Polecats Manila: Smitten Kitten Meets Curious Cat

By Vixen, Sex and Guest Contributor

I was a little dubious when I learned about Polecats Manila. Embracing an art which is traditionally composed of nearly naked women wrapping their legs around a—let’s face it—undeniably symbolic pole for a male audience seems, if anything, backward to me. I therefore walked into my beginners’ pole dancing lesson this past week prepared to criticize. Before I had time to think a single critical thought, however, I was greeted by a room of smiling women, ushered to a pole on the floor, and thrown into the most physically demanding dance class I have ever attended. And though my criticism of the origins of pole dancing remain, I can only praise the classes at Polecats Manila.

Meet the Polecats

Polecats was founded in 2009 by visual artist Christina Dy and some fellow pole dancing friends. Dy, who began pole dancing as a remedy for a broken heart, eventually expanded the company from a school to a performance group, taking on corporate events, live music gigs, and even a show at the CCP. Since then, the group has continued developing the art form by collaborating with musicians, photographers, and filmmakers for various projects, and last year they were joined by their first male “tomcat”, Job Bautista.


Despite their performance projects, however, Polecats is first and foremost a school. As described on their website, the primary objective of the team—and what ends up making the classes so much fun—is to encourage their students, “no matter size, height, or history”, to “bloom into their own brand of beauty”. Indeed, this was the first dance class I have ever been to where I haven’t felt constantly judged for my missteps or moments of awkwardness. The atmosphere of the room was entirely positive, and the teacher and other “kittens” (Polecat slang for students) friendly and supportive.

And believe me, at times I needed their support. Before the class, I never appreciated the enormous physical strength of pole dancers, but it is now obvious to me why pole dancing, reported to improve core and upper body strength, flexibility, and balance, is such a praised method of physical exercise. All of the women I spoke to at the class were there for personal fitness, many to lose weight. Furthermore, I felt safe as I did the workout—Polecats uses professional grade poles, the stability of which we checked carefully at the beginning of the class, and is the only such program in the country with internationally certified instructors.

By the time that I finally, after fifty minutes of struggle, completed a spin and felt proud of it, I began to see another positive of the class: I felt…hot. As Christina Dy said in a recent interview, “Being sexy can be very empowering, especially in our society where there are so many rules. This can be the one time in a woman’s week where she is allowed to feel sexy.”

Though I can’t help but question the belief that this version of sexy is something to strive for, I also can’t help but wonder if, now that this sexiness is a definite part of our culture, perhaps instead of continuing to struggle against it, the best thing an empowered woman can do is embrace it and use it, as Dy says, as her own best weapon.


In the mean time, give Polecats Manila a try. At best, it’s a great workout and a great environment, and at worst, it will certainly inspire some interesting and difficult questions.


If you’re interested in changing how you view your body, promoting a healthy, fit, and active lifestyle, challenging yourself, and—why not—feeling sexy all at the same time, contact Polecats at 0917-700-POLE (0917-701-7653) or send an email to to reserve a spot in the next class.

Polecats is located at Gen Studios, 3F Pearl Plaza, Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center.

Striptease classes are now offered from 12:30-1:30 on Saturday afternoons. Other dance classes are offered throughout the week.

For more information, check out Polecats Manila’s Facebook page and website.

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