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Student Life

Mim meets Montreal: Seasons of love

Episode 18: In which Mim shares her most memorable moments

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Student Life

Mim meets Montreal: Of bilbies and bunnies

Episode 17: In which Mim and her friends fall down the Easter rabbit hole

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Student Life

Mim meets Montreal: there’s no place like home

Episode 17: In which Mim hangs her hat here

“Home” is a strange word. For one, it doesn’t even translate to French. “Chez moi” and “chez toi” aren’t quite the same as home. Secondly, it means different things for everyone. I used to think that home is where family is, where there’s a safe landing nest. But with half my family and friends on opposite sides of Australia, this definition doesn’t suffice.

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Student Life

The art of vagina puppet-making

Because in a phallus-dominated world, we all need more vulvar imagery

If a friend turned to you on this bus, or wherever you’re sitting right now, and started talking to you about vaginas, how would you react?

This was precisely the topic of discussion that drove the workshops held on Monday and Wednesday evening last week. In a world inundated with phallic imagery, why isn’t there more talk about vaginas and, more importantly, the topics surrounding them?

Examples of the wonderfully kitschy vagina puppets, made from papier-mâché and adorned with colourful fabrics, glitter, and rhinestones. Photos by Mim Kempson.

Hosted by the Centre for Gender Advocacy, this was a workshop not just of discussion but also of craft—vagina puppet-making to be exact. The event took place in the homey loft of Courtney Kirkby, a member of the Centre for Gender Advocacy who is also a journalist, puppet-maker and mental health educator at a community centre. The 10 of us sat in picnic formation with buckets of cardboard that had been soaked in water overnight and hot pots of freshly made corn starch glue between us. Papier-mâché was our medium.

We fashioned labia minora and clitorises from newspaper and empty cans, sticking them onto a cardboard canvas, which we then papier-mâchéed over. As we layered on strips of paper—which was a pretty meditative and cathartic activity in itself—we discussed topics that are generally taboo or rarely mentioned.

Kirkby kicked the evening off by telling us about her background in feminism and puppet-making. It was during a trip to Bolivia that she learnt about Mujeres Creando (which translates to “women growing”), an anarchist feminist collective that relies on the union of sex workers, lesbians and indigenous women.

Established in Bolivia’s capital of La Paz roughly 20 years ago, Mujeres Creando voice their views through art, graffiti, film and street theatre. One of their most controversial performances is a naked protest in which women strip in front of churches and government buildings.

Kirkby had seen a Mujeres Creando docu-fiction, which featured a march where women stopped in the streets of La Paz to publicly tell stories of their experiences with abortion. An illegal practice in Bolivia, abortion has a high death rate due to unsanitary clinics and unsafe protocols. This film was a source of inspiration for Kirkby and her passion for puppet-making, as she enthusiastically described the puppet that these women carried in their march: a giant metal frame of legs joined by a vagina adorned in sheer pink fabric. The women stood under its dome as they told their stories.

Crafters enthusiastically create their vulvar oeuvres while discussing feminist issues. Photo by Mim Kempson..

We then spoke about la esposa-puta. This concept refers to the sharp divide between prostitutes and “ladies,” which leads women to be seen as dichotomous: they fall into one archetype or the other.

The subjects of transgender and intersex people also arose as we considered how, in contemporary society, the vagina doesn’t necessarily represent a woman in the traditional sense. We also spoke about the lack of accessibility to feminine hygiene products in both developing and developed countries.

There was something very poignant about our engagement in such a charged, political discussion whilst creating very raw, almost childlike pieces of art. The vagina that I made was a joint effort with my friend who also attended. In the end, our puppet-come-artwork looked pretty diabolically tragic. In an attempt to redeem it, we adopted interior design techniques at the decoration stage, wallpapering the labia minora with hearts and embellishing the clitoris with diamantes.

Everyone got truly creative with their pieces. One woman fashioned a rose from pink tissue paper to use as the clitoris. Another of the young women, who works at a veterinary clinic, had asked her colleagues that day whether she could take home the animal hair shavings “to use as pubic hair.” She purposely didn’t mention the vagina puppet-making workshop because she wanted to observe their reactions. Apparently they weren’t surprised and just shrugged it off.

There are two extremes in society: people who recoil at the mention of a tampon, and those who have a coffee-table book of vagina photography, a shelf of vagina-themed felt patchwork and a mantelpiece adorned with a “teddybear” that resembles a vagina (I have a friend who continually receives vagina objects as a joke). This workshop was valuable in bringing such blatantly ignored topics to the fore, and it has left me—and the other nine women, I’m sure—with a lot to ponder. Hopefully, you too.

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Student Life

Mim meets Montreal: parades and protests

Episode 16: In which Mim gets swept up in a crowd

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about Montrealers, it’s that they love not only a party, but a protest, too. On Sunday it was the St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was also the anti-police brutality protest. They rained on the parade.

My friends and I arrived on the scene outside of Guy-Concordia metro. In the distance we saw an endless crowd dotted with green: hats, flags, costumes, balloons. From tourists to locals, children to the elderly, everyone braved the painstaking cold, which was relieved by the warmth derived from all the cheering and clapping. But this wasn’t the scene that we started the day with. No, we had walked into the middle of a different crowd: one in which the colour wasn’t on their clothes, but in their language. They booed and yelled and handed out pamphlets on what to do if you were arrested mid-protest—a protest which, as it turns out, got stopped before anything more than chanting happened, but that’s another story.

Mim and her friend Casandra De Masi get festive for the St Patrick’s Day parade. Photo by Gregory Todaro.

We quickly escaped the raucous group and skipped towards the parade. Sadly, I’d missed the SPCA, who’d marched down the street with puppies and kittens dressed in little green outfits that were stamped with, “adopt me, I’m Irish.” Fortunately, however, I did get to see the electric-powered bathtubs on wheels. That was a laugh, and one efficient way to grab new customers’ attention for a bathroom supply store. There was also a marching band ensemble, a cheerleading squad, a float with a rock band and police on horseback.

When the parade ended we had intended to visit a warm pub for an Irish coffee, but every single Irish pub downtown was full, with queues streaming out the doors.

All the festiveness made me wonder why, in Australia, we don’t celebrate anything quite as largely, at least not St. Patrick’s Day. In Melbourne we hold a festival in one of the main parks, but there are certainly no major streets shut down for the occasion.

As for the protests, I witness one almost every week here in Montreal. In Australia, protests are not nearly as frequent nor extravagant. The only protest that I’ve partaken in was one about something to do with helping the environment, though I can’t remember it well because I was roughly five years old (and dressed in fairy wings whilst sitting upon my dad’s shoulders). So, in comparison, Australia’s protests are pretty sedate. Despite the often riotous nature of their protests, I admire the fact that Montrealers are so willing to speak their mind.

Whether in celebration or in demonstration, Montreal sure knows how to rally a crowd.

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Student Life

Mim meets Montreal: Australian lingo for dummies

Episode 15: In which Mim wants you to meet Melbourne

Mim gets a taste of home at Café Melbourne. Photo by Jordie Yeager.

One of the first things that Canadians ask me once they’ve established that I’m Australian is “how do you survive back home, knowing that a spider or a snake could crawl into your bed and kill you in your sleep?” So, in dedication to those curious cobbers, here’s a column that seeks to answer your questions.

Fact #1: You won’t cark it from a deadly creature if you live in the city. The likelihood of seeing a tiger snake or a spider the size of your own face is roughly the same as a Montrealer seeing a giant Canadian bear. Sure, I’ve stepped on a couple of snakes in my lifetime, gotten bitten by mozzies and bull ants, and have shared lunch with a possum and a blue-tongued lizard, but that’s when I’ve been camping, deep in a forest six hours out of town.

It was a visit to Montreal’s Café Melbourne (4615 St-Laurent Blvd.) on Saturday arvo that got me thinking about Australia. They serve stereotypical Australian foods such as Vegemite, lamingtons (a cube of sponge cake iced with chocolate and shredded coconut) and jaffles (essentially a cross between a toasted cheese sanger and a waffle). The décor is minimalist ‘60s-style retro and the bathroom walls are covered in pictures of Australian icons including Heath Ledger, Nicole Kidman and Steve Irwin. Here, the baristas only make fair dinkum lattes and cappuccinos, all the while chatting to one another in true blue Aussie accents.

Fact #2: In Australia you can’t order filter coffee. Or, at least that was the case half a year ago. I’ve since been told that filter coffee has become a trendy new beverage.
I had a yarn with the café’s co-owner Angus Castran, who told me that customers in Melbourne are now ordering filter coffee for its novelty factor. It’s like the reverse of Starbucks putting flat whites on their menu.

Sipping at my extra-hot, double shot pretentious soy latte, I sat by the window and stared out onto a dismally grey St-Laurent Blvd. The light rain reminded me of a Melbourne winter.

Fact #3: In Australia, it’s not summer 365 days of the year. It mightn’t snow, but we sure get pretty narky about rainy 10-degree weather. After enduring four months of Montreal’s winter, however, I will never whinge about such piddly weather again. To me, five degrees is now the sign of a lovely spring day.

I’ve been asked some pretty gobsmacking questions since arriving in Montreal. The first: “are kangaroos a standard mode of transportation in Australia?” Thankfully that one was a joke. This one, however, was not: “aren’t you scared that a drop-bear will fall from a tree and kill you?” Once I’d nutted out what a “drop-bear” was, I couldn’t help but laugh at the wuss. They were referring to a completely harmless, herbivorous marsupial: the koala. Strewth. Seriously, mate, get over your hang-ups about Australia, and give it a burl. Trust me, she’ll be apples.

Glossary of Australian Lingo (language):
Cobber = friend (can be used with close friends or acquaintances)
Cark it = die
Mozzies = mosquitos
Arvo = afternoon
Sanger = sandwich
Fair dinkum = genuine
True blue = the real thing
Yarn = chat
Narky = easily annoyed
Whinge = complain
Piddly = trivial or pathetic
Gobsmacking = surprising
Nut out = solve
Wuss = a weak person
Strewth = an expression of surprise
Give it a burl = give it a shot
You’ll be apples = don’t worry

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Student Life

Mim meats Montreal: The Schwartz’s experience

Episode 14: In which Mim eats a sandwich bigger than her head

Eating at Schwartz’s, a Montreal landmark since 1928, is a right of passage for all Montreal tourists. Well, all meat-eating tourists (thankfully my vegan phase has long passed). So, I wonder: considering that I’ve lived here for over six months, why hadn’t I visited this classic, much-loved institution sooner? I was even more surprised when my two native Montrealer friends admitted that they, too, had never tried the renowned Schwartz’s smoked meat sandwich.

Mim takes her first bite of the iconic Schwartz’s smoked meat sandwich. Photo by Ben Tanguay.

The restaurant’s exterior is often characterized by a lengthy queue, which blocks the entrance to the sadly forgotten fried chicken store next door. When I take the bus down St. Laurent boulevard and glimpse at all those people it reminds me of La Banquise or café L’Avenue. From near and far, people flock to these eateries and wait almost an hour (sometimes in wind and snow) to get a table. Seriously, I’m starting to think that queuing is an actual pass-time (“Hey, I’ve heard this new cafe does really nice queues, wanna go check it out?”).

Luckily for us, we went on an evening where we had our preference of tables. Waltzing straight in, I admit that I almost choked because the air was thick with the smell of meat. It took my lungs a good five minutes to re-calibrate to the new breathing conditions (a disproportionate ratio of oxygen to eau-de-beef with a hint of mustard).

We walked to an empty table (situated right beside the giant poster of “Schwartz’s, the Musical”), passing all kinds of clientele. A suited businesswoman, elegantly cross-legged at the counter, devoured a sandwich whilst happily talking to a waiter. An elderly couple—who looked like loyal regulars—quietly chatted to one another over a bowl of fries, while a louder family behind them ravenously ate their meals.

We were a first-timer table, minus the one Schwartz’s regular who was also my friend’s boyfriend. How had he not yet taken her to Schwartz’s in the five years they’ve been together?

As usual, I sneakily tried to order a healthier alternative—is there even such a thing at Schwartz’s?—but soon after committed to the traditional smoked meat sandwich after my friends, genuinely outraged, reminded me that a Schwartz’s inauguration could not be completed any other way.

The “small” sandwich ended up being the size of my head. Layered high with such tender, crumbling meat, it was virtually impossible to eat without falling everywhere including the floor. Though, with literally 20 slices of beef, there was plenty to spare. We all enjoyed the famous sandwich so profoundly that none of us spoke for the first few minutes. No surprise, I finished the whole thing.

I’d never experienced anything like a Schwartz’s sandwich in my life. Sure, I’ve tried almost everything under the sun when it comes to barbecuing (side fact: Australia is the only country that eats its national emblem, the kangaroo. Mind you, it’s one of the most ethical meats out there), but never had I eaten smoked meat. Once again, Montreal, you have impressed me with your culinary delights.

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Student Life

Mim meets Montreal: Never too cold for a party

Episode 13: In which the weather is cold and the wine is hot

Sadly, I missed out on going to Igloofest (which gives me all the more reason to come back to Montreal, right?). So when Nuit Blanche came around I made sure to go. It was an event where, yet again, I witnessed Montrealers’ innate ability to turn such brutally inhospitable weather into a party.

Mim tries maple taffy for the first time during Nuit Blanche. Photo by Sara Baron-Goodman.

I went to the Quartier des Spectacles first on Thursday for the Festival Montreal en Lumières and then on Saturday for Nuit Blanche. There were pulsing neon lights, a giant stage with a band, campfires, countless food kiosks, theme park rides and igloo-shaped transparent tents that housed mini bars or restaurants. The moment that I arrived and saw the spectacular scene my inner tourist came out as I jumped with cringe-worthy awe and joy. Delirious with excitement and mind-numbed from the cold, I exclaimed “I wish I lived here!” My friend had to remind me that I did, in fact, live here.

Like many of my other night time outings in Montreal, these two were filled with gluttony. The culprits were two melted chocolate-dripping waffles; a cheese platter complemented by two glasses of warmed wine; a hollowed baguette filled with fondue cheese; and a Swiss sausage on a stick (fire-cooked). Maple and bacon pretzels were also on the cards, as well as a hot chocolate with rum. However, reality set in when my stomach reminded me that I wasn’t a growing six-foot teenage boy.

My favourite treat by far was the maple syrup tire. So simple: throw some maple syrup on the ice, chuck a stick in it, wait a little, and voila, you’ve got toffee-esque joy on a stick. Before arriving in Canada, I was one of those health freak weirdos who equated sugar with the devil. But Montreal, you’ve made me a changed woman.

On Thursday I rode the ferris wheel with my two acrophobic friends who had a splendid time. On Saturday we danced to electro music amongst hundreds of people. Aside from the fact that I am almost less than five foot tall and couldn’t see, I had a lot of fun. It got better when my friend offered me a shoulder ride. I would have loved to go on the zipline but it somehow just never happened. Probably because by 2 a.m. the novelty of the wintery weather was wearing off. Instead, we opted for salsa dancing in the Musee de l’art contemporain, where a DJ duo played upbeat Latin-inspired tunes in front of projected footage of what appeared to be Hawaii. For those short, glorious moments I remembered the one thing I’ve begun to miss most—the beach.

Nuit Blanche was a blast. On Sunday my hair smelt like campfire and chocolate and was knotted with frozen maple syrup. Nuit Blanche reminded me of camping, but a hyped-up version minus the kind of weather that is conducive to staying outdoors for long periods of time.

Montrealers, how do you do it? Long ago, people told me that I was crazy to stay here for the winter. While I may be half frozen (with two more months to endure), Montreal, your charms continue to warm my heart. Oh, and thanks for making a sentimental tourist out of me.

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Student Life

Mim meets Montreal: This one’s for the laaadiiiiesss

Episode 13: In which Mim celebrates the sacred Galentine’s Day

You know what’s better than Valentine’s Day? Galentine’s Day. Having said that, I would have honestly answered “anything” to that question, but hey—I found out this weekend that Galentine’s Day is actually a happening thing. While the name may derive from Parks and Recreation, I am sure that the idea has been around for decades.

I admit, when my friends told me about Galentine’s Day I was a little cynical. I thought, “Geez, that’s pretty sad: women getting together to celebrate being single with B-grade rom-coms, heart-shaped chocolates and cheap champagne.” In this hermit-inducing winter, however, it is through comfort food and trashy films that we can find solace. At least, I speak for myself. So, when my two non-single female friends invited me to spend Galentine’s Day doing exactly that, I didn’t pass on the opportunity.

Maybe our evening didn’t exactly follow the generic interpretation—the rom coms were A-grade/top quality, the dessert was chocolate lava cake (way better) and the alcohol was pink wine—but that’s beside the point. The event wasn’t created to provide women with an excuse to spend an evening getting fat on junk food and sulking over the non-existent men in their lives. It is about rejoicing in friendship (please excuse the corniness—it was the weekend of Valentine’s Day after all).

We made a fancy salmon dinner followed by baked whisky-and-maple syrup-infused brie. Bridget Jones made an appearance along with Sixteen Candles and Practical Magic. We had a productive evening. Breakfast was blueberry heart-shaped pancakes and candy.

To my surprise, Valentine’s Day isn’t celebrated any more widely or enthusiastically in Canada than it is in Australia. And as for Galentine’s Day, I say there should be a guys’ equivalent, too (if there isn’t already). Well, really, we should just celebrate friendship every day, full stop. We could say the same about any of these over-commercialized, over-hyped events: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and, of course, National Feral Cat Day (I mean, we can’t forget the poor feral cats out there, right? Totally is a thing by the way, celebrated Oct. 16).

 

Here’s to making every day Galentine’s day, amirite ladies?

Photo by John Rodousakis
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Mim meets Montreal: paperwork predicaments

Episode 12: Will she stay or will she go?

Exchange student tip #1: don’t go on exchange. Actually, I take that back. I’ll say this instead: study abroad for one semester, not two. If you apply for a second, expect your whole world to be flipped upside down. That’s what has happened to me, as this week I was faced with the biggest decision of my life.

Let me begin by providing some context. If you’re an exchange student studying in Canada for only one semester, you do not need a visa. My proof that I’d be exiting the country in less than six months was a return flight home, dated February 18. Last semester, once Concordia decided to welcome me with open arms for the winter, I changed my flight to July. The only problem? My visa application hadn’t yet been approved. Still today it apparently hasn’t even been looked at.

When an Australian friend of mine told me that he’d been detained in a cell between the border of Canada and the U.S. in 2013 (due to complications with his student visa), I thought: “how ridiculous, that will never happen to me.” Unfortunately, it now seems that I might be facing an equally as serious circumstance.

When I submitted the paperwork in December, the Immigration Canada website assured me that it would take a maximum of seven weeks to hear news, which meant mid February at the latest. To my dismay, I discovered on Friday—whilst sitting with an advisor at the Concordia International Student Office—that the estimated processing times have been altered. Now, I won’t be receiving news until the end of April.

Here’s the pickle. If I do not receive an approved visa before the end of April—or my application is declined—I could face the following consequences. One: I will not be credited for any of my grades. It will be like the winter semester never existed. Twelve weeks of study go down the drain. Two: I will miss out on partaking in the equivalent Australian semester, which commences early March. This leads to three: I will have to do an extra semester at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, meaning that I will graduate a year later than I’d expected. And four: I will have to pay a ridiculous amount more for that extra tuition.

So, it knuckles down to this: risk everything (my academic record, finances and time) to stay in Canada until July, or: hop on a plane and leave Canada next week. What would you do? Maybe I’ll start an online voting poll.

Like a patient waiting in a doctor’s office, I will likely spend the next few months wondering whether the diagnosis will be fatal. On the other hand, I could not fathom leaving Montreal so soon and on such traumatic terms. At this point, all I can do is hope that by some miracle I receive the answer I’m wishing for sooner rather than later.

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Student Life

Mim meets Montreal: Moving day

Episode 11: In which home is where the heart is

When I moved out of home for the first time, it wasn’t a matter of moving down the street. Instead, I packed my life into a single suitcase and whisked myself to the other side of the world: from Melbourne to Montreal. To all the international and exchange students out there: I imagine that coming to Concordia was your first time moving out, too. Considering that I extended my stay from one to two semesters and signed a lease (rather than living in student housing) I genuinely feel like Montreal is more than a temporary lodging. It’s my home.

That is why, when my housemate decided to move to Portugal for a change of scenery and told me that I needed to find somewhere new to live, I was a little shaken. Once again, I became a lost wanderer.

Being an exchange student isn’t all fun and games. This became apparent when I started spending my Fridays filling in visa applications and my Saturday nights modifying “apartment lease transfer” ads on Kijiji. I’ve since realised that being an adult is determined not by responsibility, but by the amount of paperwork there is in your life.

Moving apartments is an epic task. Moving in winter adds a whole new layer of complexity. It’s things like digging the car out of a mound of ice that remind me that I’m not in Australia. Finding a new place to live isn’t easy. Actually finding the place isn’t easy either: as in, sometimes the snow is so thick that it covers street signs and house numbers.

Apartment hunting tip number one: introduce yourself to strangers and ask if you can live with them. Just kidding. Though, that’s kind of what happened to me. Whilst moshing to Chet Faker at his concert in September, I met a Montrealer named Sophie. Three months later it was Sophie who referred me to her friend who was looking for a new roommate.

The spaciously unfurnished room had a spectacular view onto a grey brick wall and was as well lit as a dungeon (probably a result of the vomit-raspberry colour of the walls), but I took it. Tip number two: choose an apartment for the roommate (someone who can envisage yourself living with), or at least make it a top priority. The issue of the aesthetic (or lack thereof) was easily solved. After four coats of white paint (done over eight hours) and a trip to IKEA on the other side of town, the room was transformed into my new haven.

I’m glad that my experiences in Montreal haven’t always been smooth sailing and glamorous. I’ve learnt that it’s also the small and trivial things—like decorating a room—that make a place feel like home.

 

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Pole dancing: not just for professionals

Anyone can try out this hot new workout regime

There are two reasons why I decided to try pole-dancing lessons. One: I was bored with my monotonous weight lifting routine and wanted to try something new. Two: I wanted to become more of a lady. As a dance-gymnastics-acrobatics hybrid, pole dance is characterised not only by the femininity it evokes, but also by the seemingly superhuman amount of strength it requires. This is largely why pole dancing has exploded in popularity amongst Montrealers: it’s one heck of a workout.

As both an isometric and cardiovascular exercise, there are endless benefits to pole dancing. You can develop core strength; increase your flexibility, sense of balance and coordination skills; and burn more calories than an aerobics class.

Located in Old Montreal on St Jacques Street, Milan Pole Dance Studio is entered through an unassuming doorway that radiates exclusivity. Inside, the ambience is light and upbeat. The almost entirely white studio is coloured by crisp “mood” lighting—pinks, blues, purples. But of course, it is the tall, golden poles that define the space.

There are 16 poles on site, spinning ones to be exact. I learnt that there are actually two types of poles: the other is stationary. You may have watched a few Hollywood movies and wondered, how do women spin around the poles so swiftly and quickly? Well, in all likelihood, they’re working with a spinning pole, which means that it is on a rotating wheel beneath the floorboards. Having said that, the spinning pole is not necessarily better than static. The difference is that they allow dancers to do different tricks.

With zero experience in dance, I was afraid that I wouldn’t fit in. To my surprise, I discovered that everyone had come to pole dancing with different backgrounds and in varying shapes, sizes and ages. For some it was their third class, for others it was their third year.

Whether it’s fitness or dance that you’re interested in, Milan Pole Dance Studio caters to all. You can choose a class that is focused on the contemporary dance aspect, there’s a “gym” class, a conditioning pilates-esque class, a Flexy class (like yoga but with a pole) and, of course, the traditional exotic dance class. I personally chose the fitness oriented ones to replace my previous weight lifting regime. In a sense, there’s still a bar. It’s just vertical instead of horizontal, and my body became my “weights.” Working with your own body weight makes for a very different (and fun) challenge.

Even the three young strapping men in the class (who clearly worked out) weren’t capable of the same moves that some of the other women were doing. Nevertheless, the group cheered them on as they persevered. The supportive and encouraging atmosphere at Milan Studio is clearly a motivation for its students to continue going to classes.

For Isabelle Le, it wasn’t just the paradoxical mix of team spirit and independence (it’s just you and the pole) that magnetised her to pole dance, it was the challenge it offered as a sport.

“What I love about pole dancing is the pride and satisfaction you experience from noticing your own progress,” says Le.

When she received a Christmas voucher for pole dancing five years ago, she had gone to the classes thinking that it would be a laugh. Once an avid tennis player and cyclist with absolutely no dance background, Isabelle is now a teacher at Milan Studio. She was hooked after the first class.

So was I. After my first class I left the studio with a one-month membership. Determined to develop my skills, I went almost every day for the rest of the week. I watched as some girls gripped onto the pole almost solely with the fold in their elbow as they did the splits mid-air. Obviously moves like that take months of practice, but by the end of my second class I had at least learnt how to suspend myself upside down. I was proud of my accomplishment, and this became part of my motivation to continue going.

 

Milan Pole Dance Studio is located at 50 St Jacques St.

More studios that offer pole dancing in the city are Alternative Fitness at 925 Ste Catherine E., and Pole Fitness Montreal at 178 Jean Talon E.

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