Whose Move Is It, Anyway?

By Lindsey Kimura

Whose Move Is It, Anyway?

Written by: Gina Tann

Source: United Pole Artists


Who doesn’t love seeing cool movement? Crazy tricks? Cool movement combined with crazy tricks? It’s natural that when we see amazing things done by amazing dancers, we want to share it.

Giving Credit Where Due

When we do share cool stuff, from time to time someone will mention that we “should have credited A-B-C as the originator of that move.” And that brings up an interesting point of discussion: how does anyone determine who exactly gets credited with creating a move? The first person who publicizes it may not be the first person who did it. In fact, if I were a betting woman I’d say that a lot of the time, the question of who gets credit simply falls to who is more well known or has a wider audience. And that makes perfect sense. But what if person A has *no idea* that person B supposedly “invented” a move?

Due Diligence

A while back my friend Sarah and I were trying to recreate IG clips from a few of our favorite dancers. We tagged them because there was no question about where we’d gotten our inspiration. But what if, during some training session, one of us had gotten tangled up and escaped via a super cool leg thready move?

Did we invent that move?

Maybe, maybe not. Who are we supposed to credit? How would we even go about searching for someone who may have done the same move? Search for “cool leg thready move”??? Watch every single pole dance video in the history of pole dance to make sure we hadn’t done something that someone else did first?

Simultaneous Invention/Multiple Discovery

The concept of multiple discovery (also known as simultaneous invention) is the hypothesis that most scientific discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists and inventors.

Oxygen. Evolution. The blast furnace. The light bulb. All are examples of multiple discovery. The idea is that certain discoveries and inventions are inevitable. And I think the concept can be applied heavily to pole.

Finite Components

What comprises any given move? There is a pole, and a human body. Every human body has the same parts. Some people are stronger than others. Some are bendier. But we’re all working with the same numbers of bones, muscles, tendons, etc.

Isn’t it possible, even likely, that if I “fall” into a move, that someone else has “fallen” into the exact same move? Seems to me that it’s more than likely. It’s inevitable.

How Far Do We Go?

I understand the people want credit for the cool stuff they do with their bodies on this apparatus we all love, but then how far do we take the idea of giving credit? If I do an inside leg hang…..who the heck am I supposed to tag for that? Or a pole sit? Even if I did tag someone, it’s almost certain that someone somewhere did a pole sit earlier, or at around the same time.

So what’s the answer to this question? I have no idea. None! I can see both sides to the issue, and I believe there’s something to be said for both arguments. I’d love to hear from the pole community at large on this.