Sliding up and down a golden glory pole : pole dancing and the Olympic Games / Charlene Weaving

Weaving, Charlene

In October 2017, after an 11-year-old battle, the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) classified pole dancing as a professional sport. In this essay, the author argues that pole dancing should not be included in the Olympic program despite the GAISF recognizing this activity as a professional sport. Such potential inclusion contributes to an existing and extensive institutionalized culture of sexism and hypersexualization at the Olympic Games. Drawing on existing research on pole dancing and embodiment, he argues that even though pole sport requires athletic skill and ability, it should not become an Olympic event. His overall argument is grounded in the hypersexualized context of pole dance and pole sport, and he demonstrates that we cannot divorce pole sport from the stripping culture of exotic and erotic sexual connotations.

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