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The Power of the Pole

By: Isabella Kristianne M. Angan April 24,2019 - 09:00 AM

Image by Alexandr Ivanoc from Pixabay

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Pole dancing has a reputation that is quite different from other sports like swimming and gymnastics.

But the reason why it’s so different is the same reason that makes it stand out.

When pole dancers post pictures of their flawless poses, no one sees the sweat that they shed and the muscle pain that they endure the morning after an intense session.

But the sweat and pain are not enough to stop the growth of the pole dancing community in Cebu.

It started in Gold’s Gym in J Centre Cebu in 2012, and has now branched out to become the Pole Sphinx Cebu in Lahug, Cebu City, and the Fit & Fab Pole Fitness in Lapu-Lapu City.


READ MORE: Mom’s journey leads to pole dance, fitness studio

Addressing the “pole stigma”

Pole dancing is an exercise that puts every muscle of the body at work.

It involves strength as the dancer climbs and holds on a metal pole while supporting the entire body weight to perform a series of tricks.

Pole dancing originated in India and China as an aerobic sport. 

But ever since the adult-entertainment clubs adopted this distinct style of expression, pole dancing has not been seen as a sport to many people.

Some Filipinos may raise their eyebrows at the thought of “baring it all” while pole dancing.

This is why Phil Infantado, pole dancing instructor of 6 years and owner of Pole Sphinx Cebu, sees the need to share why they wear “less” clothing during fitness sessions.

Phil says pole dancing has been “sexualized” because of what they wear to train for the sport.

But he clarifies that pole fitness enthusiasts have to wear less clothing during sessions because they slide down the pole if they wear full-body clothing.

Phil says there are more women enrolled in pole dancing classes than men. 

But this did not stop Jessbert Ytac, a pole dancing enthusiast of five years, from emerging as the champion of the professional men’s division in the Asia-Pacific Pole Competition in Singapore held last March 2019. 

Pole dancing is a sport for all ages. | CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / Pole Sphinx Cebu

Benefits of pole dancing

Contrary to common perception, pole dancing is a sport for individuals of all ages.

It is an experience that does not pick a body. It is for everyone – young, old, and all the ages in between.

The majority of Phil’s students are young professionals, but he also experienced having students between the ages of six and 60 years old.

“Aside from [the fact that] it tones your body and muscle building, it enhances flexibility, and sometimes fertility,” says Phil, when asked about the health benefits of pole dancing.

Unlike gymnastics and karate, pole dancers do not need to train every day.

He says it is even rare for students to train for a whole hour on the pole because they need to rest every now and then.

The beauty of pole dancing is in its contrast; it is vulnerable, yet empowering, to express one’s self in this sport. It takes courage to strip off your literal and figurative inhibitions though to face the pole.

But when you eliminate fear from the equation, you might just find yourself free to embrace whatever comes your way. / celr

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TAGS: health and wellness

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