Put your dollars away, pole dancing is moving out of the strip clubs and onto the strip, the Sunset Strip at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go. Pole dancing has been bursting onto the scene with the most recent being PoleStars, a friendly pole dancing competition between pole studios. Produced by Polite Moves and sponsored by X-Pole, they are changing the perception and breaking the taboo behind pole dancing.

When most people hear about pole dancing, an image is immediately drawn. Typically there is an association related to stripping, but there are clear-cut differences between these two forms of performance art. While stripping leans toward the suggestive and erotic side, pole dancing relies heavily on the performers core body strength, flexibility and incorporates various aspects of gymnastics. Pole dancing, which is gaining ground as an exercise, is not just something that is taught and practiced the world over, but there are competitions dedicated to showcasing the incredible talent of these women (and sometimes men), whether the venue is national or overseas.

Laurie Haines founded Polite Moves with the intention to bring awareness to this highly suggestive sport. In an effort to wipe the slate clean of misconceptions, PoleStars’ first show was a fundraiser event benefiting Easter Seals of Southern California. With the support of the charity behind her, the show was a sold-out event and peaked the Whisky’s interest to hold the Dec. 9 show at their venue.

PoleStars’ unique format of a group-based competition allows dancers to work creatively as a team. The appeal of this type of competition is that it is truly for everyone. Whether you’re a doctor, lawyer or still in school, the average performer is well educated. Madeline Eve is the perfect example. Not only is she currently working on a doctorate degree in Psychology, she has under her belt a bachelor’s in Psychology, a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy and a license in pediatric occupational therapy. And if that wasn’t enough on her resume, she also teaches, performs and competes in pole dancing. Eve recalls how the early days of pole dancing are vastly different from today. Poles weren’t available so, she “had a friend that was a wielder, who wielded me a pole and it worked! There was no teaching, no instructional videos; there was nothing.”

Demand for performance shows is on the rise as seen in the variety of pole dance studios participating in the upcoming PoleStars event this Thursday, Dec. 9. It is an all-ages event, which will hope to attract a new demographic of under 21. Polite Moves and X-Pole have worked hard to promote to college campuses, offering pole parties and raffling off poles to sorority houses. This end of the year show will feature dancers from various studios across Southern California. Allure, Embody Pole Fitness, Goddess Fitness Dance, Heart & Pole, Jagged, Unveiled Fitness, X-Polesitions and Crunch, a fitness gym, will all be showcasing their skills to win over the fans, as the audience will be judging. In addition, the event will culminate with very special guests, Reiko Makino, Anjel Dust and brother and sister Josiah Grant and Breezelle Fox.

The final portion of the show will be a vertical theater act and fashion show by Kelly Maglia, who has choreographed her model/dancers to some original live music.

The PoleStars event at the Whisky A Go-Go is definitely sure to be an exciting and intriguing evening for those who are interested in pole dancing or are looking to scratch the surface and finally take that class they’ve been eyeing. Do yourself a favor and snag a ticket for you and a friend before there’s no more standing room available!

Whisky A Go Go is located at 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. For more information, visit politemoves.com.