Blaine Petrovia - The Native American Pole God
Blaine Petrovia may not describe his dancing as spiritual, and he may be known for his highly sexual gogo dancer style, but a more sensitive side has emerged over the last few years that will leave the viewer breathless as he soars above you.
Pole dancing has a long history, starting as the male sport of Chinese Pole, then being taken over by the erotic scene when it became popular at strip clubs, and finally becoming the extremely empowering community, and possible Olympic Sport, it is now. To be a pole dancer, one needs to be incredibly strong, graceful, flexible, and have amazing stamina. Try hanging on a pole doing death defying moves for three plus minutes and tell me this shouldn’t be an Olympic Sport!
Very few pole dancers are strong in all four talents, but Blaine is. One typically is strong with stamina or gracefully flexible. However, Blaine will awe you with his strength, turn you on with his splits, and make you cry or laugh with his passion. He also has stamina for days! He told me once about how he pole danced for a full day in the sun on a float for the Pride Parade in New York City. Most people wouldn’t last three minutes.
Blaine has a lot to say in his dance, because he is more than a pole dancer, he is a gay male Native American in 2018. To learn more about this fascinating man and top dancer, please read our interview below.
Foreword by Kira Bucca, Editor and Chief of Jejune Magazine and competitive pole dancer.
Where are you from?
Born and raised New York! But kind of all over.
Where do you currently reside?
Brooklyn in the house! I think they call it east Williamsburg but really it’s Bushwick.
What made you decide to go into pole dancing?
I gogo danced at a club with a pole in it. Nobody ever actually used it. It was basically “risqué” decor. I would do super basic things around it like backspins and pirouettes, and people would think it was really cool. So I taught myself how to do a leg hang (not knowing it was a thing) and it changed my entire life. I bought a home pole, set it up in my room, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
You have always been a pole rock star, but how did it feel to win 2017 PSO US National Champion? 2018 Pole Expo Men’s Champion?
Wow.. so many things! Winning PSO was my first big win and only my 4th competition ever. When I wasn’t called for 3rd or 2nd, I was absolutely sure I hadn’t even placed. Ha! The funny thing was, I was so sure I didn’t place, I stepped behind the line of competitors to hide my reaction. I’m not a very good loser or good at faking it. So when they called my name for first I was genuinely surprised. And happy! And crying!
Winning Pole Expo Men’s division was a literal dream! When I first got hooked on Pole I would spend my entire days watching all the comp videos on YouTube. Samantha Star winning Pole Expo 2013 was the seed. After watching that video I said to myself.. ‘You’re getting on that fucking stage and you’re taking home the gold’ 5 years later! Ah! It felt amazing.
How would you describe your pole dancing style?
Sensually aggressive. It’s changed a lot over the years. There was a more hip hop influenced Blaine Petrovia back in the day, but I think these days it’s all much slower. Slower with moments of attack. I love the idea of contrasting movements.
There is something really sensitive about your aerial pole work. What about the pole being detached brings this out?
Honestly, I think it’s the level of danger. Most people performing aerial pole use powder coated or silicon sleeves, but I LOVE my chrome to the end & when your line’s being pulled 20 feet in the air. It’s just you and your pole up there floating around. That insane trust you have in yourself and the pole. It’s freeing. It feels like actual flight to me.
What made you decide to start Filthy Pony, a boudoir, aerialist, circus inspired, delicious, monthly performance at House of Yes?
As you may or may not know, my preferred style is exotic. I love everything sexy and sensual, but found a lack of serious sexiness. Filthy Pony has a focus of High level skill with a super sexy theme. There’s so many shows that do ridiculous things and they’ll have maybe 1 or 2 acts that are actually sexy. And that’s what I wanted to see more of. So I decided to make it happen myself. And not just exclusive to House of Yes! We do events all over Brooklyn and Manhattan! The latest venture has been the pop up strip club party! But you might see us doing another variety show at the Museum of Sex. Stay tuned!
You work at/with House of Yes a lot. Can you please tell us what you think of House of Yes?
I’ve never loved a place more than I do House of Yes. They’ve allowed me to do so many things I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do otherwise. It’s not just the magic that is the venue/space, but the incredible humans that bring it to life. I am extremely blessed to call it a creative home.
You are Native American. Which tribe are you from?
I am Seneca of the Iroquois confederacy!
Male pole dancers seems to be an increasing trend. Do you have any thoughts on this?
I love it! I think we could definitely use more guys! But that whole.. I only wear pants and only do strength tricks stuff. Meh. Maybe not more of that.
Do you feel your Native American roots come through in your dancing?
Unfortunately not. But my life long love for dance was fueled by my short stint as a traditional dancer for pow wows and festivals.
How does being Native American affect your life? How connected to your heritage are you?
There’s no extreme, really. No auspicious or adverse effect. Unfortunately the assimilation and erasure of my culture’s visibility has ensured that I be viewed as not much more than ethnically ambiguous, which in turn has led me to wanting a deeper connection to my heritage.
Do you consider yourself spiritual?
Maybe? I absolutely believe in the power and energy of the universe.
What does your family think of your dancing?
Another thing I’m not extremely sure of. Ha. My brother is probably my biggest support from them. He gives me the occasional kick in the ass when I can’t do it for myself.
November is Native American Heritage month. What would you like to see more people do for the Native American community?
That’s a great question! I would love for more people to acknowledge our existence! Like I was saying earlier about visibility, seven out of ten times when I tell someone I’m Native American/indigenous, they literally don’t understand what I mean. WE ARE STILL HERE!
You have spoken up in the past about how offensive it is for people to “dress up” like Native Americans for Halloween. Would you like to say a few words here?
I AM NOT YOUR COSTUME. MY ANCESTORS ARE NOT YOUR HALLOWEEN OUTFIT. MY CULTURE IS NOT YOUR PUNCHLINE. YOU LOOK LIKE AN IGNORANT MORON.
Are there any organizations you are a part of that you feel other’s should know about?
Here in NYC we have the American Indian Community House (Editor’s note: please see our cover feature with an interview with one of their members here), which is actually celebrating 50 years of service soon! Redhawk Native American Arts Council! They host and organize events throughout NYC, with a focus on promoting artists and education within our First Nations community.
What inspires you?
Passion. I don’t do anything I don’t want to. I’ve been very fortunate to build a life for myself where I do what I love all of the time. It definitely wasn’t easy - at all, but totally worth it! If it doesn’t make me feel the blood rush through my veins, I probably won’t give it a second thought.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Do it. Whatever it is. If you love it, Fucking do it.
To learn more about Blaine Petrovia please follow him on his Instagram here: @blainepetrovia
He claims: “The most interesting thing about me is my Instagram stories. Some times insightful. Some times poetic. Most times ridiculous.”