A grandmother who has taken up pole dancing is proving life doesn't have to bump and grind to a halt when you're 60.
Sun Fengqin, of Nanjing, China, took up pole dancing after watching several videos and developing an admiration for the sport's beauty and athleticism.
"Pole dancing is a special kind of dance," Fengqin told Reuters. "The dance moves that are done beside the pole are very elegant, especially when a woman dances these moves. It's very feminine, enchanting and seductive. It's full of youthful vigor and sexiness."
Because pole dancing has a strip bar stigma in China, Fengqin kept her desire to learn the sport a secret from her family, but word soon got around, and her family discovered her hidden talents.
Despite her conservative background, Fengqin's family approved -- even her husband, although he was concerned because of a previous back injury she had.
Because of that injury, Fengqin can't swing around the pole like her fellow, much younger students.
"When I see younger students dancing the moves that involve more technique, I envy them so much," she admitted to Reuters. "Now, I'm practicing spinning around the pole and I only finished learning going up the pole."
Although Fengqin's instructor, Shen Ting, was a little shocked to teach a woman old enough to be her grandmother how to spin around a pole, she is happy to have her as a student.
"After all, pole dancing is a kind of exercise so now, for a 60-year-old like her to be accepting of this and to be able to dance so well, [it shows] anyone can learn pole dancing."
Fengqin's impact could be reaching global proportions if the reaction of pole dancing instructors like Charley Crystal is any indication.
"It's incredible and empowering," Harris told The Huffington Post. "She's a good face for pole dancing, because all the public sees are elite pole dancers, but there are women who are doing it just to keep fit. In fact, 80 percent of the women I train to do it don't compete, they just want to be sexy."
Crystal says she has had two students who were in their 60s and admits it took them longer to learn some moves.
"But that's because they were smarter," she said. "They understood gravity better. However, they learned to invert themselves and climb a pole and it was impressive. The younger women looked up to them. It inspired them to keep trying."
Some of Colombia's most accomplished pole dancers want to take the sport out of the strip clubs and into the streets by swinging, twirling and climbing up every street sign and scaffold available.
The women jockeying for pole position were contestants in Miss Pole Dance Medellin and Miss Pole Dance Colombia, both of which will be taking place in July. The ladies decided to stretch the boundaries of pole dancing in order to educate their fellow citizens that the sport is a great activity for keeping in shape.
Organizer Alejandra Santamaria says pole dance has still lots of room to grow in Colombia, mainly because the locals don't understand it. She says many Latin Americans still think it is related to striptease and have no clue about the challenge it represents.
But as difficult as pole dancing can be in a gym or stage with a shiny brass pole, the techniques are even more difficult when practiced on wooden stakes or metal street signs, according to Ingrid Tsai, Santamaria's partner in pole dance promotion.
"The hardest part in urban pole dancing is finding a structure with a good caliber," Tsai says. "Most dancing poles have a diameter of 1.75 to two inches." Apart from the caliber, she says the material in street structures can make the job harder. Dancing poles are made from stainless steel or brass, which facilitates the friction you need to have between your skin and the surface.
Wendy Traskos, the founder of the United States Pole Dance Federation, which is working to make pole dancing a recognized sport similar to ice skating, "street pole" is a spontaneous activity usually practiced by students after they have built up strength in their upper bodies.
Traskos warns that "street pole" is something that shouldn't be attempted without serious training and recommends checking out the pole or scaffold before attempting to dance on it.
Although the street pole dance campaign helped raise awareness about pole dancing, Tsai isn't sure if the street version will ever replace the indoor version. 'A dancing pole will never be replaced with a red light!' she laughed.