photograph courtesy of Tamar Preston.Well as you can imagine the last 24 hours have been very interesting for me, since my chat with the Press Association on Thursday morning things have gone absolutely mental. When I was contacted by the PA I expected that some newspapers might cover the story but i had no idea that the story was about to go international! Within 7 hours of the story breaking it was being reported in America and Australia. It seems funny that my Innocent pole dancing display could cause so much fuss and ironically if the college had backed me in the first place the story would have never made the headlines!
What has been amazing is the overwhelmingly positive feedback I have received from around the world, messages have been pouring in via my blog, e-mail, facebook and YouTube, it seems that actually most people are educated about the benefits of pole dancing as a way to keep fit and have fun and it is only a very small minority that fail to understand my chosen sport.
Something I did learn from the minority is how nasty some people can be although rather than being upset buy certain comments they actually made me laugh at the individuals who had made them, Thanks to Stuart for sending me the e-mail stating that the reason I was a pole dancer was due to the fact that I wasn't pretty enough to make it into a lap dancing club and thanks to the Herald commenter who pointed out that I was fat and therefore pole dancing couldn't be good for fitness, it is funny that most people don't see "my rolls of fat".
A big Thank you to Jolene from Purity Pole for her extremely supportive blog, thanks also to all the body and pole forum members who have given me great feedback.
As usual my staff team have been absolutely brilliant and I had the pleasure of jamming with most of them yesterday, we were joined by the lovely Kate from Spin City Pole Fitness in Bristol who joined us amidst the chaos of radio and TV interviews. I must also thank my amazing students who have also been sending me messages of support throughout the whole saga.
I really want to send my love and thanks to the sports officer at South Devon College who booked me to do this event, No doubt she has taken some stick over the whole furore and it is such a shame as she is passionate about her students, passionate about sport and is a fantastic asset to South Devon College. I must add that the actual college itself has the most impressive facilities and must be a great college to attend.
It is now late in the afternoon so I am off to enjoy the rest of my Saturday as well as looking forward to a family meal with my Grandad tomorrow, he is now settled into Sunnymeade residential home and my family & I are really impressed with the level of care he is getting.
Brave student Kim had another operation yesterday but is battling on as usual - Hope you are able to go home soon Kim x x
I will leave you with a few of the positive comments I have received over the last 24 hours, there are too many to list them all so I have just selected a few for you to read:
I am a student at this college and saw the demonstration being performed. The performance which I saw did not come across as a sexual performance, and was definatly more to do with fitness, strength and exercise. I personally have tried these classes at a top London Theatre School and found it a lot harder than one first throught! The media is always going on about the fact that teenagers and children are over weight and nothing is being done about it.....well when a variety of activites are offered, which are of interest to younger people why is it slated so much? This College has just recieved OUTSTANDING by Ofsted and this is not only down to the teaching but due to the facilities and extra activities that it offers.
I think they should invite Sam to start a fitness class at South Devon College for students and staff and perhaps an evening class for the wider community! I would think that most of the staff and students are very happy about the demonstration and can see the pole dancing that Sam does is a blend of gymnastics and dance, nothing provocative about it at all. I am amazed at the negative responses. How is it controversial? It is interesting to compare the headlines and opening sentences in the Sun and Mail with other papers too! I wish the college would stand its ground and back Sam. They certainly shouldn't give in to the negative criticism. Devon Mum
“Reactionary is right. Another case of the media jumping on two buzzwords and not portraying the true story. Anyone that sees the video will know that this isn't the kind of 'pole dancing' or lap dancing you see in shady clubs, but is something gymnastically themed and quite beautiful.
That aside, thanks Sam, because I've never seen this time of routine before and it's really impressive. Hopefully more people will take the time to actually watch it rather than blindly swallowing what the media feeds, and you can get the credit you deserve!”
I only found your site via the BBC News website and therefore you know to which story I'm referring.
Clearly the school were being excessively cautious but they've done you a favour because the subsequent publicity must be lighting up your server! I sincerely hope it energizes your business.
I've never seen any examples of pole dancing except for the cliched lap dancing club evidence on TV and it was amazing to see what you can achieve. I've seen various circus performers who would be put to shame by your gymnastic capability and artistry, the 'Cirque de Soleil' crew for one.
Good luck to you and your people. We need artists of your calibre and keep up the marvellous work.