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June 25, 2009

Pole Dancing: The New Olympic Sport?

Pole Position

woman dancing

Dress, $3585, Dior by John Galliano.

Photo Credit: Philip Gay

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Are the Olympics ready for strip-club routines? Yes, if you ask Collette Kakuk, dance instructor and cofounder of the Pole Fitness Association, who is lobbying to bring pole-dancing to the Games.

MC: Most Olympic events were not born in seedy bars.
Perhaps not. But if you look at rhythmic gymnastics and figure skating, so many of the movements are similar to what we do on the pole. We have to shatter the taboo. The pole is just another fitness apparatus, like a vertical balance beam.

MC: Right. What's the uniform?
A G-string is not required, but you will have to show some skin, because you need it to stick to the pole for some of the moves. In my studio, we often work out in heels, but I envision athletes as being barefoot in the Olympics.

MC: And will they be required to make sexy faces?
That would not be part of it. And there would be banned movements, too, like gyrating and grinding.

MC: So what exactly would the judges be looking for?
Leg extension, flexibility, elevation, and control.

MC: Any response from the Olympic committee?
So far they've just told us the criteria we have to meet. There has to be enough international support, and pole-dancing—or pole-dance fitness, as I choose to call it—is practiced in over 50 countries. We have 110,000 signatures on our petition. But we need to unify the sport. We don't even have common names for our moves.

MC: Would there be a men's competition as well?
We've had lots of men say, "What about us?" But we're starting with the women for now. Most guys just offer to be judges anyhow.

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