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Pole Dancing Offers a Full Body Alternative Workout for Willing Athletes

Cross-training for runners?

For the past 13 years British Columbia resident Tammy Morris has been on a mission to break down stereotypes about pole dancing, notably that the long-held belief of many is the endeavor falls exclusively within the domain of exotic dancers. 

Morris is the founder of Tantra Fitness and she is also a member of the Canadian Pole Fitness Association, both organizations striving to present pole dancing as a full body workout that improves your core and upper body strength.
 
In a phone interview, Morris said pole dancing “…is not just about stripping - it offers an intense workout. And it’s a good workout for all ages and levels of abilities – there is pole fitness, dance fitness.”  Morris adds, “We also offer a beginner pole dancing class.”
 
Morris has been a professional pole dancer for about 10 years and she decided to start up her own pole dancing studios.  There was a period of time she had put pole dancing on the back burner, having decided instead to take up more mainstream activities such as jogging and going to the gym. However, this didn’t work out for her and she decided to go back to pole dancing, eventually taking an advanced course which led to opening her first studio in 2004.
 
Morris said, “I went back to pole dancing and discovered that the workout kept me more fit than anything else. (People) taking the class feel confident and see their body changing.”  I asked her if that type of workout could be beneficial for runners?  She said, “It is also good for runners because it helps with their flexibility. Runners can have tight hip flexors.  Pole dancing can help with (your) posture and forces you to use your back and chest.”
 
Pole dancing is not just for women because men are learning how to pole dance, too. 

Morris says, “Competitions are held all over the world. It is like gymnastics except (when) pole dancing you work with a vertical bar performing with both strength and grace.”  Based on some of the photos I observed, it’s like watching an aerial show where the athlete is upside down, doing push-ups.  For those interested in upcoming events, the Pole Dance National Championships will be held in June, the exact date as yet to be determined.
 
According to Morris, it is the ultimate exercise and the International Pole Dance Fitness Association is working to have pole dancing become an Olympic sport.  Should that actually occur, there will be more than a few retired exotic dancers finding themselves casting a rueful smile over what might have been for them as Olympians.
 
By Christine Blanchette. For more by Christine, visit here at: 
www.runwithit.ca
Twitter: @christineruns
YouTube – runwithitcb1

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