The controversial aerial art taking the country by storm has been provisionally recognized as a sport

[Sian Elvin | Kent Live]

It has commonly been associated with strip clubs and stag parties, but pole dancing has taken the country by storm as a real fitness trend in recent years.

Usually referred to as just ‘pole’, the controversial aerial art has been recognised by an international sporting body for the first time – and could even feature in the Olympics in the future.

It has been given ‘observer status’ by the Global Association of International Sports Federation, which means it is provisionally recognised as a sport.

And with the activity growing in popularity and studios popping up all over the county, Kent Live asked pole instructors what they think about the news.

Hannah Selden runs fitness school Pole Dynamics in Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone, and also won the professional category at the Kent Pole Championships in the Margate Winter Gardens this year.

“Pole fitness becoming a sport is a huge step forward in many ways for the pole industry,” she said.

“Pole fitness becoming a sport is a huge step forward in many ways for the pole industry."

— Hannah Selden

“We as a community have fought long and hard to become recognized in the fitness industry for something more than just six-inch heels and teeny tiny shorts.

“It would be absolutely incredible if we are finally taken more seriously for the sport we have evolved into.

“Some amazingly talented polers worldwide still dance in the more traditional style, however generally speaking, most schools focus on the fitness strand of pole dancing.”

“It's great to see pole being highlighted in the media for the fantastic form of exercise and dance expression that it is."

— Lisa-Jessica White

Lisa-Jessica White owns Elements Studio in Ashford, which hosts a variety of aerial sports including pole fitness, aerial hoop and trapeze.

“Pole fitness has evolved so much over the last few years, in many different directions and I’m excited at the prospect of pole being recognized as an Olympic sport in the future,” said the instructor, who in 2016 won the same title as Mrs Selden in the Kent Pole Championships.

“It’s great to see pole being highlighted in the media for the fantastic form of exercise and dance expression that it is.

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