The University of Essex Pole Dance Club faces an unusual problem, raised money for different charities but have been rejected.
Abigail Prior, the club’s Volunteer and Fundraising officer, says that most local charities reject their fundraising donations because it’s associated with pole dancing.
She believes these charities don’t want the association with this particular club as there are bad connotations and negative stereotypes surrounding pole dancing. Prior thinks the charities may be hesitant to accept the money because it could make them less favourable in their local community.
When asked how pole dancers could break the stereotype Prior responded by saying. “It’s not an easy stigma to break, however I feel that by showing people more variation between typical ‘exotic’ style and what we do (contemporary dance), they can begin to take us more seriously.”
While not everyone wants to believe there is more to pole dance than the exotic style, the fundraising officer says they try to focus on offering funds to more welcoming charities.
But finding charities to give donations to is only one minor part of the job, Prior continues to describe other difficulties of organising all of the Pole Dance Club’s fundraising events; “I hadn’t realized it before-it is hard to arrange enough events in a short time span that raise enough money”
As Prior is the Volunteer and Fundraising officer, it is her job to not only organise each event but also to motivate other club members to participate in the events, which is another difficulty Prior says she faces.
Essex’s Pole Dance Club has a goal of hosting at least five events or projects that the club’s members can get involved in as well as raising £800 which can be split between the club and other charities.
The club has held at least three bake sales so far and hosted a ‘pole-a-thon’, a 12 hour pole dancing session shared between the club members. More events and bake sales are soon to follow as Prior is still trying to reach the £800 target.
If you wish to help the Pole Dance Club, look out for other bake sales and support them in upcoming showcases and performances.
*The names of the charities that choose not to accept donations from the clubs were not named and could not be asked for a comment.