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:
Twitter: @christineruns
YouTube – runwithitcb1


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G Adventures' World Tourism Day Event Recap

Toronto-based travel company, G Adventures celebrated World Tourism Day 2016 at District 28 with a party fit for world travelers and, gave an exciting sneak preview of what travel enthusiasts can look forward to in 2017. World Tourism Day is a United Nations established event aimed at raising awareness of responsible, sustainable and accessible tourism, and is held every year on September 27. Here's a highlight of what G Adventures' had in store for the wanderlust crowd: This room was described to me "like being on the runway going somewhere new..." the giant room-sized wrap-around screen featured footage from different locations, exotic imagery and scenic landscapes for a stimulating immersive experience. Another room offered a more personal immersive experience with VR headsets, giving viewers a chance to experience India in 360 degrees. The hallway to these rooms were lined with vibrant artwork highlighting some of the G Adventure destinations. Oh, the food and the drinks! Each of the rooms had their own food or drink station to ensure the travelers were well nourished with some of the yummiest cross-cultural snacks like the jerk-shrimp shown here and the pulled pork with slices of pork belly (which was gobbled up before a shot could be taken).  <<pic>> The "takeaway" of the night was a friendship bracelet from the most epic wall of friendship bracelets I've ever seen! <<pics>> And the part everyone was waiting for...Founder of G Adventures, Bruce Poon Tip, gave a presentation on the positive impacts of tourism in improving local communities, and highlighted some of their Planeterra Foundation projects such as:
  • Oodles Of Noodles – a partnership with STREETS International, a hospitality-training program that works with at-risk youth in in Hoi An, Vietnam.
  • Café Chloe – a project with local, Aboriginal-owned tour operator Ingan Tours in transforming a local train station into a training centre for youth in Tully, North Queensland, Austrailia.
  • Belize Bikes With Purpose – working with the first community high school in Caye Caulker, Belize, in developing a student-led bicycle tour which significantly raised student enrolment in the schools.
For more information about Planeterra’s projects, visit The big announcement of the night was G Adventures’ newest partnership with Jane Goodall! Yes, THE Dr. Jane Goodall, primate expert and animal welfare advocate! “Travel opens one’s eyes to the glorious diversity of cultures and wildlife in different parts of the world. And hopefully the traveler will return with an understanding of the urgent needs to protect our beautiful planet, before it is too late.” You can watch her full message here Jane also formally gave her support to the G Adventures Animal Welfare Policy which ensures the protection of all animals in all of the 650 trips they offer. “It’s an honour to work with Dr. Jane Goodall, but more importantly to continue her legacy by helping raise awareness of her work with our travellers.”  In 2017, G Adventures will offer the Jane Goodall Collection of wildlife-focused tours, which also aligns with UN’s Year of Sustainable Tourism. G Adventures will also be offering Travel Better, a 30-minute online training course developed with Sustainable Travel International by giving tips to travellers on how to travel the world in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. Tips cover the initial trip planning and preparation stage, to onsite travel and even how to continue making positive impact upon returning home.  Upon completion of the course, participants not only get a certificate to show for their commitment to sustainable and responsible travel, but will get access to Sustainable Travel International’s Travel Better Club perks! And for those who want to know their new travel package offerings in 2017:
  • Experience Borneo (part of the Jane Goodall Collection) – In Sungai Kinabatangan travellers will take a river safari in search of wildlife and visit the nearby oxbow lake with a professional guide to seek out proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, macaques, and gibbons. In Sepilok they will enjoy an afternoon visit to the orangutan rehabilitation centre. There’s also the opportunity to travel to Libaran Island by boat to have a guided tour of the island's turtle hatchery and learn about the turtle conservation program.
  • Cambodian Water Festival & Longboat Race (for all you paddlers out there!) – Held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, guests will not only attend the festival but will get the chance to join a longboat crew and take part in the race itself!
  • Serengeti Half Marathon Experience (for all you marathoners out there!) – Not just a destination race, but one where you might get to see the Big Five as well!
  • Jamaican Reggae Sumfest Experience
  • La Tomatina Festival in Buñol, Spain
  My favourite part of the G Adventures event was that it was packed full of international in Chief Experience Officers, the enthusiastic people who are from the different countries that lead the G Adventures tours! <<pic>> Big thanks to: Marina from Thailand who warmly greeted me and gave me a grand tour of the place when I arrived earlier that evening! <<pic>> Deybi from Peru who talked to me about all the different activities in Peru… <<pic>> And what I took as a sign from the travel gods was meeting Jose from The Galapagos as I've been thinking of planning a trip out there soon! (Jose, if you're reading this, thank you for putting up with my excessive gushing over the wildlife in the Galapagos and for answering all my questions about the cute lizards and seals and oh dear, it's happening again...I will visit you soon Galapagos!) If the travel bug didn't get you yet, it'll definitely get you at this event! Thanks G Adventures for the fun evening filled with endless travel inspiration!