After longtime association with seedy clubs, g-strings and clear heels, pole dancing is looking to shimmy its way into more athletic surroundings… the Olympics! A group of advocates for the “sport” are pushing to be added to the 2012 Olympics in London.
Pole Dancing Competitions are being held all over the world and is a great way of increasing the Pole Dancing for Fitness profile. The Pole Dancing moves display skills that require strength, co-ordination, flexibility and performance. Pole Dancing is now recognized as a form of fitness and theatrical entertainment and can be enjoyed by all ages. By promoting Pole Dancing Competitions we are helping to extinguish negative attitudes which devalue the name of Pole Dance and help to highlight the complex physicality of this performance art Pole Dancing it is now being accepted by society more than ever. (Source)
Still, pole dancing? In the Olympics?
Absolutely, say thousands of pole dancers and the rapidly growing number of international and national federations transforming what was once the exclusive property of strip clubs and cheap bars into a respectable — and highly athletic — event. “I could definitely see pole dancing in the Olympics,” said Sato, who, a dancer since the age of three, out-twirled a bevy of athletes from 11 countries at the second International Pole Dancing Fitness Championships in Tokyo two months ago. “I would love to win a gold medal.” It’s admittedly a high bar.
Established sports such as squash and cricket have failed to make the Olympics, baseball and softball were recently cut, and the International Olympic Committee’s decision to end its support of non-official, demonstration sports after the Summer Games in 1992 has made gaining a foothold, the way judo and taekwondo did, all that much harder. Also, pole dancing needs to first gain IOC recognition as a sport — which would undoubtedly be an uphill battle.
“It’s just a matter of time before pole dancing gets Olympic recognition,” says Ania Przeplasko of Hong Kong, founder of the International Pole Dancing Fitness Association. “There will be a day when the Olympics see pole dancing as a sport,” she told The Associated Press. “The Olympic community needs to acknowledge the number of people doing pole fitness now. We’re shooting for 2012.” It’s already too late for any new sports to be added to the London Games. But the IOC decision to end its support of exhibition sports after Barcelona has not completely closed the door on Olympic hopefuls looking for a way to showcase their skills — Beijing did it with the martial art wushu.
Pole dance advocates note that more unlikely sports have gotten the IOC’s approval. Tug of war, for example, was one of the early Olympic medal contests. Equestrian events are in the Olympics, but who owns a horse? Curling, which virtually no one pays any attention to in non-Olympic years, has become one of the Winter Games’ biggest darlings. Though they are not in the games, the IOC recognises such obscure sporting endeavors as boules, power-boating, bandy and floor-ball.
KT Coates, a prominent pole dancer in England and director of Vertical Dance, is leading the Olympic push. “After a great deal of feedback from the pole-dance community, many of us have decided that it’s about time pole fitness is recognized as a competitive sport, and what better way for recognition than to be part of the 2012 Olympics held in London,” she said in a petition she’s preparing for organizers of the London Olympics. Coates added that the prospective sport “has the wow factor.” While her petition now has about 4,000 signatures, she is hoping to add 1,000 more. Some dancers aren’t so sure about pole dancing at the Olympics because they worry that the sensual aspect of the discipline would be destroyed, and that old-school pole dancers might be pushed aside by gymnasts, circus performers and Chinese acrobats who could easily pick up the moves. “I don’t need to see pole dancing in the Olympics,” U.S. Pole Dance Federation co-founder Wendy Traskos said. “I don’t think this is necessarily the path that we need to take, as a sport.” But Traskos notes that the notion of pole dancers competing for Olympic medals isn’t as farfetched as it was five years ago.
Traskos, a former competitive gymnast who lives in New York, believes pole dancing needs to do more groundwork before it shoots for the Olympics. In particular, scoring for competitions needs to be standardized, she said, adding that the names of the techniques vary among different clubs in different regions. “I feel there are many small, tiny, steps that need to be taken before this sport, or any sport, can get into the Olympics,” she said. “We are on, like, tiny step 10 of 1,000.” Nevertheless, she said pole dancers on the medal podium is not as wild a dream as it might have seemed just five years ago. (Source)
“Winning the Gold Medal for the USA …. It’s Candy, Hailing from the Deja Vu in Dallas Texas”. I personally don’t currently watch the Olympics, but, I would definitely start if they added the Pole dancing competition. I wonder if they would keep the same music though? I can just imagine the girls dancing to Lil Kim or Tweet… WOW