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Stripping away the sleazy reputation of pole dancing

May 24, 2009 | 11:17 am

Pole dancing competition OK, admit it. When we say "pole dancing," the first image that comes to mind is a dark, seedy nightclub populated by not-so-exotic dancers and and their "adoring" public. That or the 1995 comedy-meant-to-be-drama film "Showgirls."

But in recent years, pole dancing has gained acceptance as a form of physical fitness and even a competition sport.

"I want to see pole dancing get away from the stripper connotation," says 30-year-old Laura Martin, a San Diego-based performer and personal fitness instructor. "I want people to see it's like any other dance form."

Read Susan Joseph's story about the efforts to redefine pole dancing and bring it into the mainstream.

--Lisa Fung 

Photo: Laura Martin performs a Cirque du Soleil-style dance at Club Good Hurt in Mar Vista. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times