"The exercise helps to calm my brain in a different way than traditional exercise. I find I'm stronger and more limber with every class. The relaxed, encouraging atmosphere gives me the freedom to connect with my inner woman."
This woman is not raving about Yoga or Pilates, she's actually referring to her Pole Dancing class. Now that I've got you blushing, cast aside all preconceived notions of dimly lit strip bars filled with ladies in easily removable Lycra dresses, gyrating, booty popping and hair-flipping to Motley Cru. While it may have started in gentlemen's clubs, Pole Dancing has quickly become a popular fitness trend and fun way for women to get in touch with their sensual side. So if you've decided to take the plunge, read on about what to expect from a beginner's Pole Dancing class.
Shall We Dance?
There's nothing to be afraid of. Classes are far more PG-13 than X. The dance itself involves performing aerobic moves on a vertical pole including spins and inversions. Arm, leg and abs muscles are used deeply for this so expect a very thorough workout from your first class. You'll be taught several moves which build into a short routine. Traditional classes will include warm up, stretching, "pole-time" and cool down. If practiced consistently over a few months, the benefits you'll reap include increased strength, muscle tone, suppleness, lost inches, and a healthy dose of sexual self-confidence.
Chose your class carefully. The good ones offer a safe, ladies-only environment where instruction takes place out of public view. You aren't going to be doing anything risqué but there's a small minority who get a cheap thrill from peering into such classes. Yeah, they're out there. And no, you most definitely will not be required to take your clothes off. Make sure a professional teacher rather than a professional dancer teaches your class. In extreme cases a Pole Dancing accident can lead to major injuries, such as neck sprains and breaks. It's essential to be in company of someone with anatomy and physiology training to ensure your safety with every twist, twirl and inversion.
What to Wear?
Thankfully, you won't be asked to prance about in a sequined thong. Normal workout gear is fine, a tank top and shorts is recommended. You'll find most students learn in bare feet or sneakers. Advanced classes allow heels, but the sturdy t-strap variety. As a beginner, leave the patent leather platforms at home. You'll be gripping the pole with your inner thighs so it's best to wear what's comfortable while allowing your skin to be in direct contact with the pole to prevent slippage. Don't forget to bring extra layers to the studio too. While waiting for your shot on the pole it can get chilly and you'll want to keep those sinewy muscles warm and limber.
Dewy Skin is a Don't
One might assume slathering on shimmering body lotion would add a little shine to their routine. Not so fast. Leave off oils or moisturizers of any kind from both your hands and body. You'll need as much friction as possible to stay on the pole. That said, it's also a good idea to wipe the pole down before getting your Demi Moore on.
It's Pole Dancing, Not Pole Pouncing.
Don't jump, pounce, leap or throw your body at or around the pole. Build momentum for spins by walking around the pole and swinging your outside leg towards it. Pull yourself up onto the pole with your arms and abs. At no point should you be jumping up onto it. Banging yourself up isn't sexy, neither are bruises and Band Aids.
Whether practicing at the nearest gym or in a dedicated Pole Dancing studio, you'll find this exercise to be an awesome workout and a fun means of expressing yourself. And when you're ready to share your new moves with your man, compete with Lucite platforms and a stretchy snake dress—more power to you.