The popularity of pole dancing has exploded in recent years and with this explosion has come two seemingly distinct groups: those who consider pole dance an art form and those who consider it a sport. As with many similar questions, the answer isn’t always a simple one.

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Take a look at this video from Karo Swen. There is no doubt when you watch her perform that she is using pole dance as an expressive art form. And we as an audience are immersed in an art piece when we view it. With that being said, pole dance as a sport has also been gaining ground in recent years, with even calls for it to be included in the Olympics. And pole fitness classes specifically aimed at giving people the fitness benefits of pole dance are popping up in most towns and cities.

It seems as though pole dance is actually both an art and a sport, but that there are two distinct camps that are springing up. As the years go on and the pole dance performers and the pole dance athletes further develop their skills, it may be that pole dance will stop being one thing and will instead become two completely separate disciplines.

If you are interested in taking part in pole dancing, either as an art form or a sport, there are lots of opportunities for you to get involved. Many studios offer beginner or mixed abilities classes for you to hone your skills. You often don’t need a lot to get started beyond turning up, but there are some bits and pieces of equipment that can help (such as gloves or spray to keep your hands dry). Check out the pole dance section on our guide to dance equipment if you want to pick up some things to get prepared. Or this article on dance poles if you are a looking to buy one for your home or studio.

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