The Pole dance is not just a favorite pastime (and moneymaker) for strippers. Everyday women are using the pole to tone their bodies, and the Pole Fitness Association and other like-minded groups want the activity reclassified as a sport.
To wit, the China Pole Dance Championships kicked off at the gymnasium of Tianjin University in north China’s Tianjin Municipality last week. The winner of the competition will represent China to compete in Word Pole Dance Championships. The competition adopts “Fitness & Sports” as its slogan.
In Chicago, Flirty Girl Fitness cardio and dance instructor Victoria Knox tells rolling out that there are health benefits to be gained from pole dancing.
“Pole dancing works on strengthening the core, that area right around your midsection, what your body really uses to stabilize, and keep you standing straight,” Knox explains. “It strengthens the upper body as well, and is really good for increasing your stamina. For example, if you are challenged with lifting your body weight, pole dancing increases endurance in that way, so you’ll look sexy in those bikinis. You really need that upper body strength.”
Through a sustained regimen of cardio exercise, pole dancing and detoxing her body, Knox has lost 50 pounds. “I used to be a size 16,” Knox beams, “now I’m a size 4-6.”
Today, Knox teaches others the benefits of her healthy lifestyle.
Good Gyrrl of Chicago has been at the forefront of changing the image of pole dancing; owner Relana Johnson often stresses the health benefits of the pole. “Good Gyrrl has been a labor of love, one of passion, the passion behind us is fiery and our platform, we have two, [but] our main one is heart disease. That was a main motive for starting the company. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of [blacks] and we wanted to do something about it,” she says.
Regional pole dance competitions are taking place throughout the nation, gearing up for the national competition that takes place in September in New York and in Chicago next summer. So, if you’re lucky, a regional pole dance competition is headed your way, where you can view Ms. Flexibility, Ms. Fitness and so on, snag their awards. For more information, visit the various professional pole dance organizations poledanceamerica.org and uspoledance.com.
Here are highlights from pole dance competitions that took place last week in China and Poland.