So by now you’ve probably read that pole might one day be in the Olympics. My non-pole friends have been super excited – or perhaps just intrigued and I’ve been tagged to read pretty much every news article or watch every T.V. piece that there is on it.
I initially prepared myself when reading the comments for all the negative opinions, but was actually pretty surprised by how many positive comments there were. Of course there were negative comments and jokes too, but it’s easy to remember the one negative comment in the sea of positivity. So I’m focusing on the good.
The T.V. pieces had a slightly different angle – some having interviews with pole people, and others just discussing. I do think it’s hard to have a fair discussion about pole unless you have people who pole with you in the debate.
In the Pole Community
The reaction I was actually most surprised about, was that within the pole community. I’ve known for a long time that IPSF founder Katie Coates has been on a mission to get pole into the Olympics, and this is a big step forward for them. I assumed that people would be happy about it… or perhaps wouldn’t care, rather than being opposed to it.
But people are opposed to it.
There are many worries about pole potentially being in the Olympics, such as other styles of pole being shunned or ‘looked down upon’ and the sport side becoming the only legitimate side. Others are worried that it will be seen as a sport that you need to, and can only learn as a child. Some think that it will cause more schools opened with ‘teachers’ who jump on the band wagon but have no idea what they are doing. Some even worry that our pole community will become bigger – personally I’m not too sure why that would be bad, but hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
So Here Are My Thoughts…
Firstly, IF pole does get into the Olympics it will take a hell of a long time, and pole as we know it now may have changed completely by then anyway. When I started to pole 8 years ago the hardest thing was an Iron X – that was the dream move. There are so many crazy moves out there now, that I can’t imagine what will happen to pole in the next 8 years.
Secondly, and I guess this is the big one… there is room for everyone – and for all styles.
I’ve been to watch the WPSC for a few years now. At first I was completely amazed. Everyone was just incredible (and they still are). I ended up doing a Code Of Points training to fully understand what I was watching, and how the judging worked. At that point I started speaking to few athletes who competed in the WPSC who found that the rules were just too much, and it took away the creative aspect of what pole meant to them.
Of course, not everyone feels this way – in fact others of course strive in this kind of environment.
Around about the same time, I started to watch other competitions like Pole Theatre – often with some of the same athletes performing.
Having studied drama for most of my life, I have been to countless shows and had to dissect them all. I personally find myself drawn more to the Pole Theatre world where performances and polers are free to pole how they wish, and create their own world for you to live in for 5 minutes or so. And every performance is completely different. I find sometimes that the WPSC limits these amazing polers a little bit with their rules BUT they need these rules in order for the Olympic hope. Just because pole might be in the Olympics, also doesn’t mean we should look down on the ‘sport’ side.
Now this is just my opinion.
I do think that this step forward for pole is fantastic – because I really don’t think that it’s going to divide the community as much as people worry. I may be living in a dream world, but hey, it’s all fluffy here.
There will always be people who are drawn to the rules, competitive and official side of pole that the IPSF and Olympic hope has to offer. There will always be people who want to be able to express themselves and compete in their own way and style such as the Drama, Art, Classique and Comedy categories that Pole Theatre has to offer. And don’t forget about Dance Filthy!
I don’t see why just because pole (not pole dance, or pole fitness but ‘pole’) has been granted ‘observer status’, why other styles of pole that might not fall under or want to fall under the category of ‘sport’ are any less valid. In fact, I think it gives people more options of different styles of pole they want to try.
Would I Watch Pole In The Olympics?
In 2012 I had a lot of Olympic athletes from different countries staying on my road. We also had the cycling races go past my house and the flame being carried past my work. On T.V. I watched people I knew or friends of friends compete, which was super exciting. Otherwise I carried on with my days – I’m not really a watch sport on T.V kind of a girl.
That is the most involved I’ve ever felt or been in the Olympics because it all felt so familiar, and if pole were in the Olympics it would feel familiar too, so I would definitely support this community, and my friends and watch.
However it would not stop me watching the other styles of pole that I adore so much.
Where Does That Leave Us?
Well it leaves us appreciating everyone. Every style of pole is beautiful and one style isn’t better than another. I think that this is a great step for pole, because I think it brings more people into our world. I don’t think that the sport side of pole is going to rule over the sexy side. There’s so much room for us all to pole how we want, and embrace the freedom that pole gives us.