From the stripper pole to the Olympic podium? Proponents of "pole fitness" want more respect, and perhaps a gold medal would help. In an interview with Marie Claire, dance instructor Collette Kakuk, cofounder of the Pole Fitness Association, makes a case for pole dancing as an Olympic sport.
Poles aren't just for strippers anymore. There are stripping-based fitness classes, sport poles, and even national pole-dancing competitions. The moves require no small amount of strength, flexibility, control, and balance. Kakuk argues:
But if you look at rhythmic gymnastics and figure skating, so many of the movements are similar to what we do on the pole. We have to shatter the taboo. The pole is just another fitness apparatus, like a vertical balance beam.
I don't doubt that you have to be incredibly fit to pole dance. But I can't help but think the pole dancers might be a bit overeager for Olympic glory. As Kakuk points out, "we need to unify the sport. We don't even have common names for our moves." Well, at least they have a readymade soundtrack!