My first experience with pole dance was in Yokohama back in 2000 when a group of new dancers from France and Canada decided to improvise a show in the middle of a hostess club named Roberta. The guests loved it but Roberta’s owner preferred to stick to the conventional and traditional hostess club concept and that was it.Many years later my company sent me to work in Roppongi, Tokyo and since the clubs there were more inspired by the west I came in contact with more professional pole dancers. Ever since then I have always considered pole dance to be one of the most important areas of our industry. And since Reiko Suemune won the first miss Pole Dance World in Amsterdam in 2005 I have also been a huge supporter of pole dance as an art and sport.
Over the last few weeks two major pole dancing competitions took place in two different continents. “International Pole Championship 2013” in Singapore and “Miss Pole Dance South America” in Argentina.Natasha Wang, from China, won in Singapore with a routine inspired by the Chinese legend of Madame White Snake. More than 1,000 people attended the event.I would like to congratulate the International Pole Dance and Fitness Association (IPDFA), and a very good friend Anna Przeplasko, for the magnificent event. Anna had a vision many years ago about taking pole dance to the next level and after many years of hard work and sacrifice, she has managed to establish a well known and reputable association in the difficult Asian Market.
I met Anna Przeplasko in 2008 in the Venetian Casino in Macau where she told me about her idea of the competition and I was dazzled by her devotion and determination to make this happen. We were both passionate about pole dance, although with different targets in mind, she with the fitness and sport side and me with the contribution to the club business.We found great support in the owners of the Divino–Tantra Group, Andy and Javier, and the first International Pole Championship got scheduled for the end of 2008. To be part of the organization together with Anna Prezeplasko and Alvaro Altamirano from Divino-Tantra Group was one of the most remarkable and amazing experiences I have had in my entire career, not only for the outcome of the event, but also for the work we shared organizing it. It was a great learning experience.I still remember Anna’s passion while talking with sponsors and partners about the history of pole dancing, her knowledge made people realise that it was time to erase the misconception of pole dance. Needless to say the event was a complete success with a lot of media coverage. We were all very happy, the first big step to overcome cultural barriers had been taken.I would like to use this opportunity to thank Lala Dinglasan for helping us with the tournament. And a special mention to Anna Garbo who was the first Pole Dance Champion.
Since then Anna and the IPDFA has continued to promote pole dance and both the amount of members and the size of events has kept on growing. It has been an amazing journey. We have met many new friends along the road like Vee Lea, and her team in HKG. But also old friends from Japan, like Reiko and Lu Nagata, who have changed attitudes and managed to make pole dance popular in the conservative Japanese society.
I would like to share some pictures from these events with you, it brings back so many good memories, wonderful experience with wonderful people.Congratulations Anna and looking forward to making more exciting events in the future!
Francisco Leon Nakagawa