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“Sometimes, you have to answer a calling. And I tried and tried to ignore it but it kept finding me, so I had to do it, even though it’s a lot of work, I just had to do it.” – Dalijah Franklin

Dalijah was my work-study mentor (one of the work-study perks!) so we had a lot of conversations. However, out of all of them, this one resonated with me the most. Have you ever felt an itch to do something? Even though you know it’s going to be tedious and sometimes frustrating work, you feel like you have to do because it’s a part of your life calling? I have, and thankfully enough, so has Dalijah, which is why we are so fortunate to have the pole collective Black Girls Pole!

She’s completely right, it is a lot of work. I’ve seen Dalijah in mini conferences surrounded in a sea of other fierce pole dancers figuring out show logistics and heard her talk about the countless hours she has put into the administrative work of BGP. I’ve also seen how the energy of Body & Pole is transformed when the BGP shows happen, when excited students meet Black Girls Pole instructors who come to teach classes at Body & Pole. And when Dalijah was asked about why created BGP she said this:

“Pole dancing will take every women down a different path. It is a journey of discovery, both mental and physical. Black Girls Pole empowers the hidden strength that is dwelling inside, dying to be unleashed. You walk different, you feel different, and your body changes before your eyes. The confidence gained from this mind-blowing thing we call Black Girls Pole will help shape and change you into the courageous, sexy, strong black women you were called to be. We dare you to challenge yourself, and go on this journey.”

Black Girls Pole is something that extends far beyond Dalijah herself, it’s about reframing and creating a new space for black women to move and dance into their bodies in a new way. It’s important, necessary, strenuous work, but you can help by supporting the mission! BGP has a lot of exciting new things happening. They are holding their first ever BGP Pole Retreat this summer in South Beach. (It’s sold out but there are spots on the waiting list in case people have to cancel.) They are also in the middle of preparing for their third annual Black Girls Pole Show which will be take place on June 12th at DROM at 7:00 PM. Before the show there will be BGP afternoon pole workshops at Body & Pole. You don’t want to miss these exciting opportunities to dance and be inspired by all the incredible fierceness that is BGP!