Pole Dancing Has A Whole New Appeal - FOX 35 News Orlando

Pole Dancing Has A Whole New Appeal

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Sandy, Utah -

Pole dancing is ditching the stripper stigma and gaining respect as a sport all over the world. Contestants in Sunday's pole dancing competition in Sandy, Utah were closer in comparison to acrobats than strippers. And it isn't just for women.

Michael Perry says that since he started pole dancing nine months ago, he's lost 60 pounds and gained a new passion. "It's all about strength, mind, body, health."

Perry says, "That's obviously a huge life change. I feel healthy and strong, I'm doing things I never thought I'd do again."

Jennifer Wilkens owns a studio in Sandy and co-hosted the competition with the U.S. Pole Dancing Federation. She's seen countless weight loss success stories like Michael's.

"The best part is it's fun so you don't really realize you're working out and that you're really exhausted at the end of class," Wilkens says.

"They are starting to mix the pole dancing with the Chinese acrobatics, so the men are kind of taking on that role and making it a little more masculine for themselves," she continues.

Perry says that there aren't a lot of guys, but once men try pole dancing tricks, they usually enjoy it. Plus, their upper body strength gives them an advantage in the air.

"They take to it pretty well and they like it. The girls have to work a little harder."

The winner of the preliminary competition in Sandy will go on to compete at the national championships in New Orleans, but Perry says that's just part of the reason he competes.

"I just looked at it as a way to push myself to better myself as a pole-r, a performer, and a person."

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