The First Annual Pole World News Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion last week to celebrate the art and technique of pole and aerial arts. When many hear pole arts, they think of pole dancing, burlesque dancers and nude performers. But it is not all strippers who take to the pole, as this ceremony well illustrates. These men and women who took the stage at the awards show remained fully clothed in beautiful costumes to swing around, up and down the pole in a display of athletic prowess and artistic dance. Pole sports, as emphasized by performers and attendees, are empowering and get a bad rap from the public because of the association with strip clubs. With Pole Sports vying to enter the 2016 Olympics, it is time that we accept it as a legitimate sport and realize that just because poles are in adult clubs doesn’t mean they can’t be classy elsewhere.

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