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IDOCs » Being & Doing Sexy (Pole) - Teaching Form[less]? - 2015
This idoc is to be created collectively by Susanne Bentley and the participants of the session "Being & Doing Sexy" during the 3rd IDOCDE Symposium - Teaching Form[less]?

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Being & Doing Sexy Reflections (IDOCDE 2015)

Thanks so much for the wonderful video Franzi!!!

Firstly, I am very grateful to have had the possibility to test this idea out on other people, and that you were all so enthusiastic about it! Thank you all for playing the game!!!

“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Let me do and I understand.” – Confucius

Being & Doing Sexy was a 2hr participative workshop, using pole dance as an example of the feedback loop created between being & doing – form becoming being. Eg. By doing the ‘sexy’ movement provoking feeling, and becoming sexy. Then being reinforces the form – feeling state producing movement qualities.

First up I spoke about the balance of being/presence/state & doing, how we are always in some sort of being state 24/7, and the possibility to create that, to be the source of it. To make it a conscious choice. For me that’s a liberating thought. I can align my being with my doing in a class situation to get my message across in a much clearer way.

We looked at faking it til you make it as a scientific fact – the brain doesn’t know the difference between reality & thought. We looked at how changing your body physically can change your mind (thoughts & emotions) – Amy Cuddy’s research into hormonal changes with posture.

“Changing the biological context from which the thought emerges can change the quality of the emotion and the thought itself” – Dr Alan Watkins.

We then did exercises in sourcing positive feelings & sourcing enthusiasm. Going for them 200%, fully embodying. Each time we shared what we felt/experienced.

In the next part we warmed up for the pole & being/doing sexy. I taught a short pole show girl choreography, after which we shared our experiences of that.

I know that over 5 days there was a difference felt by participants of Pole Show Girl in 2014, so I deduct from this short time & comments that it was not long enough for some people to really feel the being, and they stayed in doing (faking it til you make it), or maybe just having momentary glimpses of being sexy – “ I found the bridge to sexy, but not all the time”.

It was also interesting the response from the men in the group, as of course circles & spirals are (in ‘sexy’ dancing) more female movement patterns. The ‘macho dancing’ explored by Eisa Jocson (eg. involves different posture (wider stance), more tension overall, more thrusting & slow waves. Some men transformed details that were more feminine in the choreography to feel more sexy in their own way.

Clint commented that in the end pose he suddenly felt self-conscious when he stopped moving, when before in movement he felt sexy. Just ‘being sexy’ created tension, or perhaps the word ‘pose’?

Outside images came into participants’ thoughts, so one person was unsure if she felt sexy or whether it was just the images. A common comment was a feeling of confidence created by this movement state, even in failing & laughing they felt sexy. The gaze of the other (being 2 per pole) supported investing in the doing/movement. Others felt themselves correcting too much (getting in their heads) which meant they stepped out of sexiness.

After this we got into 4 groups and had to think of a being or feeling state that we would like to produce for a class & find a movement way to produce it OR think of a movement that we would like to teach and find a being/state-based way to get there. Then 1 group taught the other (only time for 1 group to teach 1 other). Then we shared experiences again to finish.

-       eg. masculine, sexy, bull movements + repetitive movement pattern > state (with eyes closed)

-       Nancy Stark Smith ‘small dance’ eyes closed > catwalk (to produce sexy state)

This is what I found the most interesting & I wished to have more time to explore further these different states and go deeper into them. To go for creating other kinds of states (movement or being) that we are personally interested in for movement research or for our own classes.

Again, I’m very grateful to you all for participating, sorry that some people missed out on the pole part (not enough poles). Any comments, feedback, thoughts are greatly appreciated! I want to take this workshop further in future!



Sources: my training as a life coach with Creative Consciousness & personal research into happiness & learning environments. Ted Talks by Dr Alan Watkins, Amy Cuddy, John Wooden. Pole blog –by Gina Tann for United Pole Artists.

p.s. Thanks Hélène for your notes & photo!


Dear all,
I think we traveled in a such amazing experience during this class!
So thanks a lot for this experience and the possibility to try a dance who was very far from me.
But now, I understand that it was not so far... Indeed, the link with the question of :"BEING - DOING" was very strong and make sense with the corporal proposition.
We could think, in a sort of "cliché" that pole dance does not have links with our practice, but I understood how it is not a question of "pole dance" or whatever, but, it is absolutely a question of : "How to be" , so, for me, it is a way to reveal the question of the "presence" in the dance act (pedagogy, creativity, interpretation, performance...)
With the constant way between, me, the "form", my "feeling", the image of my own dance form etc... I felt the freedom of my movement as a dancer, and the freedom of my speech, as a teacher.
A lot of think to say ... maybe later ?!
Hélène Beilvaire.
 Crédit photo : Hélène Beilvaire

Video © franzi kreis,

Being Doing Sexy Pole


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Hélène Beilvaire Eligible Member // Teacher
Thanks Franzi for your video & Susanne, for your Reflections!
Is it possible to share your music for our warm up?
I really enjoy this way to begin a class :)
Thanks a lot.

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Andrea Amaro da Silveira Maciel Eligible Member // Teacher
Thank you very much Franzi and Susanne for the documentation and Helene for the photo and notes!

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Susanne Bentley // Teacher
:D yes, I sometimes do pole warm up & sexy floor work for my contemporary floor classes with professionals just for fun! In the video it was 'Sexual Healing' by Marvin Gaye, 'Give me the night' - George Benson & 'Nasty naughty boy' - Christina Aguilera.

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