Meet the stripper who pole dances on the London Underground
She didn’t even clean the poles first
Awkwardly encounters reading the paper, nearly falling on a stranger’s lap and minding the gap are the most common passtimes on the tube.
But watching a stripper pole dance just inches away from you isn’t something you’d normally expect on a morning commute.
Exhibitionist Amber from the East London Strippers Collective went out one morning to practise her pole dancing in public on the London Underground.
She even took a long a photographer to capture her poses and the reactions of other passengers.
Amber told The Tab: “It was a bit dangerous when train was stopping or starting moving but it wasn’t really an issue.
“I was more worried about people getting on the train.”
Pole dancing on the tube is a sure way to get some unwanted attention, or at least a mention in Rush Hour Crush, so Amber tried to stay out of the centre of the capital.
She said: “We took pics on the Central Line loop on its eastern end on Saturday morning because we hoped it to be the least busy.
“Poles you dance on are never really clean cause many people touch them so as long as they’re not slippery they’re ok to do some stuff and wash your hands after.
“It was early morning so I think they were cleaned before, because they were fine and not slippery.
“I was really shy about doing it in front passengers, though there were at least a few people at the very end of the carriage most of the time.
“They were looking with curiosity but come on, this is London so nobody said anything, talked about me or gave any reaction at all.”
Spinning around a pole on the tube isn’t something you just wake up and get on with, and Amber’s inspiration came from other extreme dancing photos and videos.
She said: “I saw quite a few candid pictures of my friends and teachers from pole dancing school doing tricks on the poles on the street and poles on trains and I thought it looks really cool.
“The tipping point was when I saw my pole dancing teacher’s photo of her doing a handspring and I went like ‘I can do a handspring now, I wanna picture like that’.
“I happen to have a friend who’s a photographer and she’s recently been into photographing athletes, yogis or dancers “in action” so I thought it’s a good chance.
“The pictures got pretty popular and people liked them a lot mostly because they know what I’m doing, or because they’re respectful and appreciate pole dancing as a form of fitness.”
Speaking more generally on the role of a dancer, fellow stripper Stacey Clare told The Tab: “East London Strippers Collective are a group who got together over a year ago to discuss the poor working conditions within our industry, and what could be done about it.
“Slowly we are building a following of supporters who agree that strippers should be given better workers’ rights.
“There can be a lot of snootiness among the pole dancing community, trying to distance themselves from strippers claiming that they do it for empowerment, which is fine, not to make money, which is apparently not fine.
“The truth is strippers can be empowered too.
“Not all dancers are super-models, again another common assumption is that we are all like athletes.
“Strippers have a variety of body-types and don’t like to feel under pressure to conform to female body stereotyping anymore than other people.
“Some girls work hard to maintain their physique, others eat burgers and live like slobs.”