Debate: Should pole dancing be considered an Olympic sport?

Pole dancing has been gaining popularity in the form of a physically demanding fitness trend. But should it be an Olympic sport?

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Back in the fall, the Pole Fitness Association was circulating petitions to get pole dancing in the 2012 Olympic Games. Now, it seems the International Pole Sports Federation is seeking to do the same for the 2016 Olympics.

Initially, when one thinks of pole dancing it may conjure up images of dancers in strip clubs, but pole dancing has been gaining popularity in the form of a physically demanding fitness trend. Offered in group or private classes at both specialized fitness studios and mainstream gyms, pole dancing (or pole fitness as it’s often called) is a total-body workout that includes strength training, fat burning and flexibility training. Pole dancers lift and support their entire body weight’showing a tremendous amount of athleticism.

After checking out a few videos such as the one below, I have to say, pole dancing reminds me of artistic gymnastics. Both require an incredible amount of core and upper-body strength, both may involve equipment such as rings, a balance beam, bar, or pole, and both offer a degree of showmanship.

What do you think? Should pole dancing be considered a sport, and allowed into the Olympics?

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Photo credit: © iStockphoto/chaoss

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