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International Pole Dance Championship In Denver August 6, 7

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 07/29/11 03:28 PM ET   Updated: 09/28/11 06:12 AM ET

We always knew Denverites (and Coloradans in general) had a penchant to live on the wild side, but who knew it'd lead to this? The first International Pole Dance Competition in the U.S. will come to Denver August 6 - 7. Dancers will compete at the Oriental Theater in Wheat Ridge.

Categories of competition include pole amateur, pole pro, non-traditional pole showcase (which allows for props such as silk, trapezes, etc.), public competition, and star improvisations.

Event organizer and pole dancing instructor at Denver's Good Mood Club, Elena Mikhaylova, spoke to the Huffington Post and explained that although this is the first international pole competition in the US, Europe and Asia have several very reputable international pole dance competitions. Mikhaylova says that pole dancing is a legitimate sport, but there is a lot of misconception that it's part of a striptease. "When I first started taking classes, I didn't have the guts to tell my friends for three months. And when I finally did, they considered it to be a joke," Mikhaylova recalls.

However, students of this sport understand the pain, demands, and physical challenge of pole dancing, Mikhaylova explained. "After class, the most common comment I get is, 'I would never have guessed pole dancing is so difficult and takes so much strength!"

Tickets to the event come in a variety of flavors (and can be purchased online): August 6 basic tickets cost $30, while August 7 will run you $20. There are also VIP tickets, reception tickets, 'all access' tickets, and two-day general admission discounts.

Don't know about you, dear readers, but we've been practicing.

Click through a slideshow of competitors below (possibly NSFW, but we're guessing you probably already figured that out). All photos courtesy of Pole Dancing Universe:

Veronika Mikhailova (Russia)
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"I was born in Saint-Petersburg and I live here till now. I had never tried gymnastics or dance prior to my first "meeting" with a pole. Since autumn 2008 I begun to study pole dance under the art direction of Julia Irinina. Since summer 2010 I'm the instructor of Pole Dance and pole fitness in the "Julia Irinina's Pole Dance Show Studio - Trash" and I'm second manager of "Julia Irinina's Pole Dance Show Studio - Trash"!

My dynamics, force, speed, fast rhythm, strong, endurance, expression, dramatic nature, skills of improvisation, feeling of a rhythm and little bit trash makes me the best candidate for the competitions and all of this a part of my personal style!

For me, First of all 'Pole dance' is dance and creativity, it is an art form, it is not only sports and gymnastics!

I have experience in competitions:

-"The Third Russian Cup of Pole Dance 2011″ - 2′rd Place (29′th April 2011)
-The finalist of Aerial Pole International 2011Championship March 19th Bern Switzerland!
-"The Russian Championship of Dance and Fitness on the Pole" - 2′nd Place (9′th October 2010)
- "Miss Pole Dance Russia 2010″ North-West" - 3′rd Place (6′th June 2010)
-"The Second Russian Cup of Pole Dance 2010″ - 3′rd Place (29′th April 2010)"
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