Pole Cricket Reigns Supreme
Last month, one of my BFFs4Lyfe1 won the United States Pole Dancing Federation pole-off. (Dance-off? I don’t know. She’s number one and that’s all that matters. ::raises foam finger::)
As a result she’s been thrust into the spotlight. She was featured in Huffington Post (which I won’t link because bite me, Arianna; but if you use the Googlez, you can find it quickly enough); she’s been contacted by TMZ, she’s going to perform on The View*** next week (I’m going to try to convince her to slip some Colon Blow in to Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s coffee — she’d never do it though. She plays by the rules); and this past Monday she performed on Good Day LA.
I have seen Natasha perform at competitions a bunch of times and I have never seen her fall, nor have I been nervous that she might fall. So when my neighbor Rio texted me “Your friend is on Good Day LA. She fell but she played it off really well…Would have seemed like less but the stupid news casters rushed over and were like “r u ok” a billion times..idiots” I thought, “Oh noes!”
I rushed to turn on the TV, but of course, I missed the performance and only caught the tail end of her trying to convince the newscasters that she was fine. I then rushed to call her and she was, as she had reiterated to the newscasters, totally fine. A bit embarrassed, but fine. I told her she looks hot on TV. I don’t think that really helped at the moment.
I wanted to blog about this yesterday, including a funny picture that she took in the Green Room [after the jump] which demonstrates that she has an awesome sense of humor about her “so not a big deal” fall, but I was too nervous to watch the Good Day LA video. What if it was a total face plant? Like one of those “Greg Louganis hits his head on the diving board” moments that will replay in my mind FO-EVAH. (I’m not kidding about ol’ Louganis. He went from “hot” to “damn, he busted his head” in two seconds flat — two seconds of video that would be replayed ad nauseum during the 1980-whatever Olympics. LEAVE LOUGANIS ALOOOOOONE!!)
Finally I decided I had to watch the video. So, I just did — nervously, I might add. Every time her feet left the floor, I winced. When she hangs off the pole with her leg, I winced. When she does that crazy ass move where she’s perpendicular to the floor clinging to the pole, seemingly by her fingernails only, I winced.
And when I saw The Fall, I was relieved.
It certainly ain’t Greg Louganis bad.
In a year that, I imagine, pole dancing muckity mucks will begin making more noise about pole dancing being featured at the Olympics (if snowboarding is an Olympic sport, then pole dancing sure as hell is an Olympic sport), I’m proud that Natasha will be the face of USPDF. She’s smart as a whip. She’s also an accomplished poet (I know — she rubs your face in her awesomeness; it’s a bit much, really.)
As for pole dancing, she didn’t start until she was 29. She is not nor has she ever been a stripper or an exotic dancer. She prefers to do her routines barefoot rather than in crazy shoes (have you seen those shoes? THEY ARE BANANAS!)
If you watch these videos, you will be absolutely amazed at Natasha’s athleticism and artistic ability, and the grace she exudes. So graceful is my dear friend Natasha, that she even falls gracefully.
***UPDATE: I started to write this post a couple weeks ago, and as I am wont to do got distracted because I — oooh shiny! But after I originally started to write this post, Miss Thang redeemed herself on Good Day LA. So here’s Natasha’s redemption video — I’m certain it has erased all memory of The Fall Heard Round the News Studio that caused the newscasters to suffer an acute case of the vapors. “Mah, mah, mah, did you see that poor dear fall offa that pole. I do declayah! Somebody fetch me mah smellin’ salts.”
And here, you can watch Natasha showing the ladies on The View a thing or two about a thing or two:
Yup. That’s my friend. SHE’S SO CUTE ON TV.
Finally, here’s the outtake shot from the Good Day LA shenanigans:
Love her. LOVE.
UPDATE AGAIN: This video is one of my favorites. It’s her first win last summer, and that is me (and her fiance) yelling in the background:
1 If one person makes a joke about her last name because “ha! ha! ha! ho! ho! ho! Her name is Wang!”, I’m going to stab you where you stand. I mean, really people: do you know how many Wangs there are in China?2
2 (Okay, that just made me giggle because I’m four years old. I’ll go get my stabbing knives. Self-stabulation is never pleasant, but I should have heeded my own warning.)[cross-posted at ABLC]
[Please do me a solid and keep the comments civil. She took a lot of heat on the intertrons for that fall and has also had to read very nasty and misogynist comments about herself on various blogs and whatnot. As you know, people can be real dicks on the Internet. She doesn’t deserve it — she is one of the nicest people on earth. I questioned whether to post this here, but I think her talents are such that they should be shared far and wide. So let’s keep it clean, boys! -ABLxx]
Well, this is Amurka, damnit, and next time we get the Olympics(tm) we can make pole dancing a demo sport.
Much luck with recovery from the skull-wacking. Never a trivial thing.
Wanted to add: muscles–she haz them.
Bet her parents are proud.
“My main goal as a father is to keep my daughters off the pole”
I’d call you a jackass, but that’s an insult to a useful mammal.
BTW, I actually remember Greg Louganis. A real cutie!
Amazing flexibility and body control (and strength). To steal from an old, old Jon Stewart routine about how impressive Olympic gymnasts are – I can throw and hit a ball and I can run. I can’t do those very well, but I can do them. I cannot put my leg over my head and flip over.
PS. Am I at least allowed to laugh that I had a friend growing up with the last name Wang whose father’s first name was Long?
Pearls before swine, ABL, pearls before swine.
And to think they just outlawed this activity in Missouri. Kansas is next. Republicans: Jobs, jobs, jobs!
Free-form gymnastics but on a vertical pole instead of horizontal bars.
She’s very good, ABL.
What are you still doing here? Oh that’s right, this post was too cool so you just had to crap in its punchbowl.
As for Natasha, Dayum. Dayum. Dayum. Awesome.
Dang, there go all my cheap jokes.
as for name jokes, I knew kids in elementary school
Cotton Seed and Huckleberry Seed. So name jokes are worst when inflicted intentionally on your own kid.
@Fred: Fred, you are up-to-date, urban and saucy! A triple threat!
How did we ever get by without you?
I truly wish I have the strength one day to do what they do, the skrippers and sporting pole dancers, but I just don’t.
The things that the ones who really earn their scrilla can do in those ‘industry’ shoes is amazing and it usually shows in their physique.
@MobiusKlein: huck is one hell of a cardplayer.
Wow, she’s so fit. It reminds me of Cirque du Soleil.
I can’t believe Fuckhead has not savaged this thread already.
Wow…way back when I used to do martial arts I’d see lots of people with that kind of spatial control. Still amazes me to see anyone with such control to this day.
Comrade Colette Collaboratrice
When I was on the swim team in high school, we used to have a swim/dive combined meet every year against this other high school, and although they only had ONE GUY on their diving team, they kicked our collective asses every time because, yes, you guessed it, that guy was … anyway, along those lines, The Awesome Natasha could be the only person on the USA Pole Dance Olympic team and we would still kick the world’s collective asses, although they would certainly all be nice, trim, muscular ones.
@ruemara: I’d call you incapable of seeing obvious snark but that is an insult to most 2year olds.
All I know is that it takes some serious-over-the-top-rock-ribs-of-steel (that I don’t have, but envy to the marrow of my bones) to pull off that pose in the top pic. Damn.
@freelancer: Lighten up sunshine! It’s the internet. If that bothers you here’s something more your speed.
@Jewish Steel: Always happy to hear from my fans. Autographs are $100 and you pay for return postage.
She’s just an incredible athlete, beautiful, graceful and more powerful than you behind the keyboard (yes, you). Awesome!
I must admit I don’t like the imagery surrounding pole-dancing generally, but the routine she performed was athletically stunning, a great combination of strength and elegant control.
Did anyone else think the male host was being a little too touchy-feely? Ick.
This admonition against making Wang jokes reminds me of the time when my elementary school teacher told everybody not to call David P. “David Pee”. It hadn’t even occurred to us before then.
Serious core strength, Wang’s.
Very, very impressive, but unless it was just included in gymnastics as another apparatus, please no more Olympic sports where “judges” get to decide who won.
On a side note, I’ve always wanted to see Cirque d’Soleil throw down with Ringling Brothers. You’d get to see all these funky-assed acrobats combating elephants and clowns in cars.
@Linda Featheringill: AND he’s one of the gays. How cool is that?!
@MobiusKlein: Well what do you know, that is the kid I knew as a kid. The Wikipedia has incomplete details, but did go to school in Oakland.
I saw her videos a few weeks ago and was totally amazed at her control. I love the idea of pole dancing (first it would piss my mom off completely), because damn it gets you into fine shape. Awesome talent.
@MobiusKlein: I had to look. He kinda looks like a Huckleberry Seed, though, doesn’t he?
slip some Colon Blow in to Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s coffee
A bit of a deep cut, but a pretty awesome reference, imho.
But why not Super Colon Blow?
Wow! ABL… you run with an exalted crowd! I am impressed. I’ve seen some other pole routines that are pure gymnastics I think, and they are just amazing! Maybe the pole will be co-opted into being just another piece of exercise equipment and not only for strippers, and that would be good. :)
I am not making a judgment about your friend one way or the other but I really don’t think this belongs on the front page. This is material for your own personal blog.
I actually thought the pole was only for strippers. I grew up in the bible belt though, where pole dancing was done in Pee Wee’s short barn late at night when the preachers were all getting blow jobs from each others wives.
Now I’ve been educated to the peaceful use of dancing poles.
@reflectionephemeral: How many boxes??
Natasha rocks, cats in a handbag, just look at her. Fracking wondrously awesome strength and control. You don’t just hop up one day and say, “hey, this looks like fun!” and then start climbing. Its like any other individually competitive sport: train, train, train, and if you’re good enough, compete.
To do your best and then win is just outstanding.
@Matt Mangels: good thing no one really cares what you think then, innit?
@Yurpean: i had the same thoughts when she told me she was going to start taking classes 6 years ago. after i saw her perform for the first time, i’ve never had those thoughts again. and when she won her first competition last summer, i just knew in my bones she would win this year. she’s just amazing to watch.
You can check out her first win here (and yes, that’s me yelling in the background.)
Jeebus dood, are you new here? We had posts yesterday on John Cole’s nap habits, and how his dog likes crates. Then there are the oldie but goldie mega threads on net pots and post nasal drainage. This here post is a massive step forward, if you ask me. Plus, ABL’s friend is a super fox, and quite limber to boot. Go look up Cole’s naked mopping thread if you are offended by pole dancing threads. jeebus,
Cliff in NH
back when I was climbing and wasn’t outta shape I could do a whatever you call the thing where you hold your body 90 deg from the pole/tree
It’s Very hard to do. Let alone to do it gracefully and with massive style.
So Beautiful and full of strength and grace.
@General Stuck: Word. LOL.
@ABL: You’re just lucky he didn’t give you detention. And spit out that gum.
Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen
I predict a server crash sparked by people rushing in here to disapprove* of the footage in 5…4…3…
Congrats to your friend ABL.
*For some reason this form of disapproval requires lotion and a sweatsock.
fuckie is hedging his bets. He’s making jokes about ABL banning people on other threads, while sucking up on hers.
The guy who was the head of my bro’s high school student council was called “Eric Shin”. Apparently whenever they had to say his name on the morning announcement they put a large pause between his first and last names, because I guess they’d figured out what it sounded like otherwise. Dirty dirty minds those student announcers.
@eemom: i’m flattered they just can’t keep me out their heads. ::cue kylie minogue::
Beth in VA
Well I feel bad. I told a friend of mine she shouldn’t keep going to the pole dancing class she loved. Mostly because of the money but I admit I had a whole other idea about what this was. That was just beautiful! I love the strength, grace, and beauty all rolled into one. Really wonderful, and mind-opening for me.
Just watched the vids. Ho-lee shit. That is one talented lady right there. Mad props to your friend ABL. Mad. Fricken. Props.
Damn has she got mad skillz and muscles! That is some serious talent. Wonder why this couldn’t be incorporated into gymnastics somehow? The have rings, high/low bar, pommelhorse, so why not a pole?
Wow, just watched The View clip, and am stunned at the grace and beauty of what this lady does. Gets my vote for an Olympic event.
umm…..I don’t want to alarm anyone, but there’s ads for corsets popping up on this page….
She’s hot. I love athletic muscular women (although bodybuilding is too much). Reminds me of my Japanese wife who surfs four hours a day: 5’2″, 105 lbs, and about 12% body fat with feminine muscles popping out all over the place (she wears tanks everyday). Wang is talented and gorgeous.
What athleticism, grace, and beauty all rolled into one.
Beautiful. Power. Gorgeous. What’s not to like? Oh, and she’s beautiful.
ABL, one is known by the company they keep.
I saw what you did there.
And talent should always be recognized.
Natasha is freaking amazing. Wow. Just wow. That’s talent, for real. I am in awe.
@Yutsano: Hi, hon. You still around? I will check upstream.
@asiangrrlMN: I’m here playing around upstairs some. Sarah popped in so I had to pay some respects and such. Do need to dash to the store here in a few though, out of kitteh fud.
Wow. That’s amazing.
I imagine that if it does become an Olympic sport, it will be women-only, since somehow I can’t imagine a lot of guys overcoming the stigma of doing a sport derived from female exotic dancing. Pity: if you just think about the pole as a piece of gymnastics equipment, it seems like something that would be interesting to watch guys do as well.
Change the name from “pole dancing” to “vertical bar”, and suddenly it fits right in between uneven bars and floor routine in the gymnastics program.
Yes, your ability to “snark” would be an insult to most 2 year olds. Jackass.
Oh my God. I thought I was bad-ass because I can do pull-ups and handstand push-ups. She is STRONG. Does she lift weights, or is it all bodyweight gymnastic training?
A Humble Lurker
I’m not offended by pole dancing threads, but I’m newer than most of you, and I’ve never seen the mythical naked mopping thread. Can anyone point me in its direction?
Pole dancing is awesome. And I say that as a 180% faggity fag fag faggerson. Those women are crazy athletic! Congrats to your friend!
@Matt Mangels: I have to agree with you, I personally feel that this does not belong on the front page of BJ. It might have been nice if ABL had made reference to, I dunno, “here, read up on my friend who is amazing” and linked to this as an entry to her own blog. I also do not understand two threadS in a row meeting me in the morning, that, while the most recent one being quite delightful, are just not the red meat I am looking for with my morning coffee.
These are just my opinions, JC can run his blog anyway he likes, this is only an opinion. Thank you.
Jaw-droppingly beautiful! I thoroughly enjoyed sitting my fat a** on the couch, drinking am coffee, watching someone else work their muscles to perfection. Amazing.
Shit, they got a national contest for pole dancing? Hell, why am I acting surprised? They got everything nowadays.
Let’s see…China’s got, what, a billion people? And, what, 51% of the population is female, right? So 49% of the population has–oh, you didn’t literally mean…
Miss Natasha is totally fantastic. Thank you, ABL!
Violet @ 14 nailed it- this is dance that happens to have a pole. Absolutely stunning.
I gotta say though, as someone who frequents the Canadian ballet a few times a year, even for the dancers with 1% of Ms. Wang’s talent on the pole, I am always amazed that dancers can stay up there. You’d think sweat would make it slick in no time. Maybe there’s a rosin saddle in the dressing room?
Edited to add: and if throwing a frickin’ metal ball is a sport, pole dancing absolutely is. I say, make the Olympics watchable again!
Ms. Wang is amazing! I wanna learn how to do that. Not that I could . . .
She’s completely hot and I disagree with nothing you’ve written and your post is still a pile of unreadable garbage.
Jesus fuck, get a clue.
Nothing to add, but letting this thread top out at 69 comments seemed like asking for trouble
I went to high school with a dude named Richard Wiener.
@motorik: and you are still a pile of shit.
I’m not sure if that’s Sigur Ros or Jonsi (as in, Jonsi’s solo record without the rest of them) playing in her winning routine, but I am pleased about it either way. As for the actual dancing: holy shit.