Thursday, 19 March 2009

Shame on John Benner!

For any of you who are familiar with the world of pole dancing competitions you may have heard that the recent World pole dance championship to be held in Amsterdam this weekend was cancelled with less than 48 hours notice and many of the performers and exhibitors were not told until they arrived, as you can imagine the cancellation caused heartache and financial loss to many. Body & Pole members can read more info here. For myself and many others the cancellation comes as little surprise as the event was organised by a controversial character within the pole dancing industry and his name is John Bennner. Many established pole dancers including Kay Penney, Jamilla Devile, KT Coates and Tammy Morris had already warned us about incidents they had experienced when trying to work with Mr Benner. Here is an official press release from Miss Pole Dance UK:

On the Outrage in Amsterdam

We have heard from many upset people who are outraged by the cancellation of the World Event in Amsterdam. We also are furious as many of our close friends have been affected both financially and through lost time by this unprofessional behaviour.

John Benner is known for his unethical and irresponsible behaviour yet this is way above what even we thought possible by this man and with almost no notice of cancellation or attempt to apologise, or make amends through refunds make this situation something that must never be allowed to be repeated.

John Benner operates from a scam organisation called the World Pole Dance Federation (WPDF This is nothing but a farce to entice licence fees from pole dancers hoping to expand their business. This federation offers nothing and is smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately this warning comes too late for some who have been enticed into joining and paying large sums of money and finding that John Benner doesn’t actually offer anything at all (unless you include botched competitions).

Frustratingly, we warned certain parties of the dangers of working with this man and his organisation including Pole2Pole as we hoped they would warn others using their media, but sadly they decided to join with John Benner and advertise his event making the situation worse. So they must also share the blame in this mess and cannot exonerate themselves with a simple statement stating they have lost money in sponsoring John Benner when clearly they used their magazine to influence people to travel to Holland ignoring everything we had told them. Where does that leave all the people they advertised this event who subsequently lost money?

Another disaster for the pole dance community looms with Pole2pole as they seem to want to drag pole dancing back years by creating a UK competition called the British Isles Pole Dance Championships which has events being organised in sex clubs. One club is advertising £5 lap dances and 'barely legal' dancers. Further club owners are advertising the competition nights to their clientele? Pole2pole boast a £20,000 prize fund which they are yet to prove independently is real and valued at anywhere near this level. This is simply exploitation and aimed to entice dancers who otherwise would be more discerning.

There is some confusion of the World event in Holland and the (real) World event in Jamaica. Let us make very clear that Miss Pole Dance events and World Pole Dance which is being held in Jamaica in April (and Europe in 2010) is in no way connected with John Benner or Pole2pole magazine.

Miss Pole Dance UK and Miss Pole Dance USA which is owned and operated by us, actively work with and cooperate with Miss Pole Dance Australia, Miss Pole Dance New Zealand, Miss Pole Dance Germany, Miss Pole Dance Japan, Miss Pole Dance Canada, Miss Pole Dance Brazil, Miss Pole Dance Hungary and Miss Pole Dance Spain. All these competitions are run by highly respected Pole Dancers who are keen to represent Pole Dance as a recognised pole sport through showcase events to change public perception of the negative elements that still exist.

We share the disappointment in the pole community over the failure of John Benner and the frustration this has bought to many and hope this statement serves as a warning to others to be mindful that there are some people who see dedication and commitment in the pole dance community especially in those who have worked hard to compete on a world stage as an opportunity to make money by false representation and we will work to expose this wherever we find it.

Anyone who is considering buying tickets or getting involved in a pole dance competition is welcome to contact us and we will use our resources to check on the event to ensure that no unethical competitions survive.

Miss Pole Dance Org UK is calling an international boycott of Pole 2 Pole Magazine. We will cancel our subscriptions and pull all our support of the magazine and will no longer advertise with them.

There is now a facebook group you can join to spread the word about Mr Benner and his controversial activities.

More news to follow,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x


Glamourpuss said...

It's all gotten rather messy with P2P now saying they had nothing to do with it and Benner disappearing off the face of the earth. Still, it sounds like the girls pulled together and made the best of a terrible situation.


ligia said...

Ok guys, I understand everyone's frustration with the lack of ethics and consideration from John Benner to everyone along the years. I also been warned by old school pole dancers and decided to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, so I supported our Polercise Irish Champion in entering the Competition meant to happen in Amsterdam last weekend. The truth is, as well as us, other well intentioned and very passionate people such as dedicated pole dancers, serious schools, sponsors, supporters and indeed, the Pole2Pole Magazine (which has been making a very good effort on promoting pole dance, not only in the UK, but accross the world, as a positive activity) have also invested time, effort and committment towards this championships.

Pole dance still struggles as a positive form of exercise and artistic expression today and we are all currently fighting the stigma existent in society labelling our activity. It is a process, and as well as other dance styles, sports and activities (i.e. ballet, tango, acting, circus acrobatics, bodybuilding contests etc...), pole dance will take its time to be recognised and accepted as well as having a proper worldwide structure formally adopted by everyone. We are the gineapigs of this process and it is going to be up to ourselves how this activity will develop in future.

The bottom line is, yes, a lot of us believed something good could come out of the championships organised by the federation (or by John Benner..., has everyone ever heard of the federation's president? Some guy called Marco? Well, neither do I...just met him over the weekend's distressing happenings...?????) and, let's face it, how can you judge a brilliant group of girls and guys who have bent backwards to be in Amterdam last weekend? I was there, I went through the whole saga with them and you know what, I'm so glad I had the pleasure to meet them all, live and share those couple of distressing, full of excitement, tiredness, tears, joy and a real positive team effort event with all of them.

John Benner and his 'federation' were out of the game by the Saturday afternoon and all that was left was a bunch of eager for justice, pole dancing passionates who have put together an amazing team effort exercise. The important thing was to take advantage of the moment, we were all devastated and broken emotionaly, financially and without proper compensation for any of it but we managed to transform the weekend in a positive networking and enjoyable experience. Most importantly, we have come up with a plan for the future which brought all different schools, pole dancers and supporters alike together with the aim of forming one group only - The World Pole Dance Committee (open to all and anyone interested in joining as an organisation, as an indivudual, as a sponsor, an association or a belief group...).

If we join our efforts united as a not-to-profit group towards one aim and not trying to stand out as 'the best', 'the pioneer', 'the official', 'the first', 'the real one' bla, bla, bla ...we will be much stronger and we will be able to make pole dance grow properly worldwide as a sport and an artistic dance. If we forget about the ambitions of stardowm for certain individuals and start thinking as a group, focused in the activity and not in our names or pictures being worshipped, or certain individuals pockets being filled with profits...I guarantee to all of you that results and outcomes of our initiatives will start amazing the world out there. We will be appreciated people for what we do and not behind who's name or interests we are acting for.

If we concentrate in promoting our pole initiatives for the benefits of all pole dancers and stop accusing each other, bitching and trying to find someone to blame for every hicup that comes our way...we will hopefully soon see the next generations enjoying pole without fear and saying....John Benner who?...
Some food for thought.

Take care and rely on my support for whatever comes into your pole paths!


Polefox said...

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that our old "friend" John Benner was up to his old frauding again, and failed miserably, thank God.

After letting his former federation bleed out, he started a new one, called The Pole Gymnastics Federation ( and tried to "organize" a new scam championship in Amsterdam upcoming weekend.

Again, it bombed. The "official" statement says it's due to illness, thought the only illness that is worth noting, is the illness inside John Benner's head.

So, be aware of his new disguise and steer clear from the Pole Gymnastics Academy a.k.a. the Pole Gymnastics Federation (avoid like the plague would be a correct way to phrase it).

Kind regards,


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, I am considering talking about the same in my blog. grants for single mothers

calendario 2011