Pole dancing is a sport (part 2)

More about pole dancing

Yes pole dancing is a sport (part 2), see part 1 .
More about what happens in China and the history of the new sport and fitness craze.

The Way of The Pole

China’s pole dance pioneers vie for a spot on the international stage.
14 July 2013 See: https://www.theworldofchinese.com/2013/07/the-way-of-the-pole/

Cao Nao poses on a pole over the Tianjin skyline on the roof of the CPDSTC studio, where China’s pole dancers go to become pros

I quote:
The China Pole Dance Sports & Training Center located in the heart of Tianjin is where China trains its premier pole dancers. The sport is getting a lot of attention and not just because of the opportunity for lechery. When standing in a room full of  beautiful, scantily clad women, it should be made clear that it is actually a room full of beautiful, scantily-clad champions.
Though pole dancing has a reputation as more of a striptease than a sport, it is taken very seriously by a select few. Everything from the height of  the pole to the duration of the song is taken into account, and points are deducted mercilessly; a minor slip or a bent leg could cost you an entire point out of 30.

Why is Pole Dancing Sexualized?


I quote:
The reason pole dancing is sexualized is because of its western modern origins where traveling circus-like crews would mount tents with a pole in the center holding it up and women would seductively dance around the pole in order to entice the male crowd.
From there it jumped to bars and clubs where the sexualization became even more accentuated. Clubs would build stages with the intention of having women dancing and stripping to attract the male clientele.

But as more and more people started participating in the activity and the popularity of the hobby grew, different avenues started to emerge especially when the physical benefits where acknowledged.
A massive change started to occur and the notion of stripping started drifting farther and farther from simple pole dancing to take a more sportsmanlike approach.
Pole dancing evolved from its infancy stage and matured becoming more of a means to achieve fitness rather than a form of sensual entertainment.

For too long the words pole dancing has been associated with stripping because both strippers and pole dancers use a pole to perform their routines.
it’s origins definitely tainted the term, but it’s an outdated notion, people need to be aware of the differences between now and then, there’s a need for more information about the topic; this article will be helpful in putting a stop to misconceived, outdated ideas.

Hilton Hotel: pole dancing competition

As I posted on 24 November 2010:

Zeta Bar at the Hilton held one more pole dancing competition on Saturday 13 November 2010 – I had missed the first one in May. The bar was fully packed and we “did not have a seat”. Lucky us, we were sent upstairs where we ended up having the best view of all.
Some of the girls were great and “attractive”, can’t say more, my wife was there too!
I had intended to stay till midnight but the whole family decided to watch till the very end and we were back home at 2 am.
See the pictures in the original post.

The movie – Posted on 6 December 2010:

Pole dancing is a sport

A scandal

Pole dancing is a sport, not a lewd performance! I had organized a dinner in Mango for friends, all very happy with the food and the cabaret show. When most had left we saw the pole dancing show. Pictures of it in a WeChat group offended a very few – none of them were present. One can argue posting the pics was misleading and not the best idea. A storm of indignation followed. A bit like those extreme American evangelists condemning me to hell for denigrating women. Gilbert! Repent!
Those most vocal are supposed to know China. Well, it seems they have no clue and need a seminar to learn about China today.
“Cabaret dancing” as in Mango (see here about the restaurant) is very popular in China and is mostly watched by Chinese families (yes, with the kids). They also often perform in the big bath houses where there are entertainment theaters. Chinese families, with kids, watch the shows.

This is the first part to explain what is pole dancing in China, part 2 to follow.

Pole dancing, very popular and accepted

See: “Fitness & Sports Industry in China: Pole Dancing, a New Discipline in China”.
I quote:
China is interested in Pole dance, a sport that mixes gymnastics, acrobatics, and ballet. A challenging sport that combines ground and height movements, tricks (static figures) and spins (figures around the pole) demanding both strength and flexibility. The technical nature of this sport does not discourage Chinese athletes, who are more and more numerous every year to try that new discipline.
The full article, dated 15 March 2018: https://marketingtochina.com/pole-dancing-new-discipline-china/

Pole dancing in China Daily

China Daily has featured the sport several times. (Yes, it’s a lewd newspaper) Three examples.

Don’t get stuck! Pole dancers brave cold to compete
Dated 22 December 2020

A pole dancer performs at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Pole Dance Cold Competition in Mohe, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, on Dec 21, 2020. [Photo by Wang Jingyang/for chinadaily.com.cn] More pictures on China Daily website

The 2020 Pole Dance Cold Competition kicked off in China’s northernmost city of Mohe, Heilongjiang province on Monday. The six-day event has attracted 23 excellent pole dancers from the national team, the highest-level team in the country.
Despite temperatures as low as -30 C, dancers presented graceful performances at the opening ceremony.

Beijing’s first pole dancing school – China Daily
Posted on 7 February 2007
My original post: https://blog.strategy4china.com/2007/02/beijings-first-pole-dancing-school-all-thanks-to-china-daily/
Belly dancing is old-fashioned. Now, make way to pole dancing. All according to China Daily’s website. See: https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-01/31/content_797715.htm

The original article quoted by China Daily: “Chinese cautiously pole dance their way to fitness”
See https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-poledancing-idUSPEK16567320070130

“A dance instructor shows a move to students at Roland pole dancing school in Beijing in this December 9, 2006 file photo. Treadmills are run-of-the-mill — Luo Lan wants the Chinese masses to pole dance instead. [Reuters]”

Pole-dancing a hit in Beijing
My original post: https://blog.strategy4china.com/2008/12/pole-dancing-a-hit-in-beijing/
Posted on 7 December 2008
According to China Daily, nothing to do with seedy strip clubs, like erotic dancers walk on stage, take off their clothes and their moves on the pole are quite suggestive.

After the craze with belly-dancing, pole-dancing is in and at least one center is offering lessons (Royal Sound International Dancing Center).
The original article: “Poles apart from seedy image – 6 December 2008”

Pole sports – Wikipedia

I quote:
Pole sports, or poling, merges dance and acrobatics using a vertical metal pole. Athletes climb up, spin from, hang off, flip onto, jump off, and invert on poles. Poling requires agility, strength, balance, endurance, and flexibility. Pole-sports athletes include men and women of a variety of ages and physical abilities, including para-athletes, who perform alone or with others (for example, in doubles competitions).

Poling developed into a fitness activity and sport during the 1990s and 2000s, with national and international pole competitions. Poling has become a dance, fitness activity and sport, and continues to evolve. The International Pole Sports Federation is endeavoring to make poling an Olympic sport. The federation has held world championships since 2012, and poling was one of seven sports granted observer status by the Global Association of International Sports Federations in 2017.
Professional pole-sports leagues have been formed. The Pole Championship Series holds its annual championship at the Arnold Sports Festival.

Poling involves technique as well as artistry. In a pole competition, each athlete performs a routine to music. Athletes are judged on their ability to perform complex movements (e.g. spins and strength and flexibility poses), choreography, style, and expressiveness. Poles in pole-sports competitions are brass, 45 mm in diameter, with 4 m of usable height. In competition, athletes use a static (non-spinning) pole and a spinning pole. Their skin helps performers grip the slippery poles, and athletes wear clothing which exposes the skin on their shoulders, waist, arms and legs The Federation requires competitors to cover their pelvis, gluteal muscles and (for women) breasts. When using Chinese poles (which differ from Federation poles), thicker clothing protects the body.

Dinner and show in Mango Restaurant

Mango Restaurant and Club

On 22 June 2021 I organized for some friends a dinner and show in Mango Restaurant. See my previous post about Mango: https://www.beijing1980.com/2021/06/15/mango-restaurant-and-club/
I prepared the menu and drinks and I think everybody was pretty happy. Very reasonable price!

The show that started 8:30 pm was well received! I had never seen the pole dancing as it comes much later, well after 10 pm, this time a few of us were still there and we could watch it. Pole dancing is now very popular in China and is considered as a new workout, with many gyms organizing lessons. Years ago I was in the Hilton Hotel where I watched a pole dancing competition. It is certainly not easy and requires dexterity and a flexible body! At one point belly dancing also became very popular, even our daughter took part in it in the gym. Others prefer flamenco,  salsa, tango and other dances. Often just as a pleasant way to exercise. Sadly many people look at it as “sexy stuff”. Chinese don’t. In Mango many families with kids come to watch the shows…

Our musicians

I could organize the floor for our two musician friends. Great performance by Kevin and Brian, real professionals. It took some work to get them wired but they brought most of the equipment so, all went perfect. They got an extra pizza to reward them.

See a few short clips of our musicians and of the late-night pole dancing. Need VPN in China to access Vimeo.

2021 Year of the Ox

Chinese zodiac

Learn here some details and background about 2021 Year of the Ox.
This overview is a compilation from multiple sources.
The name ‘Spring Festival’ (春节 Chūnjié)  is actually quite modern: it’s from 1912, when the Republic of China adopted the Gregorian calendar. The old name for the lunar new year (Yuan Dan 元旦 Yuándàn) was re-appropriated for January 1st and Sun Yatsen came up with the term Spring Festival for the Lunar New Year.

The 12-year Chinese zodiac determines which dates and years are auspicious or unlucky. Each lunar cycle has 60 years divided into 12 smaller cycles, each of which is represented by one of the following animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
The Year of Your Animal Sign Is Not Your Lucky Year.
See here my “wishes” for 2021:


2021 is the Year of the Ox according to Chinese zodiac. This is a Year of Metal Ox, starting from Feb. 12, 2021 (Chinese New Year) and lasting to Jan. 31, 2022. Ox is the second in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac sign. Years of the Ox include 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033…

And Oxen are…

Oxen used to be capable farming tools in an agricultural society, which attach to the symbol of diligence, persistence, and honesty. In Chinese culture, Ox is a faithful friend that made great contributions to the development of the society. Like the ox, people born in the Year of the Ox are industrious, cautious, hold their faith firmly, and always glad to offer help.

It is said that Ox ranks the second among the Chinese zodiacs because it helped the Rat but was later tricked by it. The myth goes that the Jade Emperor declared the order of zodiac signs would be based on the arrival orders of 12 animals. Ox could have arrived the first but it kindly gave a ride to Rat. However, when arriving, Rat just jumped to the terminus ahead of Ox, and thus Ox lost the first place.

With the dwindling birth rate in China, the Year of the Ox could be worse… See below why!
The 2021 Ox is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支 / dì zhī) Chǒu (丑). In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳 / yīn yáng), the Ox is Yang.

  • Earthly Branch of Birth Year: Chou
  • Wu Xing (The Five Elements): Tu (Earth)
  • Yin Yang: Yin

Is it ox, cow, bull, buffalo or…

Ox (牛  Niú)
The main difference between Bull and Ox is that the Bull is a male individual of cattle and Ox is a common bovine draft animal. A bull is a not castrated adult male. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration makes the animals easier to control. Bad for birth rate!!!
In Chinese the character for cow and ox are the same.

Water buffalo (水牛 Shuǐniú)
The buffalo is the second animal symbol in the 12-year cycle of the Vietnamese zodiac, taking the place of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac. Water buffalo are industrious and patient.
The water buffalo, also called domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo is a large bovid originating in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and China.
The domesticated water buffalo is the “living tractor of the East”. There are two types, river and swamp, each considered a subspecies. The breed was selected mainly for its milk, which contains 8 percent butterfat. Swamp buffalo more closely resemble wild water buffalo and are used as draft animals in rice paddies throughout Southeast Asia. Children ride them to their wallows after their labours and clean their faces and ears.

English Didi app is resurrected

Confusing for sure

After my warnings about the app on the iPhone, the app finally crashed. But now the English Didi app is resurrected. See the earlier post: Didi app disappeared from App Stores, https://www.beijing1980.com/2019/05/15/didi-app-disappeared-from-app-stores/

The Didi people had made warnings that the app needed an update and it would not work anymore at some point.
It continued however to work pretty well while requests for “updating” always failed.
That stopped late last year with an update for the iOS. The app remained on my screen but could not be opened. Luckily I did not delete it on my iPhone.

The app was still on the ‘purchased list on my Belgian Apple store but the app itself had disappeared. All the more confusing as the store has a Didi Driver app, to recruit drivers.
As I used Didi regularly I tried other channels:

– through the Alipay app: problem, all in Chinese. Then it also did not to work well for me, getting strange error codes like “bad pol id”. Ugh… Selecting a more expensive ride than seemed to work but without the easy use of the original English Didi app;
– through WeChat: also a bit complicated to find it and to navigate when using it. Again without the easy use of the original English Didi app. (screenshots added 21 Feb 21)

I looked into other services but missed the Didi app. And while the app was “dead” I continued to receive promotion messages…

Out of the blue

Then a few days ago suddenly there was a new message with Didi news. When I clicked, I could not believe: the app was working again without an update from the Apple Store!
I had to try several times to convince me, yes, it was working indeed.

Finding the version of the app is a challenge. It is difficult to locate and even more difficult to read. With some photo enhancing, see finally the version I have: V5.2.51.
How they did it, no idea but I am happy again!