Australian gay pole dancer Steve Watson took out the Men’s Freestyle division at the Australian Pole Dance Championships in Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre last month.

Men’s freestyle allows competitors to create their own solo routine without limiting them to using certain tricks or combinations.

“This means men with different backgrounds [can compete] and allows for a greater variety of tricks to be seen and creates a great exchange of skills at the same time,” Watson said.

“The only parameter is competitors must demonstrate their skill on all of the three poles on stage, one of them a static and the others are spinning poles.”

Unable to compete in the semi-finals due to injury, Watson impressed the judges on the day of the finals with his eligibility for the competition. The competition was also the first time men were able to compete in the championships.

“Becoming Australian men’s freestyle pole dancing champion was a fantastic experience especially since it is the first competition in Australia of its kind with a men’s division,” Watson said.

“For many years there have been pole dancing competitions, however, only for female competitors. Never have they allowed men to enter.

“The Australian Pole Dancing Championships is a new competition which is changing the face of pole dancing by allowing a broader spectrum of athletes and artists to compete.”

The Aussie Pole Boys, from Sydney, won gold and bronze in the Men’s Freestyle, and took out a silver in the Open Pairs.

Watson plans to continue his training and hopes to compete internationally. Pole classes specifically geared toward men are available through Aussie Pole Boys who teach an open class each Saturday at Slide.

info: For more details on Aussie Pole Boys, visit www.myspace.com/aussiepoleboys or call 0418 204 878. For more information on pole dancing, visit www.australianpoledance.com

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