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Pole Dancing in Hong Kong

By on April 3, 2017

Symone Dolai. Courtesy of Pole Paradise Studio (Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong)

Moving from a western society to an eastern culture can be quite shocking, even if that means moving back to your home town. As the airplane took off for my journey back home to Hong Kong, I knew things would be very different once I landed. But I also knew that pole dancing was the one thing that would stay with me through it all. Thanks to a few friends who introduced me to several studios in Hong Kong, I was able to connect with the local pole community there fairly quickly. Now that I have been here for about six months, I have learned that there are a few things about Pole Dancing in Hong Kong studios that are new and different from dancing in Los Angeles studios (or even the United States). Here are some things I learned about pole dancing in Hong Kong.


  1. Pole dancing in Hong Kong has been around for at least a decade. Pole studios have been around for many years. In fact, the first studio opened here in 2004. Some dancers have been dancing in Hong Kong for over a decade. They brought in trends and styles outside of Hong Kong and helped to shape the community. Today on this famous peninsula, there are around a dozen pole studios plus gym centers that offer pole classes.

    Student Showcase. Courtesy of Aerial Arts Academy.

  2. Space and height is a limitation, but not a limitation to creativity. Hong Kong has been named the world’s least affordable urban center for housing for seven consecutive years. (By the way, Los Angeles and San Francisco are eighth and ninth on the list, respectively.)  So obviously, space can be limiting factor. But despite this setback, it doesn’t affect how well the city’s inhabitants dance! Look at Yvonne Smink. She can give you complete dance magic with just a wall.

    Rachel Tsui. Courtesy of Aerial Arts Academy.

  3. Hong Kong pole style is sexy. Early Hong Kong pole dancing style is largely influenced by heels and sultry movements from Australia. Many incredible and eye-catching tricks like the Eagle and Devil’s Elbow, which require tremendous flexibility and strength, were created by well-respected Australian pole dancers. In fact, Pole Theatre, which has been taking over the world and redefining pole artistry, is extremely influential. No wonder the Australian pole scene is influencing so many pole communities. Lately, Russian exotic flow and floor work has become increasingly popular as well.

    Jenny Chang. Courtesy of Flaunt Studio.

  4. Hong Kong is actually an incredibly convenient location. Southeast Asia, Korean and Japan are all within a three to five hours flight from Hong Kong, which means you can take an affordable short trip to enjoy some of the most exotic food and places. If time allows, squeeze a pole class into your itinerary! I spent a weekend in Singapore in late February for the Asia Pole Championship. It was such a great way to unplug!

    Rhyn. Photographed by Keith Tan (Asia Pole Championship 2017, Singapore).

  5. The poles are usually thinner. While 45-millimeter is the standard pole girth in the US, some studios here in Hong Kong use 42, 40, or even 38 mm. While you may have better hand grip, body grip can be tricky at times. However, if you enter competitions in the Asia Pacific region or Australia, these sizes are frequently used. Oh and yea, thin pole doesn’t mean its easier.

    Student showcase. Courtesy of Flaunt Studio.

  6. Good news for dancers who love humidity and heat. For people who grip better in mildly humid conditions, Hong Kong’s climate is perfect for you. The city is within the subtropical zone, which means the weather is usually quite humid and the temperature is usually on the warmer side (although it will be drenching hot in the summer).

    Courtesy of Symone Dolai, Pole Paradise Studio.

  7. Heels for days. Stilettos are tremendously popular in Hong Kong. Ladies (and gents) of various ages are extremely comfortable wearing seven-inchers or taller when rocking their splits and inversions. It is a beloved pole trend in Hong Kong, so much so that some studios are dedicated to teaching classes only in heels.

    Leon Yee. Courtesy of Leon Yee.

  8. Many studios teach in English. If you are planning on traveling through Hong Kong and want drop in for a pole class, many local instructors are more than proficient in English. Plus, if you are afraid of getting lost in the city – guess what? You won’t!  All the signs and announcements here are in both Cantonese and English

    Courtesy of Flaunt Studio.

Tell us about how pole dancing is like in your community and what you love about it!?

Rhyn Cheung

Rhyn Cheung

Rhyn fell in love with pole dancing in Los Angeles, California. He competed in PPC, NAPA, CPDC, PSO Nationals, and was crowned Men's Division Champion of Colorado Pole Championship 2016.

Rhyn now teaches workshops in Hong Kong and is pursing his PhD in marine biology at the University of Hong Kong.

Instagram: @rhyncheung
Rhyn Cheung

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