[Joe Pelletier | Brockton Wicked Local]

Wendy Dayle, owner of Scarlet Studio in Brockton, says pole sports goes beyond strip-club stigmas.

BROCKTON — Pole sports will be an Olympic event someday.

You can count on it, says Wendy Dayle.

“It’ll happen,” she said, toweling off after a grueling pole workout at her Brockton studio. “Absolutely. It’s one of the fastest-growing sports in the world — it’s huge in Europe.”

And for years, it has been gaining popularity in Massachusetts. The sport (also known as pole fitness or pole dancing) is a little bit gymnastics and a little bit acrobatics, with touches of contemporary dance and circus flair.

“We, as a culture, oversexualize anything that the female body does. I can’t tell you how many girls don’t know how to simply move their hips from side to side. They’re taught not to move that way — that it’s vulgar.”

- Wendy Dayle

Dayle, who runs Scarlet Studio in Brockton, has been teaching pole fitness for about 10 years. Or pole dancing, she says — yeah, you can call it that.

She understands the stigma behind pole dancing: the strip-club connotations, the oversexualization of it all. And she embraces that stigma — the name Scarlet Studio is a nod to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” Her classes, she said, are more than that stigma.

“I felt like Hester (Prynne, the protagonist) kind of lived outside societal norms,” Dayle said last week. “And she was forced to wear that awful scarlet letter, and she embraced it. So I’m embracing the rebel that Hester was.”

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