The world of sports is slowly changing day by day. With Covid-19 taking sports fans from the audience of their favorite team arena, seems like sports won’t be the same in a while. According to Google, the definition of sports is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. With the popularity of hit Starz tv show P-Valley, it seemed to shine a light on just how athletic pole dancing is and could be. Although in the show, a person could be distracted by the glittery and bedazzled costumes the characters wear, they should also notice the strength the actors have to have to hold themselves up on the pole. Pole dancing is much more than just spinning around on a long and shiny pole. It requires things like
- Muscular Endurance
And the list goes on. On top of a pole dancer possibly spinning themselves around until they’re dizzy, they also do insane tricks like putting themselves upside or even climbing all the top to drop down in a split. The majority of the people that participate in pole dancing wear minimum protection compared to a hockey or football player when they go out to play a game.
Pole dancing in America started in the 1890s, which has its roots in the “Little Egypt” traveling sideshows of the 1890s. Those slideshows also featured sensual “Kouta Kouta” or “Hoochie Coochie” belly dances, performed mostly by Ghawazi dancers. As time went on, pole dancing became popularized to the point that it became a profession for some people (exotic dancing/stripping), and to others, they see it as another wear to get fit.
The Global Association of Internation Sports Federations (GAISF) which is the organization that oversees official sports around the world since 2017 has considered pole dancing on “observer status“. This means they’re temporarily recognizing pole dancing as a real sport until they work their way up to full membership. Achieving full GAISF membership is considered a huge step for any sport. This helps to qualify it to be able to apply to the International Olympic Committee. Applying to the International Olympic Committee could take years for it to be processed. Sports like climbing and surfing request to be approved in the 2020 Olympic Games was requested to compete by the committee in 2015.
As of today, the sport of pole dancing offers independent competitions like the “Pole Championship Series”. This competition consists of many participates performing multiple choreographed routines to show off their pole dancing skills. There’s also a U.S Pole Sports Federation, which connects many people interested in pole dancing in the United States. While there’s also an International Pole Sports Federation, which helps builds pole dancing up professional with donations, meetings, and sponsorships.
If pole dancing becomes an official Olympic sport, this will impact the sports industry. Especially when pole dancing is a women’s ran sport (even if it’s a decent percentage of men into pole dancing also), this could have many sports fans take women more seriously as they make a name for themselves in the sports industry. With the upper-body strength, flexibility, and endurance, pole dancers have to have, it’s about time they finally are going to get the recognition they deserve to be considered an official sport for the Olympics.