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Get Ready For the First California Pole-Dance Championship

I have no doubt that pole dancing, as a press release for California's first pole-dance championship next month puts it, "requires strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance." Nor do I believe that pole dancing is "just posing against a pole" but rather involves "spinning, inverts, climbing, and power holds."

But what does it mean to elevate to a sport an act that originated in strip clubs and which symbolizes a woman's role as a sex object? We'd pause (at least, I hope we would!) if there were a competitive lap-dancing competition. But a similar argument could be made for making it a competition: a woman needs strong calf and thigh muscles to "dance" over a man's lap.

Pole-dance exercise classes have gone mainstream, so it's no surprise pole dancing has turned competitive. Women get enough reminders from the media that our jobs are to be sexually alluring — why not actually just learn a sport or emulate the acrobats who perform for Cirque du Soleil? At least a high-wire act doesn't come with symbolic baggage.

Do you think it's weird that pole-dancing is so mainstream that it has become competitive sport?

Join The Conversation
Pistil Pistil 7 years
Hey guys, do you think we will ever see a male division of pole dancing competitors?
dustyrose dustyrose 7 years
I think those who mock pole dancing as a competitive/athletic sport need to lighten up. I take pole dancing classes regularly and it's a hard workout, but also lots of fun. I say try it before you knock it. And watching the videos of the competitions is amazing. Having taken the classes I know just how difficult it is to do those moves. About the skimpy outfits, it it true that for some moves you definitely need bare skin on the pole, so the outfits serve a purpose. Personally I don't like the crazy heeled shoes - makes it more like the strip club - I prefer bare feet.
opentypeA opentypeA 7 years
I agree with some of the others that maybe it's not for the Olympics, but it certainly takes a lot of practice and skill to be that strong and flexible! I have heard before that the reason (aside from the obvious one - lol!) they wear such skimpy clothes is because the skin-to-pole contact helps them stick better. They could just wear leotards tho, imho. But whatevs, that video was impressive.
danizzle danizzle 7 years
these girls are SO STRONG! i wish i was as physically fit as them!
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
I think this is awesome! I really want to learn how to pole dance, I think it looks like a lot of fun and a great way to get nice toned muscles. But mostly, it looks like a lot of fun.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I'm impressed with the artistry and athletics (of the good pole dancers). When it's done well, it's enthralling, I think. I do have a dancing (not pole dancing) and athletic background. I do recognize the difficult and challenging moves. And I appreciate when it's done well (and seemingly effortlessly).
Pistil Pistil 7 years
Those moves are impressive! I'm just trying to think of how it could possibly be taken more seriously (like dance or gymnastics competitions). Though I really admire the athleticism this sort of activity requires (I think it might even be fun to watch), I have a feeling the majority of the audience will be admiring the skimpy outfits, not the artistry or athletics involved.
French-Kiss French-Kiss 7 years
Not found of what they are wearing but i must say i am amazed by what they can do. (and i'm a girl =)
gigly_grl gigly_grl 7 years
or I should say competitive/athletic performance...
gigly_grl gigly_grl 7 years
Not sure if it's for the olympics... but it's definitely athletic like so many other things... in my mind it's currently fitting in a category with cheerleading, ice dancing, etc. Definitely a competitive performance.
medenginer medenginer 7 years
It was a competitive sport in the Rock of Love house with Bret Michaels so maybe he's on to something.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
I took a pole dancing class with a bachelorette party about a month ago.... I have never been so bruised after a work out in my LIFE! yeah, sure, some of the class attendees were LEGITIMATE strippers, but even in their lucite heels, they climbed up to the ceiling using their thighs, etc. seriously, that is athletic. if people who are passionate about the "sport" can find a forum to compete, God bless.
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