52 Skillz: Stephen Robinson learns to pole dance

In his blog post about learning to pole dance, Stephen Robinson summed up his opinion on the sport in just two words: mad respect.

Step 1: 'Wrap your legs around ... the pole like a fireman, all sexy like'

Each week, 52 Skillz blogger Stephen Robinson joins Edmonton AM to tell us about one of his newest talents. This week: pole dancing. (52 Skillz/YouTube)

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.

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.'"

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."

Robinson gets a hand from his instructor while trying to execute a particularly tricky move. (52 Skillz/YouTube)
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.

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."

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