In his blog post about learning to pole dance, Stephen Robinson summed up his opinion on the sport in just two words: mad respect.
Robinson, the blogger behind 52 Skillz, has spent most of the past year accumulating a myriad of skills, including learning how to moonwalk, how to edit video, how to fly a plane and how to milk a cow.
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So when two of his friends, both pole dancing instructors, approached him about giving it a try, he couldn't say no.
"They just kept hounding me — they're like, 'Stephen, you're doing 52 Skillz. You've got to learn how to pole dance!' and I was like, 'Gahh, OK.'"
Warning: video contains language some may find offensive
The first move he had to learn: the fireman.
"It's where you wrap your legs around and you kind of go around the pole like a fireman, all sexy like," Robinson said. "I struggled with it."
While Robinson described his instructor as "polite," "kind," and "supportive" — even she couldn't help but laugh, he said.
"I think, honestly, that pole dancing — every single one of those moves, they just try and inflict pain onto people that try them. I was covered in bruises after."
The experience also really changed how he thinks of the sport, and those who do it, Robinson said.
"Before I had friends who did pole dancing, my instant reaction when someone said, 'I do pole dancing,' was to place a judgment on them, that it's negative — but the cool thing about pole dancing is that it's actually becoming a sport."
And yes, before you ask the question, it IS a sport, he said.
"All the pole dancers listening to this right now are going to be up in arms!" he yelled when pushed to defend its athletic status.
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Pole dancing is now huge in Australia and eastern Europe, and competitions are overseen by a rigorous judging panel, he said. Closer to home, more and more pole dancing classes are open for Canadians wanting to give it a try.
"If you Google it, there's some incredible people."