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The 7 Myths of Pole Sport

Brand ambassador and official Aurelian Sports athlete Alessandra Marchetti defends her specialism Pole Sport, in which she is the current world champion.

How many times have we seen written or heard that pole sports is boring; devoid of artistic content, a mere sequence of tricks without exciting choreography, often dismissed as a fitness regime unworthy of competition.

Well, here I am ready to wear the robe of a lawyer and deal with the defence of this slandered but fascinating style of our beloved pole! One by one I’ll try to expose 7 clichés completely unsupported of pole sport, which are perhaps not yet well known enough:

#1 Pole Sport is boring: just tricks!

I admit the genre of the East- European pole sport is perhaps a little excessive in this way.  Russia much likes all acrobatic elements, and in general the extreme workouts. This also explains the success of street workout; workouts to the limit of the impossible done in real outdoor gyms in the streets and parks across Russia.  But the true meaning of pole sport is this: rules, tricks, coded and executed perfectly, but well integrated into a harmonious routine complimented with the music that accompanies them. Is this not what is commonly referred to as “choreography?!”

#2 To practice Pole Sport you must be a strong athlete

Athletes are not always born strong! And those who routinely practice pole sports, know how often we progress and can perform moves without ever being able to before! Exercising regularly 3 or 4 times a week you will learn the complexity of the sport and if you choose to compete in the right category, you can take great satisfaction without ever having previously practiced dance or gymnastics. The pole sport is for lovers, it is not reserved for top level athletes!

#3 Pole Sport does not convey any emotion

Pole sport conveys emotions through body gestures and facial expressions, and neither expressive possibility is prohibited in pole sport; indeed, both are strongly encouraged by the competition rules, to ensure that the athlete increases their artistic score showing coherence between the theme music and the way they express themselves.  Even the costume must be consistent with the music and the theme chosen! If we are unable to even express emotions while we are performing tricks and choreography, well then victory over pole sport is guaranteed!

#4 Pole Sport is against sexy pole dancing

Pole Sport is NOT against the sexy style of pole dancing, it’s just another thing! Having purpose and content within the pole sport discipline is in fact something else entirely, but that does not mean athletes deny the origins of the pole, or don’t respect those who have made a lifestyle choice towards the sexy style.  To each their own, in respect of all!

# 5 When Pole Sport gets involved in the Olympics, Pole Dance will die

This then is a real contradiction – it is pole sports that will be part of the Olympics (hopefully) and not pole dance! So what does one have to do with the other?  Each pole discipline will continue to exist independently of each other just as it does now across the world.  There are currently pole sport championships, pole art competitions, pole dancing contests, exotic dance competitions and so on … each in their own way, as always!

# 6 In Pole Sport there is no room for art

For this myth I refer to point 3 but I want to add something: art is freedom of expression, but not the total absence of rules. To learn the artistry, whatever it may be, the rules are just as important as the art or the dance.  Expressing yourself completely free from the rules is certainly an attractive prospect but the real challenge is to be able to express yourself fully while having to respect the rules at the same time. This can only be achieved by the minority of artists!

# 7 Pole Sport is just gymnastics

I would say instead that the pole sport is an athletic discipline of the highest standards, which requires qualities such as strength, flexibility, expressiveness, musicality and artistic taste. These attributes are also familiar at the gym, but also in many other sports and dance forms, so this statement is inaccurate and incomplete!

My discontented journey debunking the myths of Pole Sport draws to a close.  My message is always the same: we can make many debates about which style better reflects the true essence of the pole; but in the end, I believe that there is just one conclusion: there is no definitive style, only what we prefer.

Happy poling to all!

Alessandra is the ambassador for the revolutionary new brass pole, the Grip-Pole from Aurelian Sports.  Click here for more information.

Tags: Grip-Pole, Aurelian Sports, pole sports, pole dancing, facts about pole sport, pole sport myths, Alessandra Marchetti, pole athletes,