[Hiba Khan | Sport360]

Dr. Kenneth Kao or ‘Pole Ninja’, as he is commonly referred to in the Pole Dance community, has made a niche for himself for creating a unique discipline called Pole-Kour, which is a fusion of Pole Dancing and Parkour.

Having mastered several martial arts, he earned that unique moniker after he pioneered the move of jumping between poles in his performances.

Being one of the very few pole dancing men in the industry, Dr. Kao shares his classic ‘fish out of water’ story with Sport360.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Kenneth Kao; I am a doctor of Chiropractic that is why ‘Doctor Ken Pole Ninja’ came in to being. I am 33 years old and I am from Boulder, Colorado.

What is PoleKour?

PoleKour is the combination of the concepts and the techniques of Pole Dancing and Parkour. I practiced Parkour for 12 years and taught it for seven years, and then I used it to apply it to pole.

Pole dancing is probably the direct opposite of Parkour, when it comes to movement, technique, style and aesthetics. So, it has been an interesting exploration.

How did you get involved with pole dance?

I was teaching a Parkour class and one of students was a pole dancer, and she ended up doing a really cool move, it’s called the kneehold, like a human flag but it is done with the knees and I was like I got to learn that.

So she basically told me about pole and at the time, none of the studios accepted any men in my area. I did some research, I called a couple of studios and they told me, ‘no, you can’t join.’

Eventually I gave up, but then at my clinic, one of my new patients came in and turns out she was a pole dance teacher. So I asked her if she could talk to the studio and see if I could take classes with her, and then I became the first male pole dancer in that studio.