Exotic Pole Dancing: A Creative, Athletic Hobby

Young women exotic pole dancing while wearing a grey one piece outfit

Exotic Pole Dancing: A Creative, Athletic Hobby


You are probably familiar with pole dancing, but you may think of it as something that only nude showgirls do. In reality, exotic pole dancing is a fun, creative hobby, as well as a great way to get in a workout. Many different kinds of people pole dance for a wide array of reasons.

Pole dancing doesn’t necessarily look easy, yet some experts can make it look like a walk in the park. Although it can have negative views around it, exotic pole dancing doesn’t have to be the way that it is often perceived.

Is pole dancing for you? If you are looking for a fun, unique new hobby, then exotic pole dancing could be a great choice.

What is Exotic Pole Dancing?

Like all other types of pole dancing, exotic pole dancing is a form of dance in which dancers swing around a fixed pole. The poles are generally between nine and eleven feet tall.

Some are fixed or static, meaning that they do not move, while others spin. Each type has different uses since different moves can be more or less difficult depending on the type of pole.

What makes exotic pole dancing “exotic” is its emphasis on sensual bodily movement, as opposed to more athletic or artistic styles. For comparison, athletic pole dancing focuses on the physical benefits of pole dancing.

For this reason, moves may look less elegant since the idea is to increase physical strength. Artistic pole dancing uses the pole as a medium for performing, emphasizing music, storytelling, and personal expression.

Thus, artistic pole dancers may focus on facial expressions, use moves that are less “pretty” but more effective at conveying moods, and so on.

Is Pole Dancing Hard?

Although what is “hard” is subjective, many people would say yes, pole dancing is hard. Pole dancing requires a significant amount of upper body strength, as well as flexibility, agility, and endurance.

Most beginners quickly find that pole dancing is an intense form of cardiovascular workout. Even just climbing the pole can pose a challenge to pole dancers who are just starting out. For comparison, think of how intimidating the rope climb during gym class can be for less athletic students.

On top of that, many pole dancing moves require being able to support your full body weight using only your arms or legs — or even just one arm or leg. In a sense, this is harder than planking — a dreaded exercise for many people — as you don’t have a solid surface to balance on while you are suspended in the air.

Another difficult aspect of pole dancing is that it requires excellent grip strength. Although there are ways to get around it, sweaty hands can make it extremely hard to stay in place as you grip the metal pole.

All in all, pole dancing can certainly be difficult, but it can also help you get in great shape.

Beginner Pole Moves

If you are interested in trying exotic pole dancing, you may be wondering where to begin. There are many simple moves that don’t take years to master but can look very elegant and impressive.

Front Hook Spin

To do a front hook spin, you start by standing next to the pole and placing your near hand on the pole well above your head, with the far hand at about the height of your shoulder. Then, you wrap your near leg around the front of the pole, gripping it firmly with the back of your knee. Next, you push yourself forward, letting your hands slide down as you complete your front hook spin.


Pole Walk

Another great move for beginners is the pole walk, a very simple transitional move that is essentially just a graceful way of walking around the pole. To correctly do the pole walk, you start by gripping the pole high above your head with your near hand.

Then, you shift your weight on the balls of your feet, maintaining this tip-toe posture for the duration of the walk. With all your weight on your inside leg, you then step forward with the outside leg, dragging your toes across the ground until you complete the step and repeat with the other leg.


Other Pole Dancing Moves

Other great pole moves for beginners include the fireman spin, the pole-assisted shoulder stand, the secretary sit, and many more.

Is Pole Dancing Inappropriate?

There is nothing inherently inappropriate about pole dancing; however, it is certainly true that it is somewhat stigmatized as something inappropriate. A lot of people are only familiar with pole dancing in a strip club context, which many would regard as inappropriate. In reality, pole dancing is practiced in many other contexts, such as fitness and art.

On the other hand, some would argue that pole dancing is inappropriate regardless of its athletic and artistic aspects. In general, pole dancing does require minimal clothing, since exposed skin offers better grip than basically any type of fabric.

One could also argue that there are many activities where minimal clothing is required or expected that are not inappropriate, however, such as swimming. Modest swimsuits certainly exist, but it is not uncommon for even children to wear bikinis or other similar swim clothing.

In sum, pole dancing certainly can be inappropriate, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to do it, some of which are family-friendly, others being X-rated. It is ultimately up to the pole dancer to determine how inappropriate they want their practice to be.

Why is Pole Dancing Sexualized?

There are many reasons that pole dancing is perceived as sexual. In many of the contexts in which it is practiced, pole dancing is, without a doubt, intended to be sexual. Most people are familiar with pole dancing in a strip club context, which is a prime example of intentionally sexual pole dancing.

In this case, however, pole dancing is a job. Professional strip dancers may enjoy the work and see it as artistic or athletic as well, but at the end of the day, they are looking to get paid for their pole performances.

There is also the fact that exotic pole dancing emphasizes sensual bodily movement. Although sensuality, at its core, is merely the celebration of the physical senses, it is often associated with sexuality. Some people struggle to separate sensuality from sexuality, leading them to believe that exotic pole dancing is always sexual.

Another reason that pole dancing is sexualized is that its modern-day form was popularized by nude dancers. This makes it easy for people to confuse its origin with what it is today. If, for example, pole dancing came into public consciousness as a sport, it is likely that people would perceive it as an athletic hobby.

It is important to understand that although pole dancing can be sexual, it does not have to be. There is nothing innately sexual about moving the human body, and incorporating a pole does not change that.

Many pole dancers are interested strictly in physical fitness, while others see it as an art form. There are many different reasons that people enjoy pole dancing.

Is Pole Dancing a Sport?

According to Merriam-Webster, a sport is defined as any “physical activity engaged in for pleasure.” Exotic pole dancing certainly fits this definition: it is a form of physical activity, and a big reason people do it is that they enjoy it.

In fact, as of 2017, pole dancing has even been officially recognized as a sport by the Global Association of International Sports Federation. Since pole dancing was officially deemed a sport, many elements of pole dancing have been standardized, allowing for the creation of a scoring system, judging, and global competitions.

There have been eight world championships in pole dancing, supported by 35 national federations regularly hosting competitions, as well.

Of course, “sport” can mean many different things to different people. As a result, there are reasons one may not consider pole dancing to be a sport. For example, many people still strongly associate pole dancing with strip clubs.

To some, the sexual aspect of pole dancing negates its legitimacy as a sport — regardless of the fact that it does, indeed, fit the definition of “sport.”

Questions That Often Come Up About Pole Dancing

Pole dancing and exotic pole dancing often garner extra attention through media, movies, and television. As the demonstrated benefits of this activity continue to create momentum, there are so many unanswered questions that people need answers to prior to beginning.

This sport is often difficult to get started in, as you need the right equipment, strength, and mindset, but the history behind pole dancing demonstrates it has evolved over the years. Here are some questions that with the answers may create some easiness for those on the fence of trying.

Where Did Pole Dancing Originate?

Pole dancing originated in China in the 12th century. It was originally used by circus performers, who would use fixed poles to perform acrobatic tricks and maneuvers.

Some tricks done by Chinese circus performers are still used today, such as “the flag,” which is when a performer climbs to the top of the pole, holding themselves up with only their arms to create a flag-like silhouette.

Who Invented Pole Dancing?

No single individual can be credited with inventing pole dancing, as the practice has developed into what it is today from a blend of many different cultures with various styles and reasons for practicing it.

That said, some of the oldest forms of pole dancing were invented in China, with other early forms being found in India. The first-ever exotic pole dance performance in recorded history, however, was not until 1968, when a performer named Belle Jangles danced on a pole in the Mugwump Strip Joint in Oregon.

Is Pole Dancing an Olympic Sport?

No, pole dancing is not an Olympic sport. The International Pole Sports Federation, however, does regularly hold athletic pole dancing competitions across the world, with athletes from many different countries competing against one another, much like the Olympic games.

The IPSF is also working to make pole dancing an Olympic sport, so it is possible that future Olympics will include pole dancing.

Why is Pole Dancing Bad?

Pole dancing is not inherently “bad;” rather, it is simply a form of bodily movement that can be enjoyed in tons of different ways, some sexual and some entirely not sexual. Pole dancing is considered “bad” by some people largely due to its association with strip clubs.

In addition, some see pole dancing as immodest, degrading, and objectifying toward women. That said, pole dancing does not have to include stripping, nor is it inherently sexual. At its core, it is simply one way to move your body — there is nothing “bad” about that.

Why Not Give it a Shot?

Exotic pole dancing is a unique way to move the body. Although it can be considered sexual, it is what you make it out to be. Whatever the context that you are performing the activities are is what it becomes.

Pole dancing is an excellent hobby that requires great strength, focus, mindset, and skill. Although not easy, this may be the activity that you never imagined would be your new hobby… why not give it a shot?

If you’re looking for more hobbies, check out our massive list of interests and hobbies.

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