Next to a playground in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, a young woman caught the attention of several passersby as she began to perform an impressive pole dancing routine which involved doing the splits upside down.
This public display caused some controversy, with several noting that this behaviour should not be displayed in public places.
'That's a bad spectacle for children,' 76-year-old nurse Elba Moya said
. 'That should be for nightspots and the places where it has to be.'
However, those engaged in the art of pole dancing have hope that such attitudes will change. 28-year-old dancer Franleska Garcia is one of those people, who remains adamant that pole dancing is not 'sensual.'
'We wanted to lift the taboo,' she said. 'What we do is fitness. It’s acrobatics.'
Since the 1990s pole dancing has grown to become acknowledged as a form of dance-sport in many places, and one not limited to performance at nightclubs. Venezuela, however, has been slow in embracing the sport with only 10 gyms and schools offering pole dancing classes.
Garcia has been a big promoter of the sport, first getting together with eight other women three months ago and beginning a "street pole dance" initiative. Naturally, this project drew a lot of attention from the public and the media, with many expressing their disapproval of the act through online comments. They also criticised the public nature of the performance as it was in plain view of children.
Some, however, are not so concerned about the history of the sport. Interior decorator Jesus Echevarria recently watched a performance while he was minding his kids in the playground.
'It has an impact on people the first time they see this kind of sport,' he said. "But afterward people are amazed."
Since the growth of popularity surrounding pole dancing, this performance act has become recognised as a legitimate form of aerobic exercise. There has also been a growing number of pole dancing competitions taking place all over the world. The first "Miss Pole Dance World" competition was held in 2005 in Amsterdam, with UK dancer Elena Gibson taking out first prize.
A few years ago there was also an initiative to have pole dancing recognised as an official Olympic sport, but the 2012 London Olympics wrapped up last week and did not feature any pole dancing events.