'Proud' Pole Dancers Seek Olympic Recognition
As the rising popularity of pole dancing reaches new heights, the movement has garnered a push by the International Pole Sports Federation to make pole dancing an Olympic sport. And in Sacramento, California, a group of pole-fitness dancers have been training and preparing for just that.
"I do want to compete in the Olympics once they bring it [pole dancing]," said Jamie Peres to Sacramento NBC News affiliate KCRA. She started pole dancing just two years ago.
A petition to make the sport part of the 2016 Olympics has been circulating on change.org.
Sacramento-based pole dancing instructor Mone't Ha-sidi described it as a sport--specifically, "a combination between cardio and strength training." She said that if pole dancing were to make it to the Olympics that it would be more "gymnastics based." She teaches at the Sacramento Pole Dance Studio.
Classes are offered there six days a week and are offered on "Minx Monday," "Teaser Tuesday," "Hump Day Wednesday," "Risque Thursday," "Fabulous Friday," and "Steamy Saturday," according to the studio's web site.
Pole dancing student Mary Potts admitted to KCRW that she was at first "guarded" and reluctant to let her colleagues at work know about her new hobby. But as she grew to love the sport and to dismiss the "taboos" generally associated with it--night clubs and strippers, to name a few--she became "proud of it" and gained the confidence to voice her passion for pole dancing.
Potts, who said she started pole dancing after the age of 40, attributed the buildup of her upper-body strength to the sport, KCRA notes.
One of Pott's fellow female pole dancers said, "It's not stripping. It's actually poll fitness."
On Saturday, the Natomas, California-based pole dancing studio will host a "Polympics" competition which Ha-Sidi says will include "twerk relay races" and specific movement schemes on the poles such as how many spins a pole-fitness dancer can complete in one pass.
Both men and women reportedly attend the studio.