Why Miley Cyrus Danced on ‘Stripper Pole’ at 2009 Teen Choice Awards

Miley Cyrus.
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One of Miley Cyrus’ earliest controversies was when she infamously danced on a “stripper pole” at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards — except she didn’t plan for it to cause a stir.

“I had cut ‘Party in the USA’ and I was doing my first performance for the Teen Choice Awards,” Cyrus, 30, said in a Friday, September 1, TikTok video in her “Used to Be Young” series. “My mom, [Tish Cyrus], was like, ‘I think it’d be really cool if she was in the trailer park because that’s where we really do come from.’ So, apparently, me dancing on an ice cream cart with a stripper pole [was part of that] — but it wasn’t a stripper pole, it was actually for stability.”

Miley noted that she “had a heel on” and simply wanted to stay balanced during the set. “What did you want from me? Was I really gonna do my performance without dancing on top of an ice cream cart?” she joked. “That performance was amazing. My pitch was, honestly, a little off and the hat needed to go, but besides that, [it was great].”

As the Hannah Montana alum looked back at her 16-year-old self’s performance, she revisited a teen magazine article about the number at the time. “Is Miley Turning Into the Next Britney [Spears]?” she said in the Friday video, reading aloud the headline. “Hopefully! If God is good, which we know she is!”

After Miley’s August 2009 set, she sparked backlash after viewers criticized the teenager for gyrating on a pole and claiming that it was inappropriate for her age. Her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, did not see an issue in her behavior.

Miley Cyrus Clarifies Dancing With a Stripper Pole at 2009 Teen Choice Awards For Stability 272
Kevin Mazur/TCA 2009/WireImage

“I always tell her to love what you’re doing and stay focused for the love of the art and not worry so much about opinion,” the country singer, now 61, exclusively told Us Weekly later in August 2009. “I give my kids a lot of freedom to make the art they wanna make and make it in their own voice. I think it’s important.”

Cyrus Family Controversies Over the Years

Related: The Cyrus Family Controversies Over the Years

From Miley Cyrus’ rebellious past to Billy Ray Cyrus and Tish Cryus’ multiple splits, the Cyrus family has had their fair share of controversies over the years. Billy Ray and Tish — who were wed from 1993 to 2022 — welcomed children Miley, Braison Cyrus and Noah Cyrus together. After Billy Ray and Tish tied […]

Billy Ray and Tish, 56, share daughters Miley and Noah, 23, and son Braison, 29. Billy Ray also adopted Tish’s two eldest children, Brandi and Trace, from a previous relationship. The longtime couple called it quits for good in April 2022 before moving on with Firerose and Dominic Purcell, respectively.

Tish and Purcell, 53, wed last month at Miley’s Malibu, California, home with Miley, Brandi, 36, and Trace, 34, all in the bridal party. Noah and Braison did not attend the ceremony.

“Tish will always love her kids no matter what,” a source exclusively told Us in August. “She understands divorce might be challenging especially when she and Billy Ray had been together for so long.”

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