The competition is being staged by Tammy Morris, owner of a chain of workout studios in the Vancouver, British Columbia, area specializing in female fitness, The Vancouver Sun reported.
Morris has turned the sexy adult-entertainment style of dance into a legitimate workout regimen becoming booming business across North America, the newspaper said.
Morris says the pole will eventually be de-sexualized at the gym.
"There will be a day when people see the pole as a fitness tool," said Morris, who caused a flap when she offered pole-dance workouts to children this summer.
Of the 16 participants in the upcoming championships, only four have worked as exotic dancers, while the majority are gymnasts or acrobats, Morris said.
"Most of them have taken pole dancing as a fitness regimen and are now competing," she said.
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