Aqua-batic – Underwater Pole Dancing Reveals The Elegance Of The Sport

COMM: These stunning underwater images are the work of Australian photographer Brett
Stanley. Shot in various locations around the world, the ongoing series has produced
ethereal pictures featuring circus performers and pole dancers. BRETT: It was a natural progression from other subjects that I have been working with. I
had seen some pole dancing athletes, and I wanted to try and see if I can capture the
same beauty and grace that they had on the poles but underwater. APRIL: After I saw Brett’s work I was like ‘Wow, I have to shoot with this guy.’
The fact that I am a water baby, a surfer, I love the ocean and I also pole dance so
why not combine both of those things together? ANASTASIA: Hardest thing about the shoot, of course, that you can’t breathe under the
water indefinitely. Then when you open your eyes it’s also a little bit painful, and
when you go upside down the water comes into your nose, and you just have all this pain. APRIL: You don’t have gravity holding you anywhere so you have to exert extra muscle
and energy to get into the position that you do want to photograph. BRETT: Everything changes when you shoot down there like this; there is no way to communicate.
It’s really hard to breathe. All your equipment functions a lot differently. Communication
with the model is a huge part; not being able to speak or communicate directly while you
are there certainly poses a large problem. BRETT: I don’t use scuba gear on my shoots because I find it complicates things a bit
too much, I like to connect with my model and being able to come up and discuss what’s
going on really helps. The longest I have stayed in the water is about 10 hours. And
that was a really big shoot day. Pool was heated so keeping warm wasn’t really a problem
and I kind of moved the whole time so yeah, keeping active which is good. BRETT: I’ve been really pleased with the response to the images. Everyone has been
really supportive and a lot of people have been amazed by what we captured. I think it
really has highlighted the beauty of this sport. APRIL: I want to get rid of that stigma that everybody has of pole dancing. I love it because
it’s beautiful and it’s also athletic and artistic. ANASTASIA: You can fly and you can move really beautifully. It was amazing. I really really
loved it.

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