Coming soon to the Olympics: Pole-dancing?

Some dancers worry that regimentation may take some fun out of it. In a traditional pole dance, “you can perform a lot more, you can have a lot more fun, you can be a little more crazy,” said Lisette Krol, a 27-year-old from Dublin, Ireland, who competed in London but also dances in venues that don’t involve disrobing but do let dancers express more sensuality.

But other pole athletes say rules were badly needed. Required moves “set a standard—they help sort the men from the boys, so to say,” said Yvette Austin, 45, a former gymnast in Kent, England, who competed here in July…

The London championships resembled a gymnastics meet more than a burlesque hall. Dancers wore warm-up suits emblazoned with their countries’ names and rosined their hands before approaching the apparatus.

Nearly 100 competitors from two-dozen nations performed routines, choosing five strength moves and five flexibility poses from the federation’s list of compulsory maneuvers.