WE-TV debuts reality show about current, former strippers

The cast of WE-TV's 'Beyond the Pole." WE-TV
The cast of WE-TV's 'Beyond the Pole." WE-TV

Credit: WE-TV

Credit: WE-TV

An Atlanta-based “Beyond the Pole” special airs Dec. 17 and precedes the new season in 2021.

In 2018, a streaming network Urban Movie Channel introduced a group of Atlanta strippers in a reality show called “Beyond the Pole.”

This year, the more widely distributed WE-TV picked up the show, dumped most of the original cast and rejiggered the concept to fit the network, which includes other Atlanta shows such as “Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta” and “Waka and Tammy.”

>> WATCH “BEYOND THE POLE” PROMO HERE

The special airing on Dec. 17 at 10 p.m. focuses on a largely new group of existing and former exotic dancers, bartenders and bottle girls struggling to find fresh income streams after the pandemic shut down the nightlife scene. They are shooting the new season now under COVID-19 protocols, and it’s set to debut sometime in 2021.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed two of them: Ms. Dime and Lyric.

Ms. Dime

Where she stripped: Blue Flame Lounge

How long did she strip: On and off for 10 years from ages 22 to 32

Background: “I was living a double life. My family did not know that I was a dancer. They only knew I worked at a hospital and went to college. But the jobs I had weren’t paying the bills. I had a small daughter at the time. One day, I just went and decided to try dancing. You are an independent contractor, and you can come and go as you please.”

At first: “It was fun. It was exciting making all that money with no worries in the world.”

But: “You get older. What’s next? It became more of a headache to me. I didn’t want to be in that environment anymore. I felt it messed up my relationships with boyfriends. It became very stressful to keep doing it, so I stopped.”

No regrets: “It’s been three years since I stopped. I definitely don’t miss it at all. It’s for young girls now. You have your season and move on.”

What she’s doing now: Trucker dispatcher. It provides her freedom, but it can be stressful, too, when trucks break down.

Why do the reality show: “The exposure provides more opportunities. But the downfall is how you carry yourself. I know I lost my cool a couple of times. This special was shot around June. I had been furloughed from my job. My boyfriend had just come from prison. There was a lot going on. And there are a lot of new girls on the show trying to prove themselves. They are in an alliance. Them vs. me. I won’t back down. I’m an alpha female!”

Shooting in COVID: “We get tested every two or three days. So far, nobody has come back positive. It can be awkward. We shoot something, then put on our masks.”

Lyric

How long she danced: Almost seven years

Where: Onyx, Magic City

The magic of Magic City: “I made so much money there, I was able to buy a new house and car within two months.”

Why? “It’s all about hospitality. It represents Atlanta. You feel good. You feel at home. You are always greeted in a nice way. It’s like going to your aunt’s house for Sunday dinner. And the owner is professional. He doesn’t sleep with the women. He doesn’t play favorites. And he taught us that this is not a place to stay the rest of your life. Get your money and get out. Always have an escape plan.”

Her final day: “I was standing on stage and had this spiritual experience while all this money was flying around. People were praising me, and it made me suddenly feel uncomfortable. That may sound weird, but I felt like my season was over. I just walked out. I made $11,000 my last weekend.” [She stopped dancing more than three years ago.]

What she does now: Runs a hair salon and does life coaching.

Her role on the reality show: “I am definitely the plug. I am somebody that anybody can come to and talk to. I give them advice. I genuinely care about others and want them to be better.”

Her battles with Ms. Dime: “The whole point is unity. Dime will eventually respect my role and who I am. She’ll get it!”

Her promise about the show: “This won’t be all ratchedness. We are classy. We live lavishly. We do boss [expletive.] We do things people save up their entire lives to do. The showrunner Shante Paige gets it.”

And respect the dancer: “We bleed. We have children. We are women. This is where we clock in. People think it’s easy. It’s not easy. It takes courage to get in front of people with your clothes off.”

Why she calls herself a “dude-ologist.”: “We are their therapist. People talk about their wives. You see the freaks and the weirdos. It helps me understand men a lot better. It opened my eyes a lot about what I want and don’t want in a man.”

ON TV

“Beyond the Pole,” on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 10 p.m., WE-TV

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