Previously, pole dancing has had a bad name with many people thinking that it isn’t a sport and that it is a disgusting activity that objectifies women who take part in it.
But in recent years, pole dancing, which combines dance and acrobatics around a vertical pole, has been deemed as a sport and there are a number of classes, schools, and qualifications available.
Discover more about pole dancing and how the Canadian championship, Danielle Reed, is changing the way people view the sport.
According to a spokesperson at FITBOOK, pole dancing has now become a very popular form of fitness that gyms and dance studios alike are encouraging people to take part in. Both amateur and professional pole dancing competitions are held all around the world.
Despite pole dancing being viewed as a ‘proper sport’, there is still some progress to be made. Many pole dancers want it to be added to the list of Olympic sports.
In order for pole dancing to be eligible for a slot on the Olympic programme, the sport needs to expand its reach to 40 federations across 5 continents.
Danielle Reed isn’t your average 27 year old from Regina, she is an elite athlete. The national champion has performed the best choreographed pole dancing routines in the nation.
The only problem is that she fears what the public will think of her sport, even though pole dancing is a full-fledged sport, some people still perceive it to be vulgar and associate it with erotic dancing at gentlemen’s clubs.
“It’s a great workout. There is an exotic side but it’s more of a classy (way) of bringing your sexy side out. We try and keep it quite modest. But you still have people, when they hear pole dancing, who think of stripping,” Danielle explains.
Danielle is hoping to challenge people’s views on pole dancing and show them that it isn’t about nudity or adult entertainment. Pole dancing is about fitness and expressing yourself to music through the art of dancing.
She started out as a gymnast and competed at national level in gymnastics, but after some injuries she decided to make the transition into pole dancing. So Danielle was already familiar with flexibility, stamina, strength, and endurance; four essential things pole dancers need.
At first, she found it difficult to tell people about what she did and her accomplishments in fear that they would judge her or not understand. However, now she is embracing her sport and her success. “I want to promote and share what an amazing sport it is. It’s so much fun.”
She goes onto say “I started sharing it more and getting lots of positive feedback. Other people can see that, and kind of get that motivation to try and step out of their comfort zone and try something new.”
The studio where she practices tries to showcase pole dancing to the local community so that they can get a taste of what the sport actually entails. The pole dancers invite their friends and family to see what they do and the people watching are always very impressed with how much strength, flexibility, and skill it takes.
Danielle has been competing for four years and so far she has progressed from an amateur to professional pole dancer.
She has won the Pole Sport Organization’s Canada West championships. Her next focus is on getting an invitation to represent Canada at the world championships. Who knows, maybe if pole dancing does become an Olympic sport, you will see Danielle Reed representing Canada too.
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