WOMEN
07/11/2012 10:26 am ET

Can Pole Dancing Get Recognized As An Olympic Sport?

Seven years ago, KT Coates could hardly get a local gym to take her seriously when she propositioned the idea of teaching pole dancing classes for exercise. Today, she and a small but dedicated team of pole sports enthusiasts are campaigning to get the sport into the Olympics.

"I went to so many gyms and they said I was disgusting. They shut the door on my face," she recalled.

Coates got involved in pole dancing on a whim — as a struggling actress and dancer in the U.K. in 2003, a friend brought her along to try pole dancing, and she caught on quickly, immediately recognizing that the activity was closer to a sport than it was to stripping. From there, she went from gym to gym, until one pioneering studio in her local Hertfordshire agreed to let her teach a class. From there, the classes expanded to other gyms and even some gym chains, and Coates eventually opened her own studio, called Vertical Dance.

Read more on BuzzFeed

Subscribe to the In(formation) email.
The reality of being a woman — by the numbers.

CONVERSATIONS