Math, Sexism, and Pole Dance

Circus News

Math, Sexism, and Pole Dance

Trigger warning! Sexual assault, Harassment I still remember the first time I solved a math problem without someone showing me how to do it first. I was five years old. My twin brother Jeff was undergoing treatment for leukemia, so we both had been pulled out of kindergarten (I had told my parents that I wanted to be with my brother instead of staying in school). As twins, we were, naturally, a bit competitive with each other. I was probably the more competitive one! We were playing a game where we each tried to stump each other with a hard question. I thought my question was pretty hard, because we had not yet learned how to multiply two-digit numbers together. I’m not even sure if we knew our times tables yet. I asked, “What’s 50 times 50?” I succeeded in stumping my brother with this question. However, I had not anticipated that Jeff would ask me what the answer was. My competitiveness had lead me to ask a question that I had not yet answered myself. Suddenly, ...
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Jody Ryker

Jody has been training in circus arts since 2011. They specialize in pole dance, aerial hoop, and acrobatics. Jody has performed around California at music festivals, events, variety and circus shows, including the Santa Cruz boardwalk, California's Great America, Northern Nights, and the SF Craft Spirits Festival. Jody enjoys choreographing dramatic acts that showcase their aerial and pole creations. In 2015, Jody founded the performance group Pole Diversity ( They have directed, produced, and choreographed three hour-long shows as well as choreographing three sets for Santa Cruz's national dance week event. Pole Diversity's mission is to share pole dance in a circus setting and to dispel common misconceptions about pole dance. Jody currently teaches at Steel & Grace and Cirque, Tumble, and Cheer in Santa Cruz.