Making a Move Away From Pole Fitness towards Pole Sports


According to the article Pole Dancers Buff Image with Rules and a Dress Code, published in the Wall Street Journal 08/12/2013, organizers of a meet in London “want to reform pole dancing into a sport respectable enough to go to the Olympics. Because of this, many judges of Pole Fitness competitions are shedding burlesque roots in hopes of becoming an Olympic-worthy sport. The article goes on to say that the organizers of the meet have written a rule book that gives code names to compulsory moves, specifies scoring methodology and bans pole-dancing staples such as removable articles of clothing.

Strict Judging Criteria:

Based on the article, among the written regulations there is no dancing in an overtly erotic manner. No rear end shaking and no hats, canes and anything that is not considered attached to the costume. The federation’s rules frowns upon anything that falls off a dancer. They mandate disqualification for intentionally removing items of clothing, ban costumes from being used in an erotic manner and require neckline of no lower than eighty (80) millimeters from clavicle notch.

Pole Dancer’s reactions:

Some believe that the competitions were in dire need of stricter rules because they believe that ‘required moves’ set standards for all competitions. This will allow for the judges to distinguish the weak from the strong. Others believe that such strict ruling will take all the fun out of the sport. Referring back to the article mentioned above, Renee Richardson, a Budapest Burlesque performer was quoted saying “I need the glitter, the hairdo, and most of all, dancing,” “The sport is nice but my heart beats for the glamour.” (Veronika Gulyas, 2013). The two very different opinions show that everyone participates for their own specific and personal reasons. The question remains, is adding stricter rules a good idea for the Pole Fitness industry?


It’s obvious that there is going to be some controversy regarding this change in the Pole Fitness community. Whether or not the federation takes the reactions of the members of this sport into consideration is the more important issue to think about. The steps to becoming an Olympic Sport are some that are not simple. “A sport must meet criteria for matters such as gender balance, geographical spread and governance. They first have to become a recognized sport and then there is a long process to be gone through before they can take part in the process”, says Mark Adams.

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