Pole dance is a form of performance art, traditionally associated with strip clubs, which combines dance and acrobatics centered around a vertical pole. This art form has recently gained popularity as a form of fitness and mainstream entertainment, practised by many enthusiasts in gyms and in dedicated dance studios. A wide range of amateur and professional competitions are held in many countries around the world.
Since the mid 2000s, promoters of pole dance fitness competitions have been trying to change peoples’ perception of pole dance and to promote it as a non-sexual form of dance and acrobatics. Pole dance has furthermore been influenced by Chinese pole, a form of acrobatics that is performed in cabaret, circus and stage performances in a non-erotic environment. Competitive pole dance competitions are by and large performed in a non-prurient fashion which combines a range of dance styles and/or gymnastics.
Pole dance requires significant strength, flexibility and endurance. In a commercial pseudo-erotic setting, however, pole dance is often performed less gymnastically and is used more as a prop in striptease, Go-Go or lap dancing, with the performer simply holding the pole or moving around it without performing acrobatics. Pole dance proper involves athletic moves such as climbs, spins, and body inversions using the limbs to grip. Upper body and core strength are required to attain proficiency, and rigorous training is necessary.
Pole dance is now regarded as a recognized form of exercise and can be used as both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. Recognized schools and qualifications are now common.
Famous quotes containing the words dance and/or pole:
“Not fat but the greatest possible suppleness and strength is what a good dancer wants from his nourishmentand I could not even guess what the spirit of a philosopher might wish to be more than a good dancer. For dance is his ideal, and also his art, and finally also his only piety, his service to God.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“The discovery of the North Pole is one of those realities which could not be avoided. It is the wages which human perseverance pays itself when it thinks that something is taking too long. The world needed a discoverer of the North Pole, and in all areas of social activity, merit was less important here than opportunity.”
—Karl Kraus (18741936)