The International Pole Dance Fitness Association (IPDFA) promotes pole dancing as a form of fitness program. The organisations acts as a supervisory body for the sport and annually organizes the International Pole Championship (IPC). It has a database of pole dancing studios and instructors around the world and also trains/accredits instructors.
The organization was founded by Ania Przeplasko (pronounced pshe plaz ko) in 2007. At the time, pole dancing was gaining popularity as a fitness program worldwide, yet was not taken seriously as a recognized sport. This is partially because there was no international body that gave structure to the sport. IPDFA was created to organize the sport on an international level in both mens and women's divisions.
Membership is free, but to be an IPDFA member studio, instructors have to be First Aid and CPR certified. They must also submit videos of classes so IPFDA can access technical level of the instructors and their ability to teach. Only IPDFA certified instructors automatically qualify to be members. Member instructors are also given the opportunity to conduct workshops in member studios worldwide.
As the sport grew so did the demand for instructors. As most instructors at the time were performers, many did not have a full understanding of safety standards required to teach. IPDFA accredits pole fitness instructors; it concentrates on further developing their ability as a pole instructor. The course focuses on safe and responsible teaching techniques.
The course covers:
Through instructor courses and the book Pole Positions, it has the internationally standardised names of all pole poses. Instructors and students can only be insured if the studio and instructor is accredited. This adds value to the studios as it reassures students that the studios meet required safety requirements. The certification allows an instructor to teach anywhere in the world. IPDFA also organizes for member instructors to do workshops in member studios worldwide.
Under the same umbrella, parent company Beauty Factor and Viva Vertical manages several pole, burlesque and aerial arts studios. These come under the brands Viva Circus, Tease and Aerial Arts Academy. Viva Vertical is a brand closely partnered with IPDFA.
The International Pole Championship (IPC) is a competition organized annually by International Pole Dance Fitness Association (IPDFA). It is the world first international pole dance fitness championship where winners are credited solely for their dance skills, trick techniques and overall showmanship. The IPC is the only pole competition that gathers the world’s best men and women. Winners of national championships are granted entry to this championship. Undiscovered talents can submit a video entry via the IPC website where the winner of online voting gains, along with the title Pole Idol, sponsorship to the Grand Finals.
Pole Positions is a book that has a complete collection of all the names of pole poses and tricks. Updated annually, this is the book used in instructor courses and by IPDFA member studios worldwide. The book is also used to standardize scores given at IPC competitions.
IPDFA has been covered by international media. Articles covering the IPC, interviews with pioneers of the sport have been reported on Associated Press, Reuters, Huffington Post and other international media. The event was covered by over 4000 media venues in 120 countries.
An effort to include pole dancing in the Olympics was initiated by K.T. Coates. Przeplasko strongly supports this idea and has in many interviews highlighted this cause. IPDFA seeks to gain the International Olympic Committee’s recognition of pole dance as a sport.
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