It just needs to find the sweet spot between between dark and dirty deeds sometimes performed bottomless in a less-than-sanitary club and standardized athletic competition.
Shouldn’t be hard.
An article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend detailed the International Pole Sports Federation’s effort to formalize the names of dance moves so that, one day soon, the Olympics will welcome the sport with open
That’s what pole dancers usually call the maneuver Liza Szabo worked into her routine at the contest held here in July—a move that evokes a chicken splayed for roasting. But the old name wouldn’t do for this venue.
Here, her move was officially the “FM10,” and for good reason: The meet’s organizers want to reform pole dancing into a sport respectable enough to go to the Olympics.
Among those moves: FM6, a horizontal split with extended legs (“Chopsticks,” to traditionalists) and SM7, in which the performer lies belly-up while gripping the pole (elsewhere sometimes called “Jump to Table Top”).
Stern-looking judges scored performers like Ms. Szabo, who was trying to hew to the rules with her FM10 move. Holding torso perpendicular to the pole with outstretched arms, the 43-year-old pole-dancing-and-fitness instructor from Budapest spread her legs into a vertical split and paused.
“They’ll most likely deduct for that,” she said after she climbed down from the stage. “It was a bit sloppy.”
Sloppy— that’s how most of us prefer our strippers – ahem, serious athletes – but, like American Express, that would be unacceptable at the Olympics. Gotta keep it clean:
The Olympic ambience fits the image that KT Coates, 36, president of the pole-sport federation, wants to project. The federation eventually wants to ask the International Olympic Committee to add pole dancing as an official sport, she said, and the new rules should help by making competition conform to standards set for Olympic gymnastics.
Ms. Coates, of Hertfordshire, England, said she hopes to persuade an official athletic body to recognize pole dancing as a sport—the first step toward consideration for the Olympics.
The idea of Olympic pole dancing “is one of those pretty regular stories by sports and pastimes wanting to join,” said IOC Spokesman Mark Adams. A sport must meet criteria for matters such as gender balance, geographical spread and governance, he said. “They first have to become a recognized sport and then there is a long process to be gone through before they can take part in the process.”
And that’s something that keeps IPSF members up
all night long at night. They are determined to turn an activity most closely associated with picking up folded dollar bills with one’s labia into a sport that is preceded by a Bob Costas poem on the networks of NBC. Tonight, Ryan Lochte tries to overcome a horrific effort in the 100m breaststroke. But that’s later. Up next is the pole dancing semis, where American sensation Starlight tries to bounce back from a disappointing performance in the Mrs. Officer round. She’ll seek upend Russian heartthrob Alana Spreadamicootlips, the prohibitive favorite to win gold and ruin marriages across the globe, as competitors dance exclusively to Def Leppard songs. Let’s send it over to Mike Emrick and Mary Carillo at “The Cave.” Doc?