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Pole Dancing has moved from its sexy image and is now a respectable sport.

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Pole dancing isn’t just found in strip clubs found out spotlight report Rebecca Edwards as she explored the world of pole dancing looking at how it can improve body confidence and much more.

THERE has been a stigma surrounding the topic of pole dancing and especially its relation to gentlemen’s clubs. However, the outlook is changing now, and it is viewed as a sport, and even has the possibility of being featured in the Olympics.

With pole dancing, people tend to only see the sexy side when women are performing in strip clubs, but there are many different aspects to it such as the overall fitness side of toning and building muscle.  Also, there is the artistic side which is mostly focused on movement and music which is a more creative version of pole dancing, creating a story and developing a character.

But why do people want to start pole dancing or fitness or maybe even the artistic side, and what keeps people coming back for more? Here are a few stories about why some have started their journey in pole dancing and pole fitness.

POLE DANCING: Instructor Cat Lee demonstrating the Shoulder mount. [This has been provided by the lovely Cat lee @ecoledepole]
Cat Lee an instructor at Ecole de pole said: “I started pole dancing because I had just come out of a difficult break-up, but I have met more and more students who used pole to springboard themselves out of bad relationships of confidence dip. It was the best thing I could have done. It kept me really distracted and I was having lots of fun and becoming fitter than I ever had.”

Whereas, Claire Mayes creator and instructor at StudioFly said: “I was an accountant and my personal assistant wanted to try pole dancing and she didn’t really want to go by herself. She took me along to a class and this was about 2006. They didn’t really do pole dancing classes in gyms, so it was in a gentleman’s club. It was just for beginners; it was just for fitness, but I signed up to a six-week course and that was it. “

POLE DANCING: a pole dancing class underway at studio fly [This has kindly been provided by Claire at StudioFly]
There are many different reasons why people want to start pole dancing, but what benefits does this have on the body as well as the mind. There are many different physical benefits and what pole dancing and fitness does is that is helps tone and strengthen every single part of your body because you are holding yourself up with your arms, using your legs to climb and hold yourself up the pole.  You are doing a lot of cardio alongside it, which you don’t really notice because your focusing on the different moves as well as having fun and helping you with flexibility and overall coordination.

POLE DANCING: Justine from Ecole de Pole demonstrating the eagle. [This has been provide be Cat @ecoledepole]
On top of this there are a lot of mental health benefits. Cat said: “Pole has been so beneficial for my mental health. Pole gives me great mental discipline and makes me very centred, which is helpful for me as a sufferer of anxiety. It also gave me a great deal of confidence over time, which certainly helped me become a much more confident and happier person. Plus, the friendships you make from pole are very strong and definitely helped me become a much less shy person.”

Pole has also helped many people with their self confidence and has change the self-body image. How pole does this is by distracting you and allowing you to focus on the moves and through your journey in pole you gain more confidence and show more skin. Claire said: “its massively beneficial to how people perceive themselves, it what I can achieve rather than what I look like.”

POLE FITNESS: One of the students at StudioFly demonstrating one of the many inverted poses [This has been provide by Claire at StudioFly]
This also provides people with escapism and a chance to get away for an hour or two This is explained by, Kristina Shiels, creator and instructor at Gemini Pole Fitness who said: “Say if you’re in a pole class for an hour, you don’t sit there and wonder about what ever stress is on your mind. I personally, find there gone when you’re in a pole class because you must concentrate so much. When your upside down on a pole hanging by one leg you must focus on what your doing so, I think it’s great for the mind.”

But when looking at the view on pole dancing has the stigma decreased and has the viewpoint become more positive.  It seems like that it has changed quite a bit. Cat said: “I think it has come quite a way, people more, recognising the amount of hard work and incredible training that we put into what we do. I think the biggest thing that I am excited about is the huge amount of men now doing pole and how that is much more accepted, and increasingly visible trans, non-binary, gender fluid pole dancers are appearing. I have loved pole for giving me a space to meet other women where we can be comfortable with each other and celebrate our bodies, but it is an even more exciting step forward for us to transcend these boundaries of gender and have pole as a safe sanctuary.”

POLE DANCING: Rachel from Ecole de Pole demonstrating one of her favourite moves. [This has been provided by Cat @ecoledepole]
Looking at the future of how people will view pole, Kristina said: “I think it might always be there a little bit, but it doesn’t matter we enjoy what we do, we all love it. Everyone that tries it enjoys it. We’re doing it as a sport, as a fitness thing, there’s a community there. There’s lovely girls there supporting each other and making each other feel more confident and boosts their self-esteem, whether people have a problem with it or not.”

The stigma surrounding pole is still there, yet there has been a large growth in acceptance around the topic and over the years this has progressed further than the gentlemen’s clubs and has become a much large community that has help women and men across the global gain more confidence socially and more body confidence.

Not only this but there has been an online community growing in places such as Instagram where in the pole dancing hashtag alone there are 1.9 million posts and there is the possibility that pole will feature one day in the Olympics.

Links to all the people that have been mentioned in this article here:

Gemini pole fitness   [click here for more]

Studio Fly [click here for more]

Ecole de pole’ s Instagram [click here for more]

The features image: is of one of the pole fitness classes at Studio Fly this has kindly been provided by Claire who is the creator of studio fly and an instructor at the studio.

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