Poledancing In General

Pole dance is a form of performance art, historically associated with strip clubs and night clubs, which combines dance and acrobatics centred on a vertical pole. This art form has recently gained popularity as a form of fitness and mainstream entertainment, practised by many enthusiasts in gyms and in dedicated dance studios. A wide range of amateur and professional competitions are held in many countries around the world.

Since the mid-2000s, promoters of pole dance fitness competitions have been trying to change peoples’ perception of pole dance and to promote it as a non-sexual form of dance and acrobatics. Pole dance has furthermore been influenced by Chinese pole, a form of acrobatics that is most notably performed in circus. Competitive pole dance competitions are by and large performed in a non-prurient fashion which combines a range of dance styles and/or gymnastics.

Pole dance requires significant strength, flexibility and endurance. Pole dance proper involves athletic moves such as climbs, spins, and body inversions using the limbs to grip. Upper body and core strength are required to attain proficiency, and rigorous training is necessary.

Pole dance is now regarded as a form of exercise which can be used as both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. Recognized schools and qualifications are now commonplace.

Poledancing History In Ireland

Polercise, the first pole dancing studio in Ireland was set up in Northern Ireland by El Fagan in 2005. Then Labfitness in Drogheda introduced pole dancing classes in 2006. From there more and more pole dancing studios have popped up all over the country due to increased interest in the sport and demand for tuition.

Where We Are Now

Pole dancing has gained popularity as a form of exercise with increased awareness of the benefits to general strength and fitness. These forms of exercise increases core and general body strength by using the body itself as resistance, while toning the body as a whole. Pole dancing is also generally reported by its schools to be empowering for women in terms of building self-confidence, in terms of which its erotic components are still the subject of some controversy.

A growing number of men are incorporating pole dancing into their fitness programmes. In Australia, the UK, the US and here in Ireland dance studios are beginning to offer classes just for men.

Future Of Poledancing In Ireland

With studios in Ireland totalling 25 in 2014 and an increasing number of athletes taking part in Ireland's three main annual competitions, poledancing could be one of Ireland's fastest growing sports! The participation at 'The All Ireland Pole Dancing Championships' - Ireland's most prestigious pole competition - in 2014 had nearly doubled since the previous year. This year entries to the 'Pole Theatre' competition are strictly limited and performers must qualify due to a vastly increased number of entrants. Similarly 'Pole Princess' held in the popular Sugar Club has seen it's popularity soar.

The Aerial Arts community in Ireland has a very friendly and inclusive vibe to it. Competitions are not really about winning but more about taking part and socialising with other dancers and dancers entertaining each other as well as the audience. The most popular dance studios are the ones who are not only good at teaching their students how to do aerial tricks but also good at creating a nice warm welcoming atmosphere in their studio which promotes friendship and general enjoyment of dance as well as fitness gains.