“Pole dancing as a fitness trend, art, and sport has been growing & evolving over the past decade. Pole dance does originate from the exotic world, with the more acrobatic side inspired by gymnastics & circus arts (Chinese pole & Indian Pole). In its infancy pole dance was originally promoted as a fitness trend, the marketing seemed to try to wipe itself clean of the exotic origins to be accepted by the mainstream as a sport. However, now that pole dance seems is established as a form of fitness, sport, and art; our community is trending to take ownership of the exotic origins with pride and empowerment for women (and men) to make choices for their own bodies. We can’t claim that movement toward exotic empowerment is related to the upcoming ‘Hustler’ movie, however the timing is convenient. And does create curiosity amongst pole artists and movie goers alike, to see how the exotic work will be portrayed.


Our art form is still growing, with new athletic acrobatic movements continually developed, leading many to hopes of this becoming an Olympic sport. However, the art of pole is very inclusive with styles that are applicable to all fitness levels, body types, genders, and abilities. Pole dance inspires many to train/perform/compete like an athlete, this means that for many Pole dance is more than just a fun way to move and get fit. As for any athletic practice there are imbalances that can occur in the body due to training; with potential for repetitive stress injuries; Making cross-training, Pre-hab fitness exercises, and flexibility training staples in many pole studios.


There are aspects of pole dancing can be very therapeutic.

  • Physically: The apparatus is a great proprioceptive tool for body awareness and alignment. And can be great cross training Athletes and performer needing Extended core training (kinetic chain integration of our limbs into the core) that creates multidimensional movement.

  • Mentally: In our sport we defy gravity. Which is a physical & mental challenge. If someone can get on stage and pole dance in front of people, they can mentally overcome anything.

  • Emotionally: the pole community is a pretty special place that can really create strong empowering bonds of support.”


Misty Austin, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Pole Dance Teacher, founder of Performance Art Athletics (injury prevention education for Artistic Athletes).