So, in light of the Olympics, Time Magazine asks the question, “should pole dancing be included in the Olympics?”
While pole dancing may have originally been inspired by the routines performed by dancers in strip clubs, today’s practitioners are adamant that it is truly a sport. “These women are incredible athletes. They have such grace and elegance and they absolutely belong in the Olympics. But we do fight the stereotype that it’s for strippers,” IPSF founder and president Timothy Trautman told Buzzfeed. Watch a few routines on YouTube and you may agree that pole dancing requires above average athletic prowess.
As the ostensible sport attempts to shake its shady reputation, the International Pole Sports Federation has started making tentative steps in the process of becoming officially recognized by the Olympic Committee in the hopes of being included in future Games. According to the Official website of the Olympic Movement, “To make it onto the Olympic program, a sport first has to be recognized: it must be administered by an International Federation which ensures that the sport’s activities follow the Olympic Charter. If it is widely practiced around the world and meets a number of criteria established by the IOC session, a recognized sport may be added to the Olympic program on the recommendation of the IOC’s Olympic Program Commission.” Once the baseline requirements are established, the sport can eventually draft an official petition for consideration by the International Olympic Committee.
The IPSF is just at the beginning of their journey towards establishment, but they are making progress. According to Buzzfeed, IPSF has already written bylaws and and an official rule book for pole dancers. They’ve also organized the first World Pole Sport Championship, an event the organization has cannily scheduled to take place in London just days before the Olympics kick off.
The road to Olympic recognition is a long one, however. Therefore if you are interested in the sport, but have no experience in pole dancing, there’s still time to train for your Olympic dream. The IPSF doesn’t expect to get Olympic consideration until 2020.
Anyone who knows me knows my answer already: of course it does! And here’s five reasons why:
1) Jenyne Butterfly
Yes, she sure did hit that vertical moonwalk on you. She sure did.
2) Felix Cane
Get all the way into all those aerial gymnastics she performs around the 2:40 marks.
3) Jungle Cat
I don’t really get along with any Usher song made after 8701, but if you watch this video on mute? It’s pretty awe inspiring.
4) Takeila Fox
Even though she doesn’t post much on youtube anymore, the videos she’s left behind are pretty dope.
And last, but certainly not least…
5) Zoraya Judd
(I feel the need to insert a “Snakes on a mothaf– pole!” joke, here. Oh, wait.)
Now, again. Someone give me a reason why, short of “OMG they wear skimpy clothes and spread their legs,” pole dancing – also known as aerial performance or vertical dance – shouldn’t be considered a sport? Because, um, if that’s the case, then both gymnasts and volleyball players got some ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy.