Just a decade ago, the words “pole dancing” would have conjured up images of dimmed lights, dollar bills and strip clubs.
Since the Global Association of International Sports Federation officially recognized pole as a sport, the International Pole Sports Federation has been rapidly growing, expanding all across Europe, Asia and America.
Pole resembles other Olympic sports such as gymnastics and figure skating and has attracted many Asian athletes across the globe. New studios have opened up in various Asian countries hoping to train future Olympic athletes. And since then, these Asian pole dancers, ranging from very young children to adults, have been dominating international competitions and your Instagram feed.
Here are 14 of these incredibly strong and sexy Asian athletes who are challenging the stigma associated with pole.
1. Natasha Wang
The L.A.-based pole artist won the IPC Ultimate Champion title in 2013, in 2014 she was named “Female Performance Artist of the Year” at the PWN and has also been named the IPDFA “Instructor of the Year” for 2015.
2. Lei Jiang
IPC2018 pole fit winner, Lei Jiang also owns the Xiao Jing Pole Studio. He has taken home the World Ultra Pole silver medal among several other awards.
3. Anh Le, aka Dirdy Birdy
This Sydney-based pole dancer has her own pole clothing line and also creates YouTube videos of pole tutorials for dancers and athletes of all levels.
4. Song yi Lee
South Korean pole artist, Song Yi Lee is the owner of the SY pole studio in Seoul as well as the owner of the SY pole wear brand. She has won 1st place in the 2014 Muscle Mania in the fitness category, 2nd place in the 2015 Angel Cup Pole Dance Championships and 2nd place in the 2017 Philippines Pole Cup.
5. Sammy Wong
The 2018 Pole Sport Organization U.S. National Pole Champion is a professional dancer and choreographer based in New York City. Sammy has only been practicing pole for around three years but has been dancing since he was 17.
Bada Shin is a South Korean exotic pole dancer and instructor. She travels the world hosting pole dancing workshops and is the owner of the Polecrush performance team.
7. Daphne Lux
Daphne Lux is an exotic pole dancer, performer and instructor based in Hong Kong. She has taught and performed all across the world from Asia to South America to Europe.
8. Kenneth Kao
Dr. Kenneth Kao, also known as “Doctor Ken Pole Ninja” is an international pole instructor, chiropractor and photographer. In 2014, he was awarded 2nd place for People’s Choice Win at the Pole Expo and is known for his unique style of parkour and kung fu infused pole choreography.
9. Ayoung Yang
Ayoung is a South Korean pole dancer at Tinkerbell Pole Studio. She has won countless awards such as the 1st place medal at the 2017 Angel Cup Pole Championships and the 2018 Poleart Championships.
10. Pam Taqo
Pam Taqo began pole dancing in the Philippines and is currently based in Dallas, Texas. She became an instructor in 2015 and since then she was been named the 2015 Southwest Aerial Art Pro 1st Runner Up, 2016 US National Pole Art Champion and 2018 USPSF Elite Pole Classique Champion.
11. Ke Hong
Ke Hong Coco previously had no dancing background; however, he was able to become a champion pole dancer after just three years of practicing. He became a worldwide champion in 2016 and the IPSAF pole world champion in 2017, even going on to invent his own signature tricks.
12. Hyejung Jung
The South Korean pole dancer is the owner and head instructor of Let’s Pole Studio in Seoul. She frequently hosts workshops in Asia and holds public performances in Korea.
13. Gemma Cheung
Gemma Cheung is an ex cabin crew turned fitness guru. She was an elite Northern Ireland Gymnast and All Ireland pole dancing runner up. She has also launched her own activewear collection with Sew Sew You.
14. Suen Lee
Suen Lee is a pole instructor at Lucy Pole Dance Academy in Korea, specializing in exotic pole dance. She teaches at workshops all across Asia and has won countless pole competitions.