It even exists as a world championship, the Pole Dance. The good old dance on the pole. From light women with lots of bare skin and skillful striptease. That’s the cliche. What can only be found today in the red-lit bar near the train station, or in a private atmosphere, elsewhere, has becoming more and more established in Germany as a fitness discipline. In the Pole Dance Studios, women who want to keep fit train in pole dancing studios. This is a good thing, because this is how the pole gymnastics getsa boost from the middle of society – and attracts a wide audience. It is only a pity that this often has to go hand in hand with prudishness; there are many sports pole dancers who, hoping to turn their sport into an Olympic discipline, want to nip any erotic flair in the bud. It’s unfortunate that this flair comes up almost naturally when a trained body exercises acrobatically on the pole. So the effort to see pole dance as a gymnastics discipline seems a bit amateurish. Because why can’t a sport be sexy? Beach volleyball in a full-body gymnastics suit? Pole dance without any lasciviousness? Possible, but why? Sport also thrives on the enthusiasm it inspires. Football, for example, is also more than the phenomenon of ten men running after a ball. The ball is “caressed”, the ball is tickled off the line, the gods of the flanks are named…

Playground of male eroticism

And so the pole dance also thrives on its representation. His beauty, his grace and his powerful gestureson the pole. You can also find this appealing. Even more so, when you consider that men are now also trying their luck on the pole. Equal rights for all. As long as it stays with “seeing”. Because seeing how bodies expose themselves on the pole is fun. Sometimes it’s more wicked than usual. Then, if the body is additionally tattooed…there’s a lot to see.

Dance like nobody’s watching.

However, the fact that this was once different in the history of pole dancing should not be concealed. As an instrument of male machismo that degrades women, blatantly turns on and exploits them. To grab a free ticket, to patronize your money and to use sexist slogans. This should not be tolerated anywhere. Not even in a red light bar, certainly not in the gym. The woman, or man, alone should have control over her art. So it is good if the pole dance is, on the one hand, called “bar gymnastics, only vertical”. On the other hand, the spectator has a wonderful added value: it just looks incredible what a body on the pole is capable of: sporty, strong, sensual and beautiful… most of the time, anyway.

Text: Julian Bachmann