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September 17, 2014

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No stripping required: Pole dancing goes for the gold

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Home News

Nichet Gray, 19, practices leg kicks on the striptease pole during the Stiletto Fitness class on “Girls Night Out” at Smash Dance Studio.

An activity that for years was synonymous with strip clubs, pole dancing is now not only a Groupon-approved alternative to step aerobics for suburban moms but also one that has gone the way of karaoke and cooking: It’s competitive, right down to national anthem kickoffs, sponsors with names such as Bad Kitty, and industry idols including Kyra Johannesen.

“That’s, like, the god of pole right there,” one admirer says.

There’s even a petition for pole dancing to become an Olympic sport.

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