Wednesday, April 23, 2014
 
Follow sptimesonline on Facebook Follow sptimesonline on Twitter Follow sptimesonline on RSS
MOST READ



PARTNER NEWS


Legendary Porcelain Artworks for Your Home
The Gift Projects online showroom...


BLOGS



OPINION

 

  Print this article Print this article

Pole Dancing Looks For Olympic Recognition

Published: October 3, 2013 (Issue # 1780)



  • Russian pole dance hopes to achieve official recognition and enter the pantheon of Olympic athletics.
    Photo: Miss & Mr. Pole Dance Championship / vk.com

The finals of Russias Miss & Mr. Pole Dance Championship will take place this weekend at the House of Officers on Liteyny Prospekt. One of the most recently popularized sports, pole dance has grown dramatically over the past several years, with its advocates even pushing for its inclusion in the Olympic games.

Starting with the semifinals in the female solo category, the event on Oct. 5 will include a demonstration by the prizewinners in the childrens category of the World Pole Sport Championship 2013 and finish with the finals in three other categories: Female solo, male solo and duet performances. Prizes will be awarded the same day at 9 p.m.

The athletes who will represent Russia at the 2014 World Championship of Pole Dance in London will be chosen based on the results of this weekends competition.

Master classes by the stars of world pole dance, among whom are the head of the technical committee of the International Pole Sports Federation Florence Pizanis and dancers Olga Zhao Tong-kun and Natalia Tomashova, will take place the second day at Kats Dance Studio on Kazanskaya Ulitsa. Pizanis will also serve as the head of the jury of the competition.

Performances by the athletes are evaluated according to three main criteria: Technique, choreography and artistry, explained Irina Sokolova, speaking on behalf of the organizers to The St. Petersburg Times. Since 2013 compulsory moves were added to the program. The main reason for this is to balance the programs of athletes as well as to make the judging more objective and transparent. The rules used in the Russian competition are close to the IPSF system.

Whether it arose in circuses or strip clubs, the history of pole dance as a sport started in the 1990s, when pole dancing began to be taught as an art and used in fitness exercises. Now several confederations of the sport, including the WorldPole Dance Federation and the International Pole Dance & Fitness Association, organize such competitions as the World Pole Sport Championship, the U.S. Pole Federation Championship and the International Pole Masters Cup Championship.

Russian pole dance only began developing five years ago, said Sokolova. Nowadays our athletes are among the best in the world. In European, Asian and American championships participants from Russia are usually among the top five finalists. Many of the most difficult moves were invented by our countrymen and bear their names.

Though it has become popular in many countries, pole dance is still associated with striptease by many people, at least in Russia. Because of this association, the existence of a childrens category in the championships can lead to disputes.

It is time to abandon the stereotypes of mass consciousness and to judge adequately the experience of countries in Western Europe and America, said organizers. The World Pole Sport Championship 2013 in London saw the introduction of the childrens category, and the top three winners were athletes from Russia. IPSF has developed a package of regulations with regard to childrens sports. Professionals from other sports, child psychologists and tutors all took part in the preparation of those documents.

The issue of including pole dance in the Olympics is also challenging. On this issue, the organizers of the Miss & Mr. Pole Dance Championship are realistic.

It will take a long time, said Sokolova. First of all, pole dance needs to receive recognition in Russia and other countries. To achieve this, clear requirements and standards need to be set and sports confederations need to be formed in 40 countries. Despite the obstacles, many people hope for the inclusion of pole dancing in the Olympic program, including, for example, American comic book writer Stan Lee.

The Miss & Mr. Pole Dance Championship will take place on Oct. 5 at the House of Officers, 20 Liteyny Prospekt. Semifinals start at 1 p.m., finals start at 5p.m. For tickets visit www.pole4you.ru





 


Times Talk

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Apr. 23


Problems facing the elderly are in the spotlight at Senior Generation 2014, an international forum at LenExpo beginning today that focuses on drawing attention to and providing information about some of societys most vulnerable members. An exhibition combined with a trade fair will help those interested be better equipped to help this demographic.



Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegations visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmChams Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finlands Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping malls Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldnt miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBAs Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Centers Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.