CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — Next June, the Tinley Park Convention Center is expected to the be the site of a formal and momentous event when the Illinois Republican Party holds its 2012 convention.

But this weekend, the spirit at the convention center will be far different.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the Great Midwest Pole Dance Convention and Competition is set to get underway at the convention center this weekend.

WBBM Newsradio met with Mary Ellyn Weissman, the organizer of the convention, in her Chicago Heights studio. Sadly, the poles stood idle during our visit.

Weissman points out that pole dancing has lost the stigma of its onetime association with seedy strip clubs.

“It’s not an issue anymore when we bring it up,” Weissman said. “Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, You do that,’” where before, it was like, (skeptically) ‘Oh. You do that?’”

So who are these pole dancers?

“Doctors, attorneys, housewives, teachers, accountants,” she said.

In fact, the studio is an accounting office by day. Jeannette Frederick is an accountant and a pole dance instructor.

“My love would be the pole dancing. The money is made in accounting for right now,” she said.

The competition and convention runs Saturday and Sunday. Click here for ticket information.

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