Pole Dance for Fitness

THE SPORT

Pole Dancing for fitness is fast becoming one of the most popular sports among women worldwide. It is a full body workout incorporating cardio fitness and lifting your own body weight. Most women note an improvement in self-confidence and body image after beginning classes. Classes are typically broken down into a warmup, conditioning (or specific strengthening exercises), actual pole training and then a stretching session to improve flexibility. There are different levels in pole classes, ranging from beginners to advanced.

THE HISTORY

Pole Dancing originated out of India in the form of Mallakhamb, in which they use a tall wooden pole that is thicker at the base and tapers towards the top. It was used for fitness and conditioning as men threw themselves at the pole and contorted themselves moving up and down the pole. Similarly in China another form of pole dancing originated where they use very tall, skinny, rubber poles in close proximity. Athletes run up and down the pole using their hands and feet whilst jumping from one pole to the other. This form of Chinese pole is similar to the kind of pole fitness we practice today.

ABOUT SHERRY AND SIMONE AND CEZANNE

Sherry Bremner is a student at UCT studying a PhD in Physics. She did acrobatics and modern dance as a youngster. Simone Hodgskiss is a graphic designer and illustrator working for her self under the company name Pearly Yon. Her background is gymnastics, modern and jazz dance. Cezanne Carstens comes from a artistic background having performed internationally as a professional dancer, contortionist , choreographer and production manager. Cezanne is now focusing on her Pilates, extreme stretch and sport rehabilitation practice which operates out of Camps Bay cape town.

We all met each other training at our studio, Pole Dance Cape Town, and have been practicing pole dancing for about 2 years before entering the PFASA competition in Pretoria on a whim, thinking it would be a bit of fun. Under the guidance and creative inspiration of Cezanne Carstens we went on to win the duet section and have now qualified to compete at this year’s World Pole Sports Championships taking place in London on 20th and 21st July.

There is no monetary prize in winning the competition, we are doing it for the opportunity to show our best on an international stage.

COMPETITION

Pole Fitness Association of South Africa (PFASA) is an organisation that’s trying to standardise the teaching standards of pole dancing as well as push the sports and fitness aspect of pole dancing. They have been organising competitions for only 2 years. The World Pole Sports Championships are run by an organisation called the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF). They are trying to enter the sport into the Olympics, thus they have set very strict standards and marking allocation. Our rules document is 16 pages long! Cezanne has her work cut out for her, choreographing a routine that complies with all the rules which still looks artful.

SPONSORSHIP

As a sport that is still an emerging form of fitness and comes with a bad reputation, it has proven quite difficult to get any sort of sponsorship. No brand has utilised this space properly and we believe pole dancing is fast becoming more of a main stream sport. This leaves a lot of opportunity for branding and sponsorship which we are hoping to attain.

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