Challenge Accepted! The wheelchair-bound is not Only a National Pole Championship Winner but also an ‘International Sex Icon’

by Ayesha Naeem

Wheel-chair bound pole dancer, Erin Clark, also considers herself an ‘international sex icon.’

Pole performer Erin Clark and her instructor Salima Peippo at Salima’s pole studio. (Source: barcroftimages)

The 36 year old Canadian pole dancer was born with Sacral Agnesis. This disease affects the muscles in spine.

Erin Clark performs at the Spanish National Pole Sport Championships in Spain. (Source:Barcroft Images)

Nothing stopped the “sex icon” from dancing not even her disability. Which prevented her from pulling off many moves.

The Canadian pole dancer explained that, “There are so many pole moves that I can’t do, so we had to find, like, within the code of points, which one can do.”

Erin Clark performs at the Spanish National Pole Sport Championships. (Source: BarcroftImages)

Erin accepted this challenge and won the silver medal for Spain at IPSF World Championship.

The rules on which the disabled were supposed to be judged were predetermined by the guaranteed deductions of physically disabled athletes. This was the reason why Erin lost her points because she wasn’t able to point her toes.

Erin Clark performs at the Spanish National Pole Sport Championships. (Source:Barcroft Images)

The next year the rules were reformed to accommodate the disabled performers in a better way.

This motivated her so much that she started her training for the next years championship right away.

Erin Clark performs at the Spanish National Pole Sport Championships. (Source:Barcroft Images)

Moreover, she took part in the World Championship in the Netherlands.

Erin trained for twice a week at Art Move Studio in Vilaseca, Spain with her coach Salima Peippo.

Salima said, “She’s the best performer, I mean she’s amazing, she rocks the stage.”

Pole performer Erin Clark and her instructor Salima Peippo discuss her training. (Source:Barcroft Images)

“She has the ability to show the emotion, I don’t know any people who have this naturally.”

“She’s really good, she’s a really good performer.” “You can’t really expect her to do the moves like other people do, but it doesn’t mean that she can’t do them.”

“She was born like this and she has to deal with it, so it’s just her basic needs and she has a right to them.”

Pole performer Erin Clark and her instructor Salima Peippo’s pole studio. (Source:Barcroft Images)

“I think it’s just her life that has made her an activist, because she has to defend her self all the time – all the time.”

The fitness fanatic said, “I did not consider pole dancing inclusive-having a disabled person show up does not indicate inclusivity.”

Pole performer Erin Clark and her instructor Salima Peippo’s pole studio. (Source:Barcroft Images)

“It means that more likely that person is doing a whole lot of adapting to an environment that is  not equipped to them. There are not a lot of disabled pole dancers.”

When Erin started dancing there wasn’t any category for disabled pole dancers.”The first time that I competed there was no disabled category.” Since there wasn’t any system for her to be judged she was selected.

Pole performer Erin Clark outside Art Move Studio. (Source:Barcroft Images)

Erin who herself has been a victim of discrimination is now a role model for many. She wants everyone to feel confident in their own skin.

The championship winner criticized that, “Inclusivity, accessibility do not happen by accident, there are very deliberate processes that involve thought, action. Most of the world isn’t inclusive.”

Erin Clark in Art Move Studio after a practice session. (Source: Barcroftimages)

She said, “I know there’s an assumption that because I’m deformed and can’t walk that I should definitely be uncomfortable with my body and not like it and want to change it.”

“I’m just confident with it, I can’t sincerely say that I struggle with my body confidence.”

Pole performer Erin Clark works on her laptop at her home. (Source:BarcroftImages)

“I don’t like how people treat me based on how it looks to them. Pole sport does not affect my body confidence, that just is natural to me.”

Furthermore, she has published her own magazine ‘How to be a sex icon.’ The motivation behind this magazine is to tell the world that her disability can’t stop her from being a sex icon.

Pole performer Erin Clark performs at the Spanish National Pole Sport Championships. (Source:Barcroft Images)

“Pole dancing represents something that’s important to me, a constant part of my life, being segregated and being discriminated against.”

Erin Clark performs at the Spanish National Pole Sport Championships. (Source:Barcroft Images)

“I’ll participate so that it can become inclusive over time, hopefully.”



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