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.
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.