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When you hear “pole dancing”, you may think of it as the kind of dancing sensually with a vertical pole and is often used in strip clubs and gentlemen’s clubs. A similar pole (Chinese poles) is used in cabaret/circus and stage performance in a non-erotic environment, in which context the style and moves are very different. The indian pole dancing Mallakhamb is also quite interesting:

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Mallakhamb or Malkhamb is a traditional Indian sport in which a gymnast performs feats and poses while hanging from a vertical wooden pole or rope. Mallakhamb also refers to the pole used in the sport. The word “Mallakhamb” is composed of malla which denotes a gymnast or a man of strength and khamb which means a pole. Mallakhamb can therefore be translated to English as pole gymnastics.

29 states in India participate in mallakhamb competitions at the national level. National Level mallakhamb tournaments were first organized more than 25 years ago. From 2010 the national level tournament will be organized in four separate groups.

Pole or fixed mallakhamb

In this variation, a vertical wooden pole is fixed in the ground and the participant performs various acrobatic feats and poses while hanging on the pole.

The mallakhamb pole used in competitions is a straight pole made of teak or sheesham wood, standing 2.6 metres (8.5 ft) in height with a circumference of 55 centimetres (22 in) at the base. It gradually tapers to a circumference of 35 centimetres (14 in) at the top.
Hanging mallakhamb

Similar to the pole mallakhamb, the hanging mallakhamb is a wooden pole that is shorter in length than the standard Pole Mallakhamb and is hung from chain and hooks, leaving a gap between the ground and the bottom of the mallakhamb.
Rope mallakhamb

In this variation, the participant performs exercises while hanging from a rope suspended from a support.

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