I found your piece on pole dancing interesting (“Get a Grip. Seriously,” May 24) as I am launching a contemporary ballet company here in L.A., employing dancers; men and women who have studied and trained their entire lives to attain the professional strength, flexibility and artistry they need to be professional dancers.

Their desire to perform has to do with expressing human stories and feelings in the oldest primitive and most enduring art form. Dance has always existed to communicate with our kind, and “legitimate” dance has evolved to what we see today, whether American Ballet Theatre, Broadway or “So You Think You Can Dance.”

The problem I have with pole dancing as a “legitimate” art form is that pole dancing is specifically geared toward the display and sale of young, female bodies for men’s sexual use, titillation and pleasure. The pole is the ultimate phallic symbol, and the people doing their acrobatics on it are young, nearly nude women, performing for men, for money.

I resent this being promoted on the front page of Sunday Calendar. It’d be better on the back pages of L.A. Weekly.


I am interested, however, in anything by writers about legitimate dance and culture in Los Angeles or anywhere else. It’s what I turn to in Calendar for in the first place.

Judith Flex Helle, Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles

Valley Village