- Maëlys Renaud
Let’s Pole Dance for the Planet!
Reshaping the 21st century together
Environmentalism and the pole dance art form have a recent evolution in common, from stigmatization of the discipline to a growing popularization. Both participate in reshaping the 21st century by reexamining our relationship to the world, to the human body and to community and resilience.
Climate change is the greatest threat to humanity and to the living ecosystems that we are a part of. The environmental crisis has grown since the 1970s, and with that awareness towards those issues has significantly risen in recent years. In this context, a diversity of voices and perspectives are exploring what it means to encounter and to be in relationship with the living world. Today pole dance is one of the fastest growing forms of dance and we count over 5 millions practitioners in the world! The pole dance industry has an opportunity to participate in the discussion and to tackle the environmental challenges we face as a whole. I believe that pole dance, as an emerging art form, has a healing potential for the individuals as well as for the living ecosystems.
From confusion to positive actions
Over the last few years, the discourse around the environment and sustainability has certainly changed. The UN urges nations that in order to preserve a livable climate and to protect our biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to net zero by 2050 and more land should be protected. We have seen worldwide protests and strikes from people of all ages that demand leaders to take stronger action against global warming. Yet there remains to be confusion around the crisis and what this means for individuals, communities, and the different industries!
Climate artist Nicole Kelner’s - Barack Obama follows her on Twitter! - represented the rise in Earth’s temperature between 1850 and 2021 (after climate scientist Ed Hawkins’ studies at University of Reading) with a set of vertical lines transitioning from a cloudy blue to a vibrant red. This abstract watercolor transforms the data of the devastating disruption of the usual balance of nature into a visual and meaningful artwork.
Have you ever felt helpless or overwhelmed about the future of our planet? If so, you are not alone! I’ve been coping with eco-anxiety - referring to persistent worries about the future of Earth and the life it shelters - since I was a kid, before I even knew how to identify anxiety attacks and far before the word became popular. Moving and taking positive actions are all ways for me to manage my fears: pole dancing, horseback riding, academia, community empowerment, and recently: working in science diplomacy. In recent years, I have bridged my love for pole dancing and my desire to care for the planet into useful practice for living a sustainable life and inspiring others to do so. From this personal journey, the platform poleforplanet.com was born!
Today I perform, teach classes, do workshops, and use the practice of telling stories through pole dance to give the natural environment a voice. I will share my process behind creating the contemporary pole dance piece where I embodied Princess Mononoke for the Pole Sport Organization competition last year! Additionally, I partner with companies from all industries and collaborate with environmental organizations to inspire, perform and raise environmental awareness.
Years of research delivered to you
Pole Dance for the Planet is a platform dedicated to the players of the pole dance industry. I’m excited to share my research on how we, as pole dancers and citizens, can help solve some of our biggest contemporary issues. I will provide resources, connections, support and services with the aim to effectively address climate change, eco-anxiety, and the many environmental challenges that we face. We all have a role in helping decrease waste, consumption and emissions. Step by step, it is all about positive actions!
I will be using this blog to tackle some of the larger issues and share how pole dancers can be a part of the movement. I will feature pole dancers’ sustainability journeys, climate experts on the pole dance industry, and provide my personal philosophies. My focus will be on: resiliency, background on the issues and solutions, and fostering a strong pole dance community as well as a deep connection with nature.
In the next few days I will share my experience as a speaker at the International Pole Dance Convention (PoleCon) 2022 (June 2nd-5th, Atlanta)!
If you would like to share your story with me or write a blog post on ways for the pole dance industry to go greener, or more general sustainability topics, write to me via the contact form or dm me on instagram (maelys_renaud). I’d love to meet you and hear your thoughts! Let’s do this together!
Visit the Manifesto Series page on www.poleforplanet.com to learn more how pole dance and sustainability fit together. And subscribe to the list to get updates on new blog posts, performances, updates on projects and upcoming guidebooks and workshops!