Pole dancing is a full-body workout. It is resistance training and cardio in one. Flexibility is improved as well. Pole dancers perform acrobatic tricks either suspending their weight or propelling it around a metal pole. The simple act of climbing a pole is an incredible display of strength. It is no surprise, then, that most pole dancers insist they have never looked or felt better. Natasha Wang is a world champion pole dancer who didn’t even start until age 29. Greta Pontarelli is a champion pole dancer at age 63—and she only began a few years ago.
I am still surprised that people don't understand this concept. In order for skin to grip the pole, pole dancers must have their legs, arms and stomach exposed. This is a safety concern. There are some grounded spins, poses, and floor work that can be performed while wearing pants. But in order to perform more advanced moves, we must have the proper amount of skin exposure. Most pole dancers do not have an issue with this at all, since our focus turns away from what our bodies look like and onto what they can do.
Pole dance requires significant muscular endurance and coordination (as well as sensuality, in exotic dancing). Today, pole performances by exotic dancers range from basic spins and striptease in more intimate clubs, to athletic moves such as climbs and body inversions in the "stage heavy" clubs of Las Vegas and Miami. Dancer Remy Redd at the King of Diamonds, for example, is famous for flipping herself upside down into a split and hanging from the ceiling. Pole dance requires significant strength and flexibility. Upper body and core strength are required to attain proficiency, proper instruction, and rigorous training is necessary. Since the mid 2000s, promoters of pole dance fitness competitions have been trying to change peoples' perception of pole dance to include pole fitness as a non-sexual form of dance and acrobatics, and are trying to move pole into the Olympics as pole sports.