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Pole dancing's Olympic goal
By EMMA BEER
Some people may still associate
pole dancing with strip clubs, but
the sport has become fashionable
and there is even talk of it becom-
ing part of the Olympics.
Shirley Jones, who owns The
Studio in Edward St, central Wel-
lington, said people s views were
starting to change.
People still think it s about
stripping. But it s about having
There had been talk in the
international pole dancing com-
munity about it becoming an
Olympic sport, she said.
It s vertical aerial dancing. It s
balletic, it s aerobatic. It would
probably need to be in the gym-
Ms Jones said while New Zea-
land had many talented dancers,
it might not be able to crack the
international competition just yet.
included women who had trained
in Russian gymnastics, and they
eclipse anyone , Jones said.
Even if pole dancing was named
as an Olympic sport, it would be a
while before people accepted it.
It will take time because there
is still the stigma of the sex indus-
try. Many of the top women had
come through from the strip clubs,
but that was changing.
More were now coming from
disciplines such as circus acro-
batics, gymnastics and ballet.
Learning to use the pole prop-
erly requires training because
there is an element of danger
Ms Jones said injuries she had
seen included broken toes, broken
ribs, and even carpal tunnel in a
woman s wrist from using an
incorrect hand grip.
If you re not taught properly
it s even worse.
After attending her first class
three-and-a-half years ago, Ms
Jones was hooked on what she
described as a fun and full-on
I ve heard it referred to as
pilates on crack .
The pole workout uses almost
every muscle in your body.
You strengthen, tone, and
build confidence from doing some-
thing really crazy, Ms Jones said.
Static holds and strengthening
exercises tone everywhere and
help build strong, lean muscles.
We ve always marketed it as a
phenomenal resistance workout.
Although the professionals
make it look easy, it actually
requires a huge amount of effort.
Being able to hold your own
weight while hanging off a bar
helped created deep inner confi-
dence , Ms Jones said.
[We say] measure your tiny
successes. You see girls who get
something and they get that silly
grin on their face. That confidence
can transition to your daily life.
Because pole fitness focuses on
muscles and strength, it was great
for all shapes and sizes and Ms
Jones encouraged larger women to
come along, too.
While many of her students
were females, Jones said she was
getting more interest from males.
It also appealed to a wide range of
people, from yoga teachers to
gymnasts to data analysts.
There s no exotic dancers in
this [advanced] class.
With teachers breaking down
the moves, everyone could achieve
The word can t suffers five
press-ups as punishment in my
class. And non-pointing toes.
Council's new parking charges slammed
By FRANCES COOK
A group of Wellington retirees
may have to forgo their tradition
of fortnightly dinners because of
changes to parking prices.
Proposed parking changes have
provoked an outcry from locals
and businesses, who say the
changes will drive people out of
Wellington s CBD.
Wellington City Council intends
to increase parking rates from $4
to $5 an hour and extend the
hours charges apply to into the
Ron Turner of Johnsonville said
his group had met for years and
years for dinner and tried to cut
costs by using coupons. Parking
increases would overstretch their
already tight budgets and might
mean the end of the tradition.
An extra $10 and it might be
just as easy to stay home and have
beans on toast, Mr Turner said.
It s a very short-sighted view
[the council s] . . . It will stop
people coming into the city and
spending money in the shops.
It would be very disappointing
to lose that opportunity to dine
out with friends.
Mr Turner said the council
should change its focus to practi-
cal measures, such as improved
parking, rather than modern art
installations, which, he said, did
not do much for the city.
Restaurant Association of New
Zealand spokesman Mike Egan
said Mr Turner s story would be a
Mr Egan, the Wellington
branch president, said extending
the two-hour time limit until late
in the evening meant long social
activities, such as dinner and a
movie, would become difficult.
Similar parking changes had
been tried internationally in cities
such as Texas and Seattle, but
were reversed because of the
negative effects on businesses.
The New Zealand Retailers
Association has also slammed the
changes, describing them as a
totally unacceptable social exper-
iment that would kill the Welling-
ton retail community.
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