Saturday, 24 October 2015 20:07

More than just a fad

Pole-dancing, an activity that has developed into a popular form of exercise all over the world in recent years, is to get its own international competition at Limassol’s Monte Caputo over October 28-30. The event will welcome over 100 people and world class pole dancers from 15 countries.

PoleArt 2015, the annual International Pole-Dance Championship and third event of its kind, is organised by Dance Studio Moon and supported by independent sponsors.

Limassol boasts several pole-dancing clubs, fitness centres and dance schools promoting the activity and offering classes. Gone are the days when pole-dancing was associated with stripteases and night clubs. Modern day pole-dancing has evolved into an exercise form, practised by everyone from professionals, performers and internationally-recognised pole athletes to casual students and gym-goers.

Practised by men and women alike, it is said to work the whole body, improving muscle tone, flexibility, coordination, posture and strength.


The event’s founder

The person bringing the competition to Cyprus is Anna Gubareva, the founder and owner of Dance Studio Moon. She discovered pole-dancing three years ago in a small room of a local gym. This inspired her to open the first pole-dance studio in Cyprus in 2012.

The stylish, three-storey studio now hosts also a variety of other classes, including – among others – pole fitness, hip-hop and street dance, fitness ballet and aerial as well as various children’s and junior classes for its 200 members with 15 teachers/coaches.

Gubareva, a mother of three young children, has always practised sports and is a passionate pole-dancer herself. “I love how it combines physical strength and dance moves into a beautiful athletic form,” she says.

The studio’s pole-dance classes are popular with all ages, with the youngest students being five, who practises aerial silk, to students in their late 40s.

“It is a beautiful sport to perform and to watch and I am proud to have brought this unique event to Cyprus,” explains the studio owner. She has been attending competitions in Europe and Russia to gain first-hand experience and help her mission of promoting pole-dance and pole acrobatics and introduce it into mainstream dance and sports in Cyprus, creating partnerships with pole-dancing professionals around the world.


The history of ‘pole art’ – dating back 800 years

The use of a pole for sports and exercise has been traced back at least 800 years to the traditional Indian sport of Mallakhamb or Indian pole and then the Chinese pole. The western world had its own Maypole dance, a pagan fertility celebration which also dates back to the 12th century. Even the Ancient Greeks already had their form of Maypole-style dance at a festival held in honour of Apollo at Thebes.

Today’s pole dance is a fusion of the Indian and Chinese pole, circus-based performances, exotic dance and various international influences. In the 1920s in America, travelling circuses featured pole-dancing with a pole in the middle of a tent. Eventually the art moved from tents to bars, and later combined with burlesque dance.

In the 1990s, pole-dancing began to be taught as an art and used in fitness exercises and, since then, pole-dancing classes have become a popular form of recreational and competitive sport and the International Pole Sport Federation is currently promoting a campaign to include competitive pole-dance in the Olympics in 2016.


The gala evening in Limassol

Rehearsals, competitions, the presentation of diplomas and the gala show will all take place at the event venue Monte Caputo in Limassol, with the participation of world famous performers and judges.  October 27-29 will see general rehearsals of amateurs, semi-professionals, professionals and stars – men and women – followed by after parties at Dance Studio Moon.

The awards ceremony and gala show take place on October 30 at 8pm, presenting the most memorable performances. Tickets are €25-90.

Details can be found on and classes at

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

Email Me · Linked In · Twitter · Facebook