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History of Pole Dancing

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History of Pole Dancing

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  • April 5, 2012
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Pole dancing is a combination of dance and gymnastics that is an increasingly popular form of fitness and dance. Pole dancers use a vertical pole which is either static or spinning, and train in gyms or dedicated dance studios.

It’s no secret that pole dancing really started in the strip clubs. But it has evolved into so much more and pole dancing fitness enthusiasts and schools have been working tirelessly to change the perception to one of a legitimate dance style emphasising the acrobatics and strength. Circus influences such as Chinese pole and other aerial arts have helped along the way, moving it away from the erotic environment. Competitions are usually non-sexual and are judged on tricks and transitions rather than sensuality.

Rather than just the gyrating and grinding people expect it to be, pole dancing requires an amazing amount of strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance, even a five minute routine is extremely tiring! Obviously in clubs, rather than actual tricks, there is a lot of floor-work and other things that are designed to arouse rather than amaze! Pole dancers use upper body and core strength are the most obvious requirements as there are a lot of climbs, spins and inverting the body weight – it often involves a lot of training to get anywhere near an advanced level.

Pole dancing as we see it today originated during the depression in America. The traveling entertainment and carnival troupes would go from town to town. In one of the side tents aside from the main show, girls would dance suggestively on a small stage in front of crowds of cheering men. Sound familiar? Pole dancing gradually moved into to bars in the 1950s as burlesque became more popular and then during the 1980s in North America, became pole dancing and the modern striptease. It was only a decade later that a dancer in Canada started teaching pole dancing for fitness to women who weren’t club dancers.

In Australia, the first pole dancing studio, Bobbi’s...