Tokyoites are no virgin brides; we know a good pole dance when we see one.
Or we thought we did, until the International Pole Championship rolled into town last year and took our brains for a ride. Packed to the rafters of Shinjuku’s cavernous Christon Cafe, aficionados and laymen alike were wowed by cowgirls, brides, monks, wild Amazon natives and other masters of the pole. From sultry numbers that would make a Roppongi stripper jealous to exotic acrobatic feats you’d expect of Cirque du Soleil candidates, it was definitely not the child’s play found in any red light district. This was some serious schooling in gymnastics. But sexier!
And as incredibly disappointed as I am that I won’t make it this year, I’m here to spread the word about the International Poledance Championship 2010, run by the lovely Ania Przeplasko of the International Pole Dance Fitness Association. The biggest pole dance event ever, this year’s competition will see representatives from 21 countries work the pole to its limit, including last year’s champions Mai Sato and Dave Kahl (pictured above). As a testament to how popular pole dancing has become (as if it wasn’t popular before!), the venue has been upgraded to the plush JCB Hall, ensuring everyone gets a great view of the acrobatic action on stage.
Jake helped judge the 2009 competition, but I see he’s relinquished the coveted position in order to spare competitors his harsh judgment of inner thigh gripping strength.
And because pictures speak louder than words, here’s some scenes from last year’s competition, including Mai’s breathtaking performance.
International Pole Championship
JCB Hall, Meets Port, Tokyo Dome
9 December 2010
Featuring two world-firsts: First ʻDisabled Divisionʼ and the first time National Champions from around the world will compete for the title ʻUltimate Pole Championʼ
Don’t forget to check out their workshops!
Memo from Jake: Ania Przeplasko has been a close friend for years, and even took the photos for the cover of Tokyo Vice on a pro bono basis. So of course, I’m totally biased in praising the event, but last year it was awesome and this year I suspect will be even better. And I don’t even like watching modern dance! They have an awesome line-up this year. V. Lea from Hong Kong, when she’s working the silk-ropes, makes Spider-man look clumsy. Sexy fun for the whole family–as long as the whole family is over 18.
6 thoughts on “Brush up on your pole positions at the International Pole Championship”
that’s some next level stripper stuff!
It’s way beyond strip club level. It’s still sexy with x-factor but the clothes stay on and the dancing is way hotter. Because people are watching the dance, not just the dancer or her body parts. It’s an art form and a sport (that’s way there are two divisions). The level of fitness required is mind boggling.
I just found pole dancing instructional apps for iPod touch/iPhone by Pocket Pole Studios. There is a free lite version, a full version for USD 9.99, and a streaming version for USD 2.99. The star in the paid version is the “Felix Cane Miss Pole Dance World 2009”
I’m going to check out the free version, as it sounds like good exercise, and fun too.
Ganbatte ne, Jake-san. Atarashii hon kakiteimasu ka? Shitsurei shimasu, kono keitai Nihongo wo kakiraremasen. (Baka BlackBerry – tsugina keitai suru tsumori Android de aru yo.) Ki wo tsukete, ne.
Thanks for the tip! I’ll give it a try. I’m sure I’ll hurt myself. 😀
Rad, looks like an fun show.
I feel the same way about most modern dance stuff but after seeing Cirque du Soleil I’ve been a bit jealous of people capable of such (sexy) acrobatic exhibitions.
If only I were in Tokyo again.
I’ve always been the same towards modern dance (enough jazz hands, please!!) but Cirque du Soleil was certainly a different beast. One of the best theatrical experiences I can remember!
…along with last year’s pole competition. 😉