There has been a lot of talk over the last few years about whether Pole Dancing should be considered as an Olympic sport and it is obvious that the new modern fitness take on pole dancing certainly deserves to be recognise alongside similar Olympic disciplines. However, I personally think we are wasting our time trying to get Pole Dancing into the Olympics as at the moment there are already 4 gymnastic disciplines and a strong gymnastic committee who are unlikely to want to get rid of one of their existing genres to replace it with pole dancing.
Video above of the amazing Timber Brown performing a blend of traditional Chinese Pole and Western Pole Dancing.
I also think that at present Pole Dancing still has too many links with lap/exotic dancing and many pole dance schools still focus on the exotic side of our art encouraging the wearing of heels and stripper gear. Whilst I have no issues with this I think that it will prevent any Olympic bid. We also have to be aware that perhaps one of the things that attracts people to pole dancing is the taboo, do we really want pole dancing to be as mainstream and controlled as Aerobics?
In my opinion we would be better to focus on more realistic aims such as promoting our art on platforms that are easily attainable such as charity events, Festivals and alongside other sports that have failed to get Olympic recognition such as Thai Boxing. I know that the lovely Jess Leanne Norris (see video below) has done pole dancing exhibitions at several Thai Boxing shows enabling the audience to see her display of grace, fluidity and strength enabling her to educate them about our art.
Don't get me wrong, I do admire the efforts of those such as KT Coates who have set up the International Pole Sports Federation and it would be great if I was proved wrong and pole dancing was accepted into the Olympics but I just don't see it happening in the next 20 years. I would hate to see the hard work of those such as KT wasted as they have put so much hard work, determination and passion into their efforts.
Perhaps there are sporting events at national and international that we could focus on instead such as the Red Bull World Series?
There is a growing group of pole dancers who are campaigning against the idea of pole dancing in the Olympics for fear of our art being over-regimented, many of us love the freestyle aspect of pole dancing and the ability to interpret pole dancing in our own way. I have to admit I found the UK Professional Pole Championships to be a breath of fresh air; the UKPPC has no restrictions on moves, no compulsory aspects meaning that each performer has complete artistic license over their routine.
No doubt the Olympic debate will continue and in time we will find out exactly what the future has in store for Pole dancing!