Changing the Way We See Pole Dancing | Morgane of Momo Power
Morgane a.k.a. Momo Power is here to tell us that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to pole dancing. While many still negatively stigmatize the sport, those of us with our heads in the 21st century know that it’s actually a high-demand workout that’s both fun and confidence boosting for people all over the world. If you’re not convinced, just check out the pictures and videos of Morgane pole dancing on her Instagram, where she rhythmically contorts her body into beautiful shapes while defying gravity. We got the chance to chat with Morgane - and venture onto some Parisian rooftops with her - about the hard work that goes into pole dancing. But, at the end of the day, Morgane finds the most important part of the sport to be the fun that she has while doing it. Read on to learn more!
How long have you been pole dancing for, and what got you into it?
I've been pole dancing for almost 5 years now. I found out, by chance, that there were pole dancing classes in Paris and was very curious so I decided to try it! I got hooked after my first class.
Pole dancing is slowly but surely becoming less taboo, why do you think that is?
Pole dancing is an amazing way to exercise without even realizing it, all while having fun. It is an activity accessible to all, meaning that no matter how old you are, your physical capacity, or your shape, you can do it and have fun. To me, the stigma towards pole dancing is due to ignorance. The more who people try it, the more they realize what an amazing and supportive community it has and how empowering pole dance is for women, as well as how fun it is to become stronger and more flexible!
That being said, what do you have to say to people who still stigmatize pole dancing as “dirty,” “inappropriate,” etc.?
I used to get very annoyed when people said such things about pole dancing. Now I feel more confident thanks to pole dance itself. If someone stigmatizes pole dancing I will try to give them my point of view. For example, I'll explain how it's a sport where you really have to use your muscles, and how even though it can be sexy it's also athletic. I would also explain that we have to wear little clothing because we are gripping on the pole thanks to our skin - but we're no less clothed than gymnasts, swimmers, or beach volleyball players. I would definitely invite them to try, even just one class, so they can have a practical idea of what pole dancing really is.
What’s the best and the worst part about pole dancing?
The worst part is probably how un-sexy it can be! Don’t get me wrong, it can be sexy if you wear heels and get your sexy on; but most of the time if you train a lot it’s just sweat, tears, burnt flesh, bruises, and calluses.
The best part to me is how empowering it is because you realize how many amazing things you are able to do with a little work!
How does the physical demand of pole dancing differ from other forms of exercise that you’ve tried?
Pole dancing requires an extreme amount of physical demand, your muscles are almost always engaged once you're on the pole. We also use muscles that we don't usually use; we twist and bend and pull ourselves into unusual positions, and spin ourselves around a steel pole. So it's very different from everything I tried before, but it is also much more fun!
“During your pole journey, training might not work as you expect it to, or you might not be able (yet) to do the new trick you want to learn. But it is just a question of time. You have to take a step back and realize that it's ok not to succeed in everything all of the time, that some things take time and that you just need to be patient.”
You’re super transparent with your followers, you always post about your progress over time and aren’t afraid to show your struggles along the way. What do you do to de-stress when you get frustrated with yourself while training?
It's sometimes hard not to get frustrated along the way. During your pole journey, training might not work as you expect it to, or you might not be able (yet) to do the new trick you want to learn. But it is just a question of time. You have to take a step back and realize that it's ok not to succeed in everything all of the time, that some things take time and that you just need to be patient. It's one of the reasons why taking pictures or videos is a good idea; so you can remember what a long way you've come and see how much progress you've already made.
Your photos with Vintage Tran are amazing! Was it nerve wracking doing a shoot on rooftops?
Thank you! I'm not acrophobic and actually love heights so it was fun, but I'm not crazy either so I wouldn't have done anything unsafe - nothing that would risk losing my balance!
What’s your favorite part about teaching others how to pole dance?
I love to see my students evolve! How great is it to help people discover their strength and their physical capacities? To see them blossom as they learn to love their body, and feel free thanks to pole dancing when they were once so shy! Seeing them progress is the best reward!
What advice do you have to give to anyone who wants to try pole dancing but is nervous about it?
I would say that there are no worries to have, we are a very welcoming community and love to meet new future pole dancers. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you already need to be strong - not true! That's why we enroll in pole dancing classes, to start the journey of becoming fit and strong - and also to have fun together.
What are three hidden gems in Paris?
Wow, so hard to choose! The Marais is a nice neighborhood to visit in Paris. If you're looking for something unconventional you will like the catacombs (underground ossuaries which hold the remains of more than six million people from Paris' ancient mines), and the Petite Ceinture (a 150 years old abandoned railway around Paris).
Who's your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she's an inspiration to you.
One of my biggest inspirations in pole dancing is Marion Crampe, she is one of the first pole dancers I met when I started and inspired me so much. She was beautiful, smooth, and amazingly flexible! Such a nice and loving person, and a breathtaking performer! I wanted to be like her and decided I needed to work hard to have a chance at reaching her level one day - still working towards that.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
Powerful, confident, and strong women who are the mistresses of their own lives! And the site is a nice place to learn about them.
Photos by: Vintage Tran