Pole dancing hits the world stage

martin crossStarred Page By martin cross, 14th Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Sports>Fitness

On Friday 11.11.11, South American pole dancers competed in Buenos Aires for a shot at the 2012 World Championships. Pole dancing has now been put forward as a category for the 2012 Olympics.

Pole dancing moves out of Bawdeville

Based on images from Hollywood films, most people would consider pole dancing to be simply a voyeuristic activity performed in strip clubs and topless bars, but it was not always so. In the heyday of the circus, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, acrobatic routines performed around the vertical poles supporting the ‘Big Top’ were often an integral part of the family entertainment.

The history of pole dancing

The routines claimed ancestry in Chinese acrobatics. It was not until the 1950s that pole dancing moved into strip clubs and ‘adult’ bars as erotic entertainment. In the past decade, with the growth of the fitness industry, pole dancing is being increasingly promoted as an exercise and fitness activity; the first World Pole Dance Championship was held in Amsterdam in 2005.

Pole dancing as a sport

Pole dance as a fitness exercise and competitive sport is gaining increasing popularity. It bears little relation to its erotic counterpart. Competition costumes may be spectacular, reminiscent of its circus roots but (sorry guys) no nude performances are allowed. As an exercise routine and sport, it is now attracting an increasing number of male participants. To distinguish it from the scarcely acrobatic erotic version, the sport is usually termed pole dance fitness and recognized and accredited schools and dance studios offering qualifications in pole dance fitness are becoming common.

Amateur and professional pole dance competitions are held in many countries throughout the year. The International Pole Championship (IPC) Finals will be held in Hong Kong on March 15th 2012. The national associations organize local and national competitions, providing entry to the World Championships.

Pole dance was put forward to the Olympic committee for consideration as a sport for the 2012 Olympics but more standardization in the methods of scoring and naming the various exercises will be necessary before it could truly be assessed uniformly by an international panel of judges. No doubt these obstacles will be overcome as the port increases in popularity.

What does pole dance fitness involve?

Pole dance fitness is a form of performance art, combining dance and gymnastics. It combines musical interpretation with athletic moves such as climbs, spins, and body inversions. Significant upper body strength and core fitness are required to become proficient and serious competitors must train rigorously in the same way as any other dedicated athlete. Vocationally, it is also possible for up and coming pole dance enthusiasts to study to become trainers in this growing sport.

Major Pole Dance Associations

International Pole Dance Fitness Association

Pole Fitness Association


Acrobatics, Competitive Sport, Fitness Exercise, Performing Arts, Pole Dance, Pole Dance Competition, Pole Dance Fitness, Pole Dancing, Pole Exercise, Potential New Olympic Sport, Vertical Pole Exercise

Meet the author

author avatar martin cross
I am a technical translator and writer, a former chef and marketeer, currently disabled. I write articles on food,, travel, politics, religion and technology among other topics.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
14th Nov 2011 (#)

Pole dancing as an Olympic sport... hmm...

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