Pole dancer competes

Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

The sport and art of pole dancing

A competitor performs a complicated maneuver on Nov. 10 while participating in the annual World Pole Dancing Championship held at the Volkshaus in Zurich, Switzerland.

 

The world's finest pole dancing athletes hailing from more than 26 countries gathered in the Swiss city to showcase their physical strength, artistry and stamina, as they competed for the 2012 World Pole Dance Champion title.
 
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Pole dancer competes

Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Flirting with the judges

A male pole dancer makes eye contact with the audience and judges during his routine at the World Pole Dancing Championship.

 

The public perception of pole dancing has changed in recent years, thanks in part to the inception of the World Pole Dance organization, which was created to advance the status of pole dancing as a competitive sport.

 

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Pole dancer competes

Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Harder than it looks

A competitor strike a pose near the top of the pole at the World Pole Dancing Championship.

 

In addition to hosting the annual championships, the World Pole Dance organization offers a unified set of rules and standards to ensure safe classes and equipment for everyone interested in the sport.

 

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Pole dancer competes

Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Serious muscles

A red-haired competitor balances vertically on the pole without using her hands during her routine at the World Pole Dancing Championship.

 

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Pole dancers compete

Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Team work

A pair of competitors balance each other on the pole during a duet routine at the World Pole Dancing Championship.

 

Competitors can compete for several different titles: Women's singles, men's singles and doubles.

 

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