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Congratulations! Pole at the Olympics! What`s next?

by Sarah McCylmont 21 Aug 2016

Wink are excited to have World Champion Pole Dancer Alex Shchukin as their guest blogger. Please see his fantastic article about Pole Dance in the Olympics:

I know that majority of my fellow pole dancers daydream, watching the Olympic games in Rio, about pole dance becoming the part of this incredible event.

There is so many argument in our community: should or should not pole be the Olympic discipline?

Shall we shame the strippers to get ourselves a ‘sporty’ reputation?

Who and how should work on our Olympic future?

As all of you, I am the devoted fan of the Olympic games since the early childhood.

More than that, being the TV choreographer I have worked with several Olympic champions and their coaches. I was the winner of the Pole Sport Championship the moto of which one is the Olympic future for pole dance.

Now I want to give you several facts about the pole in the Olympics.

What are the pros of pole dance becoming the recognized sport discipline?

- More people will accept it. Your jealous boyfriends will stop blackmailing you into quitting your favorite hobby, your Dad will boast with your pole successes at the office Christmas party, Moms of your child`s classmates will ask if you give them a discount for classes if they bring in their kid. Fabulous, isn`t it?

- Children on pole won`t be bullied anymore. Everybody loves little gymnasts, runners and figure skaters. Pole kids will finally receive the appreciation they deserve for their equally hard work.

- We will get government support. We won`t have to spend crazy money on PR, venues, training studios. The part of our country`s budget that we actually create by paying taxes will be spent on pole dance (sounds like a dream!).

- We will get big sponsors. To tell you the truth, I have been contacted by one of the biggest sportswear companies in the world (yes, the one I am sure you have in your closet). We had long fruitless negotiations that ended up in them asking me if I ever consider exchanging pole for street workout, they would be ready to talk then. I bet, we would have a different conversation if pole dance was an Olympic discipline.

- We will earn more money. Studios will have more students, there will be more studios, athletes will get scholarships, awards, money prizes for all the medals and achievement, and even potentials. Athletes would actually earn their living by training. As you know, all the high-ranked sportsmen get salaries or scholarships for the training period and for any of the achievements.

- Major brands will be making pole accessories. Pole top by Marc Jacobs, why not? A stainless pole by Philips, we can try!

- There will be more professionally equipped spaces to train. All your wildest dreams will come true – the highest ceilings possible with secure poles, different mats and spotting systems.

- There will be professional coaches and certifications for the schools and studios. Choosing a studio to attend will stop being a lottery - there will be the certain standard everywhere. Pole dance might become a discipline to study in the University, more research will be done on the special diets, regimes, muscle works especially for the pole dancers.

What are the contras of pole dance becoming the recognized sport discipline?

- More people get interested in anything - more negative people get involved in trendy sports. It means there will be more cyber bulling, more public figures basing their PR strategy on somebody`s fails or reputation. More attention always means more critics, and only one per cent of them is actually sane.

- The discipline will become more and more demanding. When I was performing in London with a bone fracture, it was a shock for many pole dancers. Though, for the sportsmen that train for Olympics it`s quite a common thing to do. Broken bones, broken backs, fragile joints – all this comes in the packages. 

- It will be controlled by government. We all get frustrated when we are judged by people who do not understand our discipline. We try to argue the scores, write angry posts on Facebook, demand justice. Now imagine that it`s not about a competition you trained hard for several months, it`s something you have been training for your whole life. You have been doing this, ruining your childhood, your health, your life, just to get one, maximum two chances, to go to the Olympic. Then you are not picked up, because somebody in your country`s committee simply doesn`t like you. Or, as it happened to Russia this year, you get punished for something you didn`t do, because you are the part of the team and the part of one big political game.

- It will become more and more competitive. I sometimes watch a gymnast, or a dancer, or a hand balancer and think – if that guy became a pole dancer, I would be screwed! Many people have natural talent for pole dance, but only very few of them actually dare to try it. Now imagine all of them training our discipline. The championships will stop being a celebration of beautiful community, it will be the bloody battle.

- Even though many of you think pole dance world is a cruel place to be, in reality it is not. Whenever anybody gets hurt because of their size, weight, skin color, clothes choice etc.,( there is always, without any exception, always a higher number of people protecting the victim of trolling. It doesn`t happen in the cruel world of popular sport. You get judged all the time whatever you do. Your body, your face, your past, your habits, even your… hair. You can decide for yourself if you personally support the Olympic future of pole or not.

However, there is one question I can`t answer for myself. Will every cute girl still be asked to lap dance after pole dance becomes an Olympic discipline? Does Jessica Ennis get asked to do a sexy run to entertain her date? Or does Micheal Phelp get asked to show his body in his swim trunks (because you work in that, don`t you)?

Article by Alex Shchukin



Wink were excited to sponsor Alex Pole Camp 2016! Please read more about Alex Pole Camp below, written by Alex Shchukin:

With the best, hottest and most popular instructors, endless parties and family atmosphere!!

Alex Pole Camp 2015 and Alex Pole Camp 2016 were absolutely amazing! We have created two summers of fun, pole, acro, dance, parties, cinema that stayed with us forever in memories, pictures and, of course, new friendship!

This year we want to do something that has never been done before – the New Year edition. I travel a lot, usually I am booked 1-1,5 year beforehand and I see the dynamics of pole industry. Pole people are active people (my favourite kind!), we just can`t relax and do nothing. That is why instead of booking all-inclusive vacation for summer with piles of food, alcohol and endless staring at the people around hotel pool, we choose to learn new tricks and handstands, do not mind new bruises accenting the colours of our swimwear and choose the Pole Camp. Christmas is an amazing holiday with lots of presents and time spent with family, but then the torture begins. Days and weeks without training, too much turkey and pies, energy bursting from our relaxed muscles.

We say in Ukraine: the way you meet the New Year is the way you spend it! So let`s do it together! We offer:

-       Balanced, but demanding schedule of workshops. You will have great combination of pole tricks, dance and flexibility. We were organizing everything so that you have energy for training and learning, but still enough time for getting prepared for the parties (and getting rest after them).

-       Exclusive workshop on the flying pole.

-       Amazing stay in stylish 4 star hotel in Barcelona.

-       New Year dinner all together with your old and new pole friends and pole stars at fancy beach restaurant in Barcelona. We will not only taste delicious food, listen to music, drink champagne, but also learn local traditions of celebrating New Year (for example, the tradition of 12 grapes).

-       New Year all night party at popular beach night club in Barcelona (some drinks included).

-       We will make sure you get some really nice pole presents (in Ukraine we give each other presents for the New Year, not Christmas, I think you will love our tradition!).

Can`t wait to see you all here, in Barcelona – one of the most popular party destinations in the world! 




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