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Is Pole Dancing a Sport?

Written on February 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm , by

Gold-medal worthy? Well, at least I got the gold sequins down...

Gold-medal worthy? Well, at least I got the gold sequins down...

Turns out that some people feel “pole fitness” is not only a sport, but should also be in the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. .…Pause for effect….

And the state leading the charge?  Utah. That’s where The Pole Fitness Association, International Pole Sports Federation and Pole Dance International Magazine are all located.

Huh. Who knew?!

Anyway, Salt Lake City’s ABC station did a short segment about it this morning. But as many of us already know, pole dancing workouts aren’t really brand new–the pic of me to the right is from more than two years ago, at a friend’s birthday party. It was a fun time and worked a few different muscles for me, but when I heard there’s a campaign to get pole fitness into the Olympics, I just had to ask what you ladies think.

Do you think pole dancing—even the extreme, athletic routines—is a sport? Should it be in the Olympics?

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  • http://www.poledanceintlmagazine.com POLE DANCE INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE

    Thanks for publishing your insight. I always think it’s interesting to read what people think of all this. I am the CEO of Pole Dance Intl Magazine, the N.American regional VP for the Intl pole Sports Federation, and a global pole fitness competitor. The important thing to remember when talking about pole fitness and Olympic inclusion, is that there is a HUGE difference between various aspects of pole. Pole ‘Dancing’ is focused more on the exotic movement part of pole-and obviously more dance-intensive. Pole ‘Fitness’ is the exercise part of pole which most people think of now when they talk about attending a pole class. It’s a combination of dance and workout moves that is popular today. When talking Olympics, though, what we are referring to is Pole ‘Sport.’ Not dancing or fitness, per se. The ‘sport’ of pole is focused totally on strength, technique and execution of moves in a very specific, athletic form. It includes extremely advanced moves and holds and difficult transitions. Pole sport is the ‘gymnastic’ version of pole. Think of it like a vertical balance beam. The scoring for the sport would be the same as current Olympic gymnastics-with specific reuqirements and levels. So, in answer to the question ‘is pole ‘dancing’ a sport? No, not really. Pole ‘sport’ is the sport. It’s actually very different and quite far from what many people immediately think when they hear the word ‘pole.’
    There’s been lots of progress made, and yes, the plan is to introduce pole sport in Brazil in 2016, with hope for inclusion in the 2020 games. As of now, we are right on track! And, yes, Salt Lake is heading the push! But we also have over 50 countries doing their part. It will be exciting to watch it unfold!
    I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
    Chastitie Lujan, Pole Dance Intl Magazine,
    Aerial Arts Intl Magazine, Intl Pole Sports Federation and advocate for the global acceptance of athletic pole!

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