Pole Dancing During Carnival

Still a week to go, but carnival fever is in the air.

It is no secret that in all samba schools in Rio de Janeiro you find an abundance of beauties. But you hardly will find one with the skills of the ten ballerinas who will be part of the carnival parade of Salgueiro this year, with a performance beyond sexy. Pole dancers. They will stunt on metal poles, performing Madame Satan, in the third float of the red and white carnival group. The choreography, is, according to the group leader, the ballerina Vanessa Costa, president of the Federation of Brazilian Pole Dancers, demanding special training and extra fitness.

“A pole dance performance lasts about four minutes. On the avenue, the carnival parade will last at least 30 minutes. Besides having the power and stamina for so long a stunt, our challenge is not to sweat, as the body should adhere well to the post. Therefore, the training sessions are intense. After all, we can not slip at all in Sapucaí”, says Vanessa. And don’t forget they have to pole dance while the float is slowly moved forward.

Sapucaí, officially  Passarela Professor Darcy Ribeiro, popularly known as Sambódromo, located in the avenida Marquês de Sapucaí, in Rio de Janeiro, is the centre of all carnival parades.

The float on which they will perform will reassemble the old Lapa, with its bars and cabarets, telling the story “Salgueiro presents: Rio in the movie”. Lapa is a neighbourhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro, located in the centre and famous for its historical monuments and nightlife, restaurants and bars, where Brazilian artists and intellectuals used to meet.

The choreography of the carnival pole dance, says Vanessa, will follow the rhythm of the samba of the red and white, with sensuality and some moves that honour the athlete Rafaela Montanaro, who also parades with the group, and won the title of world champion pole dancing at the end of last year .

Rafaela Montanaro

“The public can see pole dancing as it really is, by professional dancers. Initially, when we were invited by Salgueiro, they asked for two dancers. But we suggested to increase this number so the public could see more elements of pole dancing. The organisation accepted, modified the original idea for the float, and the initial two girls turned out to be ten”, says Vanessa, who is rehearsing with the dancers three to four hours a day, twice a week in her studio in Barra da Tijuca.