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it’s origins definitely tainted the term, but it’s an outdated notion, people need to be aware of the differences between now and then, there’s a need for more information about the topic; this article will be helpful in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.

French and Middle East cuisine in Beijing


Trying some French and Middle East cuisine in Beijing. Well, the “French” restaurant is not that French: Chez Soi, see earlier post. I had again the sausages, pretty good, on 6 October.

The promised Belgian Evening on 14 October was a bit disappointing, the French (lady) chef apologized that most items were not available. We had the Mitrailette sandwich, pretty OK, but the Cocotte de Poulet was served nearly cold (not long time enough in the microwave I guess).

They are now changing their so-called Belgian Day to Saturday. Not good for me!

Meza, Middle East

I went to say hello to chef Adel in his newly opened restaurant, east of the American Embassy. Nice interior. the food was good. Planning to return to explore more of the dishes.

I love that cuisine, many of the dishes you find in many countries, Israel, Lebanon, North Africa. The funny thing is I learned about it in São Paulo (Brazil): it was considered as some fast-food, very popular at lunch time.

Japanese, hamburgers and Irish restaurants

Trying new and established restaurants in Beijing

No, I do not only eat at Morel’s Restaurant! Been trying Japanese, hamburgers and Irish restaurants in Beijing.
After a a long time back to Paddy O’Shea’s, the well-known Irish pub on Dongzhimenwai. See their website: http://paddyosheasbeijing.com/

This time to watch the Tuesday Comedy Live, pretty entertaining. Mostly full. Food is OK, not haute cuisine but lots of good beer.

Japanese in Aikiya

Aikiya Japanese Restaurant (合气屋日餐 in Chinese) is at the back of the former German restaurant on Gongti Dong Lu. Interesting decoration, very Japanese. The snacks at the door are free, must eat there. Not sure about the English name, it is a Google translation.

Food was good and price reasonable. We enjoyed!

New hamburger place

We finally made it to Shake Shack, the new hamburger joint in Taikoo Li in Sanlitun, close to the new Apple shop.

In the first weeks, often long queues, so we waited till things calmed down. Supposed to be a famous chain in USA. The hamburgers were juicy and tasty. Not really cheap. Service at the counters efficient, quick and friendly.

Cold pink soup and mooncakes

Cold pink soup

While Morel’s Restaurant and Café has a pretty standard menu over the years, cold pink soup and mooncakes were very recent surprises.

The cold soup is simply delicious, called Šaltibarščiai, or cold borscht with kefir. Lithuanian Cuisine. It is not yet on the normal menu.

Kefir or kephir, is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture. The drink originated in the North Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. It’s made by pouring milk over kefir grains, which are a cluster of bacteria and yeast. After about 24 hours, the microorganisms inside the kefir grains multiply and ferment the sugars in the milk.

Šaltibarščiai – cold pink soup
Kefir is not available everywhere, buttermilk with a little bit more lemon juice is a good alternative, or any mix of yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream. This soup is best made ahead, as it needs a few hours to develop more flavor.

  • 1 liter kefir
  • 2 medium red beets, cooked
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh dill
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 hard cooked eggs, peeled
  • 4 medium potatoes, cooked and peeled

It is one of the many recipes on the Internet. More, see:

Special mooncakes

I was a bit surprised to learn that Morel’s is making mooncakes. I checked the packing, pretty ingenious and efficient, two per box. I tasted one of the different varieties and it was a pleasant experience. The outside is not so dry and hard as the normal Chinese ones, it is a bit like croissant, the filling is soft and moist.
A new type of mooncake, approved! For sale, two pieces for RMB 28.