Is Pole Dancing a Sport?

Yes, pole dancing can be considered a sport. Pole dancing requires a significant amount of strength, flexibility, and endurance, and involves performing acrobatic and dance movements on a vertical pole.

It also has a competitive aspect, with international competitions such as the Pole Sport Organization (PSO) World Pole Sport Championships and the International Pole Championship.

However, it is important to note that pole dancing can also be practiced as a form of dance, fitness, or artistic expression, and does not necessarily have to be approached as a competitive sport.

How Pole Dancing is Changing Fitness

Pole dancing is revolutionizing fitness by challenging conventional notions of what it means to engage in physical activity. This form of dance and acrobatics offers a dynamic and versatile full-body workout that builds strength, flexibility, and endurance.

However, pole dancing isn’t just about the physical benefits. It provides an environment that fosters a positive self-image, body confidence, creativity, and a sense of community. Pole dancing encourages individuals to express themselves through movement, explore their physical capabilities, and develop their own unique pole dance routines.

Moreover, pole dancing is breaking down stereotypes and promoting a more inclusive and diverse approach to fitness. It challenges traditional notions of what constitutes a “proper” workout and offers an alternative way to stay active that is both challenging and fun.

Overall, pole dancing is changing the fitness world by providing an innovative and dynamic form of physical activity that offers both physical and mental benefits.

Prejudices Pole Dancing Faces

Pole dancing has evolved into a legitimate sport and form of fitness, with athletes and enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of what is possible on the pole. This evolution has helped to break down stereotypes and stigmas associated with pole dancing, and has expanded its appeal to a wider audience.

Still, it is a physical activity and form of expression that is often associated with stereotypes and stigmatization. Some people may view it solely as a form of erotic entertainment, rather than an expression of self-love, emotional expression, and self-confidence.

But is it such a bad thing to have expression of the sensual self?

Moving Away from the Origins of Pole Dancing

Since 2000, pole started moving away from its origins and began to change into something new that more people would engage in.

The origins of pole dancing in strip clubs and other adult venues have helped to shape its unique style, movements, and cultural significance. It is essential to remember that the history and context of pole dancing should not be erased or sanitized.

No matter the style you prefer, sporty or exotic, we must acknowledge and respect the origins of pole dancing and the communities who have developed and embraced it as a form of expression and work.

We should celebrate the diversity and richness of pole dancing and recognize that its roots have contributed to its unique character and appeal. In doing so, we can create a more inclusive and respectful culture around pole dancing, one that acknowledges its past while embracing its future as multi-style form of fitness, artistic expression, and sensual expression.

Why the Split Between Sport and Dance Affects Pole Dancers

On one hand, the recognition of pole dancing as a legitimate sport has brought increased visibility and legitimacy to the activity, growing the community and helping connect like-minded individuals.

It has helped to break down stereotypes and stigma many people have around pole dancing and has created opportunities for athletic individuals to compete and showcase their skills on a global stage.

This recognition has also helped to attract a wider audience to pole dancing, including individuals who may have been initially hesitant to try it due to its associations with erotic dance.

On the other hand, something that we need to be aware of is that the focus on pole dancing as a sport can sometimes lead to the erasure of its roots in erotic dance and performance. This can marginalize sex workers and other individuals who engage in pole dancing as a form of work or self-expression.

It can also create tension within the pole dancing community, as some individuals may feel that their preferred style or approach to pole dancing is not being recognized or respected.

Moreover, the split between sport and erotic dance can create a false dichotomy that pits different styles of pole dancing against one another. This can obscure the fact that many pole dancers engage in both athletic and sensual styles, and that these styles are not mutually exclusive.

It is important to recognize and respect the diversity and richness of pole dancing, and to create a space that supports and celebrates all styles.

Could Pole Dancing Be an Olympic Sport?

Yes, it’s possible that pole dancing could become an Olympic sport. Pole dancing has been gaining recognition as a legitimate sport and has been growing in popularity around the world. (1) Several international organizations, such as the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF), have been working to promote pole dancing as a competitive sport and to establish standardized rules and regulations.

“Pole-dancing now stands on its own as a provisionally recognized sport thanks to the Global Association of International Sports Federation”

Washington Post

One major step towards this goal was the establishment of the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) in 2009, which has been working to promote pole dancing as a competitive sport and to establish standardized rules and regulations.

The IPSF has also been organizing international competitions, including the World Pole Sports Championships, which have helped to showcase the athleticism and skill of pole dancers on a global stage.

In addition, pole dancing has been gaining acceptance and recognition from the wider public as a legitimate form of physical activity and artistic expression.

This has been aided by the growth of pole dancing studios, classes, and competitions around the world, as well as by the increasing popularity of pole dancing on social media and in mainstream media.

While it is not yet an Olympic sport, it is a contender, and it’s likely only a matter of time until it is accepted.

Recognizing Both Facets of Pole Dancing

It is essential to approach pole dancing with an open and non-judgmental mindset, and to respect the choices and experiences of all individuals who engage in this activity, including sex workers and/or exotic style dancers.

This wonderful form of expression is both a sport and a form of dance; it does not need to be classified into just one, or just the other. All styles of pole dancing take a tremendous amount of skill, dedication, and motivation to refine and excel in.

Pole dancing is a legitimate and valuable form of expression and physical activity that should be celebrated and embraced by all who enjoy it.

It is a space that we, as a community, must actively continue to shape as a welcoming space to people of all genders, ages, body types, and abilities.


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  1. Pole Dancing in the Olympics? International Sports Federation Recognition Helps Pave the Way,