The widely held perception behind pole dancing is that women lack self-respect and resort to pole dancing to make ends meet. However, Leigh Ann Orsi is a prime example of how many of these women can still be sexy, smart and admirable. Orsi began her career in entertainment as a child actor at just the age of 18 months. Today she has been in the entertainment business for over 36 years, she can now be found producing live events, running her gym or learning new skills for her future. Her promising career as a child actor led her to begin her own business at 25 years old just before the recession hit America. Impressively her business survived this recession and Orsi still proudly owns 100 percent of her business.
As previously mentioned, the recession hit Orsi’s business when it was barely getting underway. where most people would have given up, Orsi managed to become very resourceful and navigate her business through a recession. At the time her industry was nearly nonexistent so she knew to survive she would need to bring everything she had to the table. So, with the use of her background in martial arts, she set out to create her own unique approach to dance choreography, making her stand out from the moment she started. However economic adversity was only one obstacle she encountered. The previously mentioned stigma behind pole dancers was and continues to be her biggest challenge. Orsi believes that pole dancing can and has shown to be very beneficial to a woman’s self-esteem. The empowerment these women gain from being able to experience what their bodies can do will directly translate into confidence within any endeavor they face.
Facing and Overcoming the Stigma
Orsi strongly believes that pole dancing is an art form deserving more respect than it has. The art of pole dancing is one that requires courage and heart despite what many see as “ugly or “classless”. There has never been a better time for Orsi and the entire industry to push for the same fair judgment that any other sport receives. As time goes on many more women are showing up in business, politics, and finance. what we are seeing is that they are more than capable of keeping up and in some cases surpassing their male counterparts. Many women who Orsi has influenced have gone on to enjoy major success including Rachel Diane Wiener of flesh and bones and Sam Taylor Johnson the director of 50 shades of gray. Orsi’s business employs strictly females, a decision that Orsi believes strongly attributes to the healthy environment of her business. An environment full of feelings, love, and emotions. In summation, through her passion, Orsi is empowering women to be respectable self-sufficient and successful in the belief that soon the general public will open their minds and accept these women’s lifestyle for the work of art that it is.
Although Orsi’s rise to power is admirable it certainly did not come without struggle. Ultimately Orsi credits her success to her undying passion for her work and to her location during the 2008 recession. When Orsi first began her dance studio her experience was limited to assisting a boyfriend with his gym business. However, her studio was in Los Angeles which ultimately proved to be a hot spot for the exact demographic of women she was looking for. Orsi credits a mentor by the name of Bobby a professional dancer and studio owner from Australia with helping to shape her vision. A vision that she passed on to her students. To believe in themselves, to shape their own futures, and to never let the thoughts or words of others influence their belief in themselves.