Embracing Pole Dance Heritage: Clarifying the Handspring vs. Ayesha Debate

by | May 16, 2023 | Blog, Uncategorized

Embracing Pole Dance Heritage: Clarifying the Handspring vs. Ayesha Debate

By Jen R.

Pole dancing, with its rich history and evolving vocabulary of moves, has seen its fair share of changes. As an experienced pole dancer, I’ve observed how the terminology surrounding certain moves has shifted over time. In this blog post, I’d like to express my viewpoint on an issue that has been bothering me: the confusion between handsprings and Ayesha. By addressing this topic, I hope to encourage a deeper understanding of these moves and their significance within the pole dance community.

A Matter of Terminology:

Let’s begin by acknowledging that the pole community is diverse, and individuals are free to interpret and practice moves in their own unique ways. However, I believe that a certain level of consistency is necessary, particularly if we aspire to solidify our position in the Olympics. This consistency starts with accurate terminology.

Handsprings and Ayesha:

Traditionally, a handspring has been defined as a move where the dancer springs up from the hand. It is an impressive display of strength and control. On the other hand, the Ayesha has always involved an elbow grip. It requires a different set of hand and arm positions and showcases its own distinct beauty.

The Need for Clarity:

Lately, I have noticed an increasing number of video tutorials referring to handsprings as Ayesha. This blurring of definitions has caused confusion within the pole dance community. Are we suggesting that the Ayesha is merely an invert with different hand and arm positions? I believe we are overcomplicating matters.

Preserving the Essence:

In my opinion, it is crucial to recognize and preserve the unique glory of the elbow grip Ayesha. Let it retain its own identity and significance. Simultaneously, we should categorize handsprings according to their respective grips, such as the Cup grip handspring, True grip handspring, and twisted grip handspring. By doing so, we ensure that each variation of the handspring maintains its multifaceted nature.

Honoring Established Moves:

Ayesha holds a special place in the hearts of many pole dancers. It represents a significant milestone in their pole journey. Let’s give it the respect it deserves and refrain from diluting its essence. At the same time, the handspring is a versatile move that allows for numerous creative interpretations. By embracing and categorizing its different grips, we can appreciate its adaptability and complexity.

In the ever-evolving world of pole dance, it is important to honor our heritage while embracing innovation. By clarifying the distinction between handsprings and Ayesha, we can preserve the integrity of both moves. Let’s encourage open discussions and a shared understanding within the pole community. Together, we can ensure that these established moves maintain their rightful place, even as new entries and variations emerge.