When it comes to pole dance, in the common imagination, it’s really easy to think of a strip club or some half-naked girls dancing in erotic way, because not everyone knows the difference between pole and lap dancing (or table dance). This was true until a few years ago, but now things have changed so radically and significantly.
Pole dance is actually a sport that requires an hard workout and a physical training like any other individual sport.
In recent years, we could say, pole dance had a strong evolution: it began as a fad, a trend that has quickly attracted the attention of many people, of every age and culture, and now it became a very hard sport!Probably this sport is spreading so quickly because it’s able to mix physical activity, grace, elegance and maybe also art, because nobody can deny the artistic beauty of figures that the practitioners come to fulfill.
In Berlin there are many schools and we went to visit some of them and asked for some professional instructors to speak of this sport, and we discovered a lot of interesting things.
To begin with this discipline is practiced by people of all ages, from children to adults, and also no longer young; of course most practitioners are female but not just them: in every school and in every classroom, at least in Berlin, you will most likely find even some men. The reasons that drive people to practice this sport are very varied: from the wish to be a professional to those who want simply want to keep in shape, or simply curiousity.
Another good side of this sport is that you don’t need a special equipment and you don’t need a past dancing preparation: anyone can start as because every school offers courses from beginner to advanced levels.
We asked Lee Tom (school: Pole Flow Berlin), an instructor from Israel, to tell us about her experience as a teacher here in Berlin, and she confirmed that there is a constant increase in interest, and she also told us about a very important aspect of the sport: the self confidence.
In addition to physical training this sport increases the self confidence, because through the practice you can reach to know the effective knowledge of your body potential.
As well as Jekaterina Konanchuk (school: Pole Stars Berlin) spoke of the courses for children (under 12 years), she pointed out how to start this discipline for young people is also a launching pad for any other kind of sport, because the physical preparation is not just about figures at the pole, the exercises include a huge component of stretching and hard physical training.
We also spoke with Maria (school: Redlight Dance), she gave another interesting point of view for those who want to use pole dance to improve their dance job (whatever it is): the audience!
According to Maria is very good to have feedbacks not just from teachers or other students, but also from the real audience out of the school; she says this is a very good motivation for yourself: when people appreciate what you do you will be very proud of yourself and you will have the wish to improve ever more!
Another important point of view comes from another teacher we met: Miglena, (school: Soul Flight), she doesn’t teach just pole dance, she comes from dance and what she does is mixing the artistic side of the dance with the sporting side of the figures on the pole. Miglena prefers the emotional side, she is a sort of outspoken of the pole dance: she also prefers not to stay into fixed figures, but gives the preference to creativity, because “everyone should express himself”, in this way the pole dance can become a real show and this is a sort of branch of pole dance called Pole Theatre.
So it’s clear, at this point, pole dance is a sport, a new one because the process of unifying is still in progress, but it’s absolutely a sport, that needs hard training and it has rules: for example, in official competitions, you have to use specific clothes and you are not allowed to leave some parts of your body exposed, some kind of movements are forbidden; and the reason is because it’s needed to make people understand that this is a sport, not just a sexy show!
By the way this new discipline is evolving, and also if it’s not officially unified and coded as other sports we’re sure it will be soon, and it will give a lot of satisfactions for both: practitioners and spectators.
Picture by J. Brown