Ms Joanna Littlewood-Johnson was a grand finalist at the International Pole Championships
By Tara Morrell
There is no doubt that pole dancing requires hard work and dedication to master, but is it enough to be an Olympic sport?
The International Pole Dancing Fitness Association (IPDFA) is attempting to rebrand pole dancing into a fitness program in the hope it will some day be an Olympic sport.
During the 2012 London Olympics, the first International Pole Championships were held and one of the grand finalists was Ms. Joanna Littlewood-Johnson from Core Fusion Studios in Southern River.
On pole dancing in the Olympics, Joanna said that the IPDFA is heading in the right direction by creating a system that is consistent with the Olympics which includes judging criteria, outfits and different age groups.
But pole dancing faces a major problem winning recognition because of its sexual connotations.
“The people that are pushing for the Olympics are heading for a sporty direction,” said Joanna, adding specific moves have been banned from competitions.
A second issue associated with the sometime negative reviews pole dancing receives is whether it’s appropriate for young people to participate in.
Mrs Lydia Marks, a mother of two, learned pole dancing as a way to lose weight.
“I still don’t think kids should be allowed to pole dance because it’s just not right seeing them dancing in such a manner,” she said.
Joanna Littlewood-Johnson says pole dancing is suitable for young people as long as it is taught as fitness.
“It’s the adults who give their own connotations. The children don’t understand that.”
She said although it’s not a bad thing to have pole dancing as an Olympic sport, she has yet make a decision on the issue.
“Pole dancing is an art and a sport that requires hard work just as any other Olympic sport so it’s definitely worthy as being acknowledged as just that,” she said.