Pole-Dancing Is Now Recognized As An Official International Sport

by Cassandra Stone
Pole Dancing Is Now Officially Recognized As An International Sport: Female dancer holding herself u...

You may even see pole-dancing in the Olympics one day

Apologies to all the pearl-clutching critics out there — especially after the Halftime Show Gasps Heard Round The World — but pole-dancing has been officially recognized as a sport. The Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) has granted the International Pole Sports Federation official “observer status,” which recognizes and legitimizes it as a sport.

The GAISF is an umbrella organization that houses all Olympic and non-Olympic sports federations, so there is actually a valid possibility that we could see pole-dancing in the Olympics someday. And why not? The amount of strength and agility one needs to successfully perform on a pole is no different than what any athlete is expected to master in their sport of choice.

“Pole Sports requires great physical and mental exertion; strength and endurance are required to lift, hold, and spin the body,” says the GAISF in a statement. “A high degree of flexibility is needed to contort, pose, demonstrate lines, and execute techniques.”

The president of the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF), Katie Coates, posted the delightful news on her Instagram account yesterday. “Getting pole recognized has been something I’ve been working on daily for the last 12 years,” she captions the post. “People said it would never happen but as always I never listened…the @ipsfpolesports are closer still! Thanks to everyone that supports us, without you we wouldn’t be where we are today!”

Jennifer Lopez showed the world that she’s a pro on the Pole earlier this week during the Superbowl halftime show. But even J.Lo, who’s been dancing pretty much her entire life, had to learn how to do it for her role in the critically-acclaimed movie Hustlers — and it wasn’t easy.

In a news release, the IPSF says that to move beyond “observer status” they need to be able to show the world that pole-dancing is a sport. “We need your help In order for Pole to grow we need to showcase our sport and its athletes to the greater sporting community and the International media in China in 2020,” the release states. “Think how Surfing, Skateboarding and Sport Climbing did it. All of them funky, exciting and alternative, all of them attractive to those wishing to reignite their passion for a healthy lifestyle.”

The IPSF, which is based in the UK, says they need approximately £10,000 to “take our community to the next step in cementing Pole as a sport to be reckoned with.”

You can donate directly to the sport’s GoFund Me to meet the March 1st deadline.