Monday, January 21, 2013

My daughter the pole dancer

My daughter, Annie recently took a pole dancing class. Here's her account of it (with help from her writing partner, Jon). As a father I couldn't be more proud.

Everyone likes to think their coworkers respect them…

Mine bought me a Groupon to a pole dancing class for my birthday. (Based on the average age of my coworkers, I chose to take this as a sign of admiration for my functional hips.)

I didn't plan to actually use the thing until my dad demanded I do a blog post about it. Most parents tend to discourage their children entering the world of erotic dancing. Mine bought me kneepads and offered to drive.

I'm lucky to have found the place at all. There was no sign out front, no mention on any directory, absolutely no distinguishing marks of any kind. Areola 51.

I finally discovered the way in and was rewarded for my perseverance with a dimly lit studio whose windows were blacked out by feather boas. It was like stumbling into RuPaul's doomsday bunker.

The class was called Pole Diva (Level 1) and the teacher was a pocket-sized Latina woman who kept criticizing everybody's "sexy pushups."

For the uninitiated, "sexy pushups" are when you caress your body before Shamu sliding along the hardwood and pulling yourself back up. Making sure to rub your hips again for good measure. Based on how my classmates looked doing them, I think "sexy pushup" is meant to be one of those ironic terms like "FOX comedy."

Not that everyone was bad at it. The woman in front of me was clearly the star pupil, and by the end of class even I was throwing her a few singles.

The humiliation of the "sexy pushup" (thoughtfully enhanced by the floor to ceiling mirrors we performed in front of) finally came to an end. It was time to strap on our kneepads (thanks again, Dad!) and pick our pole.

They offered us bottles of alcohol to disinfect the poles before use. I requested penicillin.

We learned a few different spins over the course of the hour. They all had fun names like "the sunburst" and "the firefly." Each one a new way to wind up with my ass on the floor and legs spread wide. The actual spinning was fun, though, until my teacher scolded me for yelling, "Wheeee!"

A large part of pole dancing seems to be walking around the pole, doing a sort of Igor foot drag. I pictured Martha Graham spinning in her grave every time this was referred to as choreography.

I did find one maneuver especially difficult, but was assured it would be much easier once I performed it in high heels. Pole dancing has to be the only physical activity in the world where that's true. "The Lakers are down fifty in the fourth quarter! Get Kobe his stilettos!"

By the end of class, I was so black and blue my dancer name would have been Hematoma. (In actuality, I would choose something a little more exotic if I ever entered the profession. Right now the top candidate is Treif Magnifique.)

The staff knew most of us were only in it for the one class. Still, they kept pressuring us to come back. On our way out, they made sure we knew that they were available for parties. I'm still not clear if they were talking about the studio or the instructors.

I'm sure if I kept at it, I could graduate to Pole Vixen (Level 2). I would love to see that ceremony. No gowns or mortarboards; just the tassels.

That said, I think it's safe to say pole dancing is not going to be added to my list of hobbies. I'd much rather bake the cake than jump out of it.


LouOCNY said...

Better watch out Ken! She's getting just as good as you - if not better!

Hysterical Annie!

Tudor Queen said...

Truly a chip off the not-yet-old block. Very funny, with a nice point underlying it.

My pole dancer name would be Brandy Alexander.

gilana said...

Treif Magnifique -- love it! My burlesque name is actually Lila Tov :)

Johnny Walker said...

Very funny!

I actually have a friend who loves "vertical gymnastics". She has no intentions of ever becoming a stripper, but she loves the intense workout.

I believe they actually have pole-dancing competitions -- no nudity, just acrobatic feats.

I wasn't sure if you were going to end the post revealing that you enjoyed it -- but clearly not! It sounds like a reasonably fun way to improve muscle tone -- you've got to be incredibly strong to do some of those moves, or so I've been told, but doing a "sexy pushup" does sound quite embarrassing :-/

Still, you got an amusing blogpost out of it! :)

Brent said...

Ken, it's clear whose writing style has been an influence on Annie. It was like reading one of your posts. That self-deprecating, more-than-slightly-sarcastic view of the world. Good stuff.

My pole dancing name would be ass-over-teakettle. Don't even talk to me about doing a pushup.

Howard Hoffman said...

Okay. This comedy writing team is definitely the next Levine-Isaacs. Anjon. Jannie. Let me work on a catchy mnemonic. They'll be too busy writing to do that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ken for making her do it! I enjoyed the read. I am so uncoordinated I would have totally humiliated and hurt myself. Hey, Annie's pretty enough to go with it. I'd hear, "Get off the stage!" Julie, Burlington, Iowa

Norm said...

Ken, how about pulling a Johnny Carson: Annie- Mo-Tues; Ken - Wed-Fri. -:]

AlaskaRay said...

If a pole dancer is manic-depressive, would she be considered tri-polar?

thesamechris said...

If you ever write/sell that script, cast Sofia Vergara as the instructor. Ask Peter Jackson how to make her pocket-sized (hobbit-sized). Best line : Noohhh, theez eez a sexy pooshaahp

Sold. You're welcome.

RCP said...

Talent sure runs in this family (you too, Jon).

Bart Simpson Connor said...

Wouldn't that be 'Shematoma'? Perhaps when pole dancing becomes an Olympic sport, she'll change her mind. Or Ken will. Hey, father-daughter-synchronized-pole-dancing. Maybe not!

Andrew said...

Hi Ken,

Friday Q: Just caught your "The Show Where Lilith Comes Back" Frasier episode on Netflix. I thought the writing was even stronger than on the Emmy winning pilot, "The Good Son". Did you think while sitting at that Emmys that you had a shot at winning?

Mary Stella said...

I pictured Martha Graham spinning in her grave every time this was referred to as choreography.

Presumeably not spinning around a pole.

Great story!

VP81955 said...

Ken, unless your daughter suddenly asks you for money for breast enhancement surgery, I think you don't have to worry about her doing this full-time.

Jen WW said...

Hi Ken, I love your blog and find myself wondering (more than I used to) when I watch TV shows, what went into the writing process for this episode?
My Friday question is about a Cheers episode, 'Simon Says', with John Cleese as Frazier's psychiatrist 'friend'.
Cleese's lines seemed so in line with the old Monty Python Cleese, that I had to wonder if he had some input, or ad-libbed a bit?
In general, are guest actors ever treated differently in that regard?

Ellen said...


jojo said...

Hey ken what does Annie do as a 9 to 5? While she tries to sell her scripts.

Johnny Walker said...

@thesamechris, I was with you until "The Hobbit"...

Alan C said...

Two tassels per graduate! (rim shot)

BOB said...

Laugh-out-loud funny! Thanks for insisting Annie write it, Ken.