May 14, 2012 07:35
With people practicing it in 50 countries and forces at work lobbying to include it as an official event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, pole dancing is also now enjoying growing popularity in Korea.
Due to its traditional association with strippers and seedy clubs, pole dancing has not been widely accepted by the public as a form of fitness. But with a growing awareness of its effectiveness as a form of exercise, it is now gaining considerable attention.
Yoon Bo-hyun is the head of Pole Dance Korea - Pinup Star, which first brought the exercise into Korea. "We have seen growing interest, and more and more people are viewing pole dancing as a sport rather than a provocative form of dance," Yoon said.
A former belly dance instructor, she came into contact with pole dancing while visiting the U.S. in 2008 and was soon won over by its combination of dance moves and gymnastics. She launched her dance studio one year later and started spreading awareness of its fitness benefits by appearing on TV.
Pole dancing offers both aerobic and muscle training exercises in one package and focuses on the use of the arms, abdomen, back and chest muscles. "Doing it for 15 to 20 minutes requires the same amount of energy as running for an hour, so it is very effective in getting rid of fat over a short period of time," Yoon said.
"It takes just two to three months to learn the basics and you can perform most of the techniques before long," Yoon said.
"Pole dancing championships are held in other countries so I think there is a lot of growth potential here," she said. "If Korea ever forms a national team for the Olympics, I would love to coach it."
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