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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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Explore Fund Grant-Giving Program

The North Face Announces 2015 Explore Fund Grants Open for Applications

The North Face today announced the 2015 Explore Fund grant-giving program is now open through October 31, 2015 for applications and $30,000 will be awarded to organizations this year. The Explore Fund provides grants to organizations that connect people to the outdoors in meaningful ways, with youth as the primary focus.

 

“For 2015, we are looking to identify programs that will provide experiences that nurture an enduring appreciation of the outdoors,” said Ann Krcik, Director of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face. “We want these programs to encourage people to explore and appreciate the outdoors in their favorite ways, whether that be hiking, skiing or camping – we want to be the catalyst.”

 

All grants are evaluated on the clarity of proposal, the projected impact and alignment to the spirit of adventure and exploration. Proposals that leverage collaboration and partnerships within communities are encouraged. The Explore Fund reviews grants by individual merits and as part of a balanced portfolio that includes such factors as geography, type of program funded, target audiences, and more.

 

To be considered for an Explore Fund grant, applicants must be non-profit organizations or in a formal relationship with a qualified fiscal sponsor. All applicants must fully complete the online submission process and provide the required application information.  Explore Fund grants are for one year and funding in a giving cycle does not guarantee future support.

 

As part of its mission to start a global movement of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face introduced the Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org) in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $1.5 million in grants to organizations committed to inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers and conservationists.

 

For more information and to submit an application before October 31, 2015, please visit www.explorefund.org.