Thursday, June 14, 2012

Who represents the pole community?

Yesterday, we talked about the difference between pole dance and pole fitness, including the push to get pole into the Olympics.  As part of that blog, I brought up the International Pole Sports Federation.  There are many federations and associations in the pole industry.  I thought it would be fun to create a list of some of the more well-known groups from around the world.  Each description is taken directly from each association's website.  If I miss any, please feel free to add them in the comments section below.

Pole Fitness Association (PFA)

Created by Pole Professionals

What is the PFA? 
Pole Fitness as an art, science, and sport has progressed significantly in the past several years. Professional industry representation, leadership and promotion are vital to building and sustaining the reputation of our athletic art form as a safe, effective form of exercise. Promoting our industry benefits everyone - and will add significant value to your business.

Who is the PFA?
Collette Kakuk of OC Pole Fitness, and Lizz Schofield of Studio Soiree are the founders of the PFA. They were inspired to create an “umbrella” for all other professionals and studio owners to sit under. The PFA is a haven for all in our industry to share knowledge, and educate while working together to band the industry.

What does the PFA Do?
The purpose of the PFA is to define and promote standards for training, safety, equipment, terminology, and technical specifications to unite and empower Pole Fitness studio owners, professionals, and enthusiasts everywhere in celebrating the sport of Pole Fitness as a rigorous, tasteful, and athletic art. Would you like the PFA to endorse your certification program? Would you like the PFA to sanction your event, product or competition?

American Pole Fitness Association (APFA)
Host of American Pole Fitness Championships in New York in October.

Goals & Mission:
American Pole Fitness Association (APFA) is an association established to give mass appeal & awareness by promoting the art and sport of pole fitness in the US and abroad. The first of its kind to offer FREE services and open its doors to the public. APFA is working towards achieving broad demographic & national recognition for pole fitness as a main stream sport, focusing attentions on the physical skills, gravity-defying technical abilities, poise, grace and elegance of performers of both genders. Pole fitness as a sport is gradually reaching new heights globally and APFA’s main goal is to make sure the US isn’t left out of the phenomenal new innovative ways of staying fit.

APFA present the American Pole Fitness Championships™ featuring male and female competitors. The event is an annual championship which features the nation’s best pole fitness performers demonstrating their mesmerizing jaw dropping skills, physical strength and sheer stamina through choreographed routines created by the performers themselves. The first annual championships was held on October 23, 2010 at the prominent Grand Ballroom Theater, Manhattan Center right in the heart of New York City live. APFA offers FREE services and encourages the promotion of the sport through the education it provides with the help of its eager and willing members. You are welcome to be members here and any other association you may desire to join. To compete we ask that you apply for FREE membership so we are aware from whom the submissions are coming from at least. APFA is not personally or directly affiliated with any pole fitness studios, therefore it embraces all studios equally and is unbiased in any matter in regards to promoting and educating the public about the services they offer.

What’s The Catch?
APFA does NOT take any fees for its services. The whole idea of its existence is to help promote the sport. We do not impose anything on anyone, neither do we ask that we become part of your events if you choose not to. No matter how tough you might think your ideas or inquiries are, you just never know if it’s possible unless you ask. Let APFA assist you, together we can help make this a mainstream and worldwide sport available for any age, class, type, or gender. Help us in our mission to take pole fitness beyond its current level and have a voice in growing it. We feel the sport is ready to be on a whole new level outside of the pole community by letting more people be aware of it. We aim to promote the established and/or discover new talents and make it more of a household name. Together we can educate the world about pole fitness and change misconceptions about it.

Additional Services Offered:
For those seeking services in party planning, lessons, or anything related to pole fitness, send in your inquires using the “Contact Us” link above and we would be more than happy to direct you to the right companies who will help you. If you are a studio owner please send us your information to add to our database and share with anyone who inquires for lessons in your area. For those launching a new pole fitness studio and you are a member of APFA, let us know and we would be more than happy to make it known to all of our members.

About the Founder
At the helm of the APFA, is the Founder and President, Tinu who has a passion for the sport. Herself an avid pole fitness practitioner and advocate since January 2009, but has made a name for herself in fashion, music and soon to be an author of a book that resulted from her hit music video. Her knowledge of the sport’s lack of proper mainstream marketing inspired her unique concept for this association and events to follow. She intends to bring her combination of artistic talent and business acumen to the sport. Tinu holds a degree in Finance and Marketing from NYU, Stern School of Business but also pursued an international modeling career during which time she strutted the runways for some of the top fashion houses while also landing high profile international advertising campaigns.

Tinu discovered pole fitness while working on a music video and has since been active in pole fitness dating back to January of 2009. She says, “I have always been slim all my life, but it’s a whole new matter when you stay firm and toned. I got that doing pole.” Despite having garnered a lot of press for her music, not once did she mention anything about her involvement in pole fitness to the press. Each time she managed to bring it up amongst friends, she was shocked by their negative reactions because they were ill informed about the sport as there were no proper platforms to market pole fitness as it should be. She wasn’t impressed by some in the industry claiming to want to take it “mainstream” but never really opening up to let others in. She felt a lot of people without the “big names” were intimated to approach some of the few organizations/events around. Frustrated by the results she acquired from her year long research she had conducted using some pole enthusiast like herself, she decided to be the one to “stick her neck out” by making the bold move, creating an association where all are welcome and “free to roam” so to speak. Her main mission is to help promote the industry to a wider audience in a positive light and has started by investing some of her hard earned money acquired from her music, accessory designs, and a few angel investors who believed in her mission and proceeded to launch the association that would benefit everyone home and abroad.

The founder has no direct personal or affiliation with any pole fitness studios or pole fitness performer in any country, hence freely and willingly able to market the sport equally for all involved in the sport. Furthermore, she does not participate in judging competitors in any of APFA’s championships. She leaves that task to the independent advisory board committee which consist of pole fitness instructors and expert in the sport. The carefully appointed judges, all highly skilled and well versed in the sport.

A global traveler, Tinu is multilingual and fluent in several languages. Her love of culture, aesthetics and fashion, she created the beautifully handcrafted and bejeweled Tinu Shoebag® worn at the Academy Awards and successfully sold by numerous high-end boutiques worldwide. Tinu’s own sense of style have been noted by Essence and Vogue Magazine while Bill Cunningham regularly features her in the social pages of the New York Times. Her debut album “Rhythm of Love” was an instant success in 2003, debuting on the Billboard R&B charts and capturing the hearts of a broad and loyal fan base worldwide. Her latest album Addicted spurned the highly successful hit song  Shoeholics (Youtube hits over 1 million in a few months) launched in the fall of 2009, is still receiving worldwide airplay including MTV, LOGO, FUSE. For more on Tinu, please visit 

US Pole Dance Federation (USPDF)
Host of  US Pole Dance Championships in New York in September.

US Pole Dance Federation (USPDF) was founded in the beginning of 2008 by Anna Grundstrom and Wendy Traskos. It’s the first organization in the US to host professional pole dancing competitions based on a fair judging format.

In 2008, there were no credible pole competitions in the US that determined the winner by a professional score system. Competitions were often held in clubs, where the applause of a crowd determined the winner.

While this didn’t seem fair, the USPDF decided to present pole dancing as a competitive sport in a theater setting where people could truly appreciate the art of pole dancing.

In the USPDF competitions, all competitors perform two rounds: one compulsory routine and one optional routine in which they score points based on a 10.0-scale determined by judges. Whoever scores the highest points combining the 2 rounds wins the competition.

All USPDF judges have extensive backgrounds in gymnastics, fitness, professional dance and choreography, and aerial work. USPDF judges are also thoroughly educated and trained by the board of USPDF.

USPDF considers pole dancing a sensual athletic dance form that demands coordination, flexibility, sensuality, creativity, individual style, and physical strength. All these elements are equally important in USPDF competitions.

Competitors come from various backgrounds all over the US. All competitors train at the level of professional athletes and dancers, which include a rigid schedule of pole practice, dance classes, stretch and flexibility classes, coaching and choreographers. They also work with additional professionals, such as nutritionists and massage therapists.

USPDF appreciate the presence and hard work of the USPDF competitors and applicants, and is working to create more opportunities for pole dancers to compete in the future.

International Pole Dance Fitness Association (IPDFA)
Hosted International Pole Championship (IPC) (held in Hong Kong in March 2012).

IPDFA History

The International Pole Dance Fitness Association was initiated by Ania (Anna) Przeplasko (pronounced pshe plaz ko). In 2007, in response to the rapidly increasing popularity of Pole, Ania wanted to help push the emerging trend of pole as an international fitness program and take it to a level where it would be recognized seriously as a legitimate sport.

With the worldwide presence of pole dancing ever-increasing, Ania created the IPDFA as a way for better communication and accessibility on a global scale of all things pole! The IPDFA was born out of the need for a streamlined and one-stop-shop approach to pole related matters. It was formed to help arrange and classify Pole as a sport on an international platform, in both male and female divisions. Ania aspired to encourage discipline and professionalism from all members of IPDFA.

The International Pole Dance Fitness Association (IPDFA) was created to:

  • Promote Pole Dancing a legitimate form of fitness program
  • Act as supervisory body for the sport
  • Organise the International Pole Chanpionships (IPC) annually
  • Train and accredit instructors to the highest standards
  • Maintain an accessible record of qualified and established pole dancing studios and instructors globally
  • IPDFA Mission

IPDFA Mission 

IPDFA promises to make every endurance to serve to the pole dancing community, throughout the following missions statements:

  • The IPDFA will promote Pole Dancing as a genuine form of exercise
  • The IPDFA will create a centralized platform for pole dancing instructors and students around the world, to facilitate communication between pole dancing professionals and fans of this fitness regime
  • The IPDFA will form a global database of pole dancing studios and teachers that have been ranked and assessed. A list of pole dancing schools will be provided, together with contact information, photos and videos
  • The IPDFA will help to build a cooperative community for pole dancing professionals to share, analyse and discuss the latest pole dancing techniques
  • The IPDFA will be there to provide information and support for anyone interested in learning about pole dancing in his or her country
  • The IPDFA will facilitate an interactive forum; welcoming suggestions, comments and observations 
International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF)
Hosting World Pole Sport Championship in London in July 2012.


            The International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) was established in 2010 with a simple goal – unite the Pole Sports athletes of the world, their countries, and take them to the World Games and the Olympics.

            The IPSF brings Olympic-caliber competition to the world of Pole Sports. The bylaws and constitution of the IPSF are dedicated to meeting Olympic requirements for sports organization including a World Congress of member countries, dedicated technical committees, anti-doping controls, and a devoted executive committee. 

            The IPSF observes strict neutrality on political, social and religious grounds. No discrimination is permitted against any affiliated National Federation or any association, club, or sportsman on political, racial, or religious grounds.

            The IPSF is a non-profit organization for educational purposes designed to foster the development of the sport of Pole Sports throughout the World. The IPSF offers institutes and individuals who desire to join in membership for the advancement of Pole Sports, an opportunity to participate and contribute to that growth. These purposes are fulfilled through the following aims and objectives.
  • To perpetuate, improve, and extend the sport of Pole Sports throughout the World.

  • To stimulate the interest of people in healthy sport participation through Pole Sports.

  • To supervise and administer a continuing Pole Sports program for the purpose of stimulating interest and developing athletes through careful preparation and planning, utilizing existing facilities, resources, and coaching.

  • To unify and coordinate, the efforts of all agencies interested in promoting Pole Sports, and permit all interested parties to have a voice in the development of the sport in the entire World.

  • To create and maintain research projects that will benefit all parties interested in Pole Sports.

  • To provide a clearinghouse for the distribution of coaching aids, literature, films, research materials, and rules collected from sources throughout the World.

  • To establish an effective means of communication for the transmission of useful ideas whereby coaches and athletes will be informed of the latest developments and techniques in Pole Sports.

  • To give prompt attention and consideration to valid suggestions on how to improve the conduct of administration in Pole Sports throughout the World.

  • To maintain records and disseminate information pertaining to all phases of Pole Sports.

  • To train and certify competent Pole Sports officials.

  • To raise money and finance improvement in the sport of Pole Sports.

  • To operate exclusively for educational and charitable purposes.

  • To follow and actively support the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its principles and goals.
To achieve our goals, there is one Executive and nine formal committees: Technical, Safety, Medical, Ethics, Accreditation, Marketing, Athlete, Finance, and Event. 

World Congress

The World Congress is composed of one representative from each member country and is responsible for the overall governance in the world of Pole Sports.

Executive Committee

The general management of the IPSF, under the control of the World Congress, is in the hands of the Executive Committee and it consists of these volunteers:
  • President
  • Executive Vice President
  • Secretary General
  • Treasurer
  • Committee Chairs
  • Eight Regional Vice-Presidents
  • Two Active Elite Athletes
  • Immediate Past President—non voting
Technical Committee

            Assigns point values to moves; defines recognized moves; sets judging criteria and event scoring; specifies garments, performance aids, and accessories; defines competition events; approves musical accompaniment; designates required moves; keeps event scoring and records; and proposes competition rules.

Safety Committee

            Oversees the safety of equipment; specifies authorized competition equipment; oversees the safety of participants interacting with equipment; inspects the safety and/or sets up equipment; and performs equipment, accessory, and garment research and advancement.

Medical Committee

            Oversees meeting the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Control; defines medical qualifications/disqualifications for participation; medically clears participants to compete; defines event medical services; and protects participant medical information.

Ethics Committee

            Enforces participant and judge rules, regulations, and ethical code; establishes of an ethical code of conduct; investigates violations and misconduct; and recommends disciplinary action to the Executive Committee.

Accreditation Committee

            Ensures participant members meet eligibility requirements; specifies non-medical eligibility requirements; oversees athlete transfers; education and development of coaches and judges; and qualifies and credentials judges. 

Marketing Committee

            Seeks to promote and advance Pole Sports throughout the world; promote a positive and progressive image of Pole Sports; interacts with press and media; creates advertising; and ensures consistent and tasteful use of branding.

Athlete Committee

            Disseminates IPSF and Pole Sports information to the athletes; gathers athlete feedback and facilitates communication between athletes and the Executive Committee; provides athletes with Pole Sport education and development; encourage involvement; promote IPSF values, social responsibility, and excellence; promote athlete welfare; and foster sportsmanship.

Finance Committee

            The Finance Committee is chaired by the Treasurer and is charged with raising funds; identifying new sources of income; maintaining non-profit status and requirements; and securing funding from bank and government sources.

Event Committee

            Establishes and coordinates official events; procures awards/medals/trophies; arrange lighting and music; oversees participant, coach, and judge event access credentials; and defines event activities and timeline.

International Pole Fitness Federation (IPFF)

As pole fitness gains momentum in the international community, it is necessary for advocates and practitioners of this sport worldwide to unify so that we may more effectively nurture pole fitness into maturation on an ongoing basis. The primary function of the International Pole Fitness Federation (IPFF) is to encourage pole fitness to continue expanding into mainstream athletics and to cooperate with other collective pole fitness bodies to help set agreeable standards and goals for pole fitness to reach toward.

IPFF seeks to use competition, showcase, and other pole fitness events only as a means of amplifying and supplementing the sport, rather than seeing these events as an end in themselves. Our logo is merely a symbolic indication of solidarity between persons, studios, associations and federations who share a common goal of helping evolve pole fitness and integrate it into the arena of mainstream sports, arts, and culture. Our logo is not for sale, as membership for private individuals to IPFF is free.

The intention of the IPFF is to collaborate with worldwide pole fitness entities to provide promotion, assistance with networking, inspiration, and structure to all pole fitness athletes, instructors, businesses, associations, federations, event coordinators, and other pole fitness professionals and collectives who would find such services desirable or useful. We believe that to host competitive events, dictate new names for traditional pole maneuvers and poses, and act as salespersons of our own logo is, by itself, inadequate. The IPFF does not wish to usurp any authority over pole fitness and parties concerning themselves with it. On the contrary, this federation was built to become a servant to the global pole community. Please accept the gift of our service for free, or better yet, join us in our service to the strong and ever-growing pole fitness community worldwide.

Pole Dance Community (PDC)

The PDC was set up in May 2009 to provide regulation and promote best practice within the pole dancing industry.
We have since grown to represent over 200 pole dance instructors who are united by our strict code of conduct. 
We represent a new way of doing things, made possible by the internet.  We have no leaders, presidents or committees, PDC policy being decided by consesus on our private forum. Everyone has an equal say.  
You are invited and very welcome to join us.

Brazilian Pole Dance Federation  
Hosting II Pole World Cup in November 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Founded in December 2009, the Brazilian Pole Dance Federation – or also known as FBPOLE – is the legal body that legitimizes the practice of the activity in Brazil. Provided with a strong administrative base and composed by qualified professionals, who work with the principles of deliver a work of high standards, they have a complete infrastructure at their availability to work in favor of new guidelines and policies for the growth and recognition of Pole as a physical modality.

Since 2009, FBPOLE has been training, certificating and qualifying new athletes and people interested in disseminate the modality in our country.

We organized all the technical and logistic part of Pole World Cup, being this the first championship in the world with recognition of the local Government and for the first time in the world a championship showed a technical arbitrage and sporting infrastructure.

FBPOLE is recognized worldwide for the struggle to solidify the activity as a sport and also for the results of their athletes in international competitions. FBPOLE is also a pioneer in the creation of a book of rules, code of arbitrage and in the creation of training course for referees, starting the path to set new guidelines for Pole in Brazil.

FBPOLE is aware of the challenges in the sports scenario, and the motto of their directors is to always have in mind that the pole activity has to be used as a form of socialization, and that it will create new perspectives to people.

FBPOLE is a non-profit and non-partisan private entity, working towards in the increase of development and recognition of the sport in Brazil. In September 2011, FBPOLE merged with the Brazilian Pole Confederation, the highest body of legitimacy that a sport can have. From January 2012, both entities started working together and now they work in the same sphere of work and dealing on the same principles and laws. It is the Brazilian Confederation and Brazilian Federation together for the same ideal!

Our board of directors is ahead of the time, creating ethical and quality solutions. The goal of professionals working in FBPOLE is to be recognized for its excellence and for the work of sustainable development of the Pole activity.


Are you a member of any of these associations or federations?  Tell me which are your favorite and why!


  1. Too many organizations not speaking with each other.

  2. That's a big pity for all the industry.
    Anyway in Europe there is the EPSU European Pole Sport Union, president Alex No.