t know that pole dancing isn’t allowed for very long. I do a lot of promotional stuff because I like the pole dance.
But they also get scared. When I came back to Korea last year for my show, after one night practicing pole for 18 hours straight, I couldn’t sleep because I was so paranoid. On the train home from the show, a Korean guy got on the train and was very threatening. I told him, “Look at how relaxed I’ve become – so I’m going to have to find another job.” So that’s why I’m very conservative and I like not to use my pole when I don’t have to.
Do you think pole dance will be around much longer?
Definitely. When I think about it, it wasn’t something that was invented overnight. The first pole dancing competitions were held in Germany in 1900. And here we stand 17 years after the first pole dance contest.
But it seems like something you’ve been working on for a long time.
It’s just more personal. The poles are mine. I just use them, I teach the Koreans and I teach myself… It’s not like I just go on the internet and find a pole dancer who wants to have a contest. I like seeing if people want to dance with me and be their own character. And some of them are shy or they’re nervous or afraid or they don’t even like getting hurt. I try to be different.
How do you teach yourself?
I’m really good at dancing. I do all my own routines, and I’m really good at showing