World's Top Pole Dance Competitions
Pole dancing, a sensual form of solo dancing that involves the use of a fixed vertical pole as a prop, has become popular as a form of exercise and entertainment. The art has also gained popularity as a sport as a wide array of amateur and professional competitions are being held for pole dancing in many countries around the world. These competitive pole dancing competitions are performed in a nonprurient manner so as to focus more on pole dancing as an artistic and athletic form of dance and exercise. Two of the most renowned pole dance competitions—the International Pole Championship and the US Pole Dance Federation Championship—have set their own criteria as to how to award the winners.
Yorkshire Pole Championship
The competition is open to all UK pole schools, not just those in Yorkshire.
Midland Pole Championship
The Midlands Pole Championships is held at Festival Hall in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottingham.
Miss Pole Dance UK
Miss Pole Dance UK represents the very best in pole sport fitness and entertainment and has become the most prestigious pole dance and fitness event in the UK
British Pole Superstar Competition
Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn
The International Pole Championship is an annual competition organized by the International Pole Dance Fitness Association, which is founded by the well-known performer and instructor Ania (Anna) Przeplasko. The championship is known to credit its winners solely for their trick techniques, dance skills, and overall showmanship. It is also known as the only pole dancing competition that is open to both men and women and, also, to the disabled. The International Pole Championship is divided into two categories: the Pole Fit category, which focuses on the routine's fitness aspect, and the Pole Art category, which focuses on the routine's artistic aspect. In Pole Fit, the contestants are judged mainly on the technical difficulty and execution of the tricks. On the other hand, in Pole Art, the contestants garner higher points for the originality and choreography of the pole dance routine. The maximum amount of points is usually awarded to those whose performances are well executed and whose moves and tricks are in-sync with the music. Clear, precise, and relevant movements, as well as smooth and orderly transitions, are also granted with higher points. The judges also recognize competitors who exude a great amount of confidence, with stress placed on enthusiasm, energy, and strong stage presence. Furthermore, performances with creative openings and endings also receive high scores.
The US Pole Dance Federation Championship, founded in 2008 by Anna Grundstrom and Wendy Traskos, is the first organization in the United States to host competitions for professional pole dancing based on fair judging. The competition is divided into two rounds: a compulsory routine and an optional routine. For both rounds, contestants are scored by the judges based on a 10.0 scale, and whoever garners the highest number of points for both rounds combined wins the competition. The judges of the US Pole Dance Federation Championship, who mostly have extensive backgrounds in the fields of fitness, gymnastics, aerial work, and professional dance and choreography, grade the competitors based on their flexibility, coordination, fluidity, individual style, creativity, and physical strength.
Aside from the International Pole Championship and the US Pole Dance Federation Championship, there is still a long list of local and international pole dance competitions that are held worldwide. Some of these are the World Pole Dance Championship, the European Pole Dance Champion Competition, the Miss Pole Dance Australia, and so on. Currently, a group of practitioners are also pushing the idea of including pole dancing in the 2016 Olympics. However, the issue of whether pole dancing can be recognized as an Olympic sport is still subject to discussion and debate.