So what do you know about pole dance? Sure the first thing that might come to mind is that of the sexy strip club variety...but did you know that there's a whole other side to pole dance as both a sport and an art!
Today I headed to Pole Divas in Moonee Ponds to discover more about the fitness benefits of pole dance in the form of a Beginners Spin Class. FYI this is where the pole is set to spin as you maneuverer your body around it. There is also Static pole dance, where the pole doesn't move. Static would be best for beginners but as I have completed a term of static, I boldly signed up to the spin class...a choice that has my body shaking an angry fist at me today!
Armed with that previous pole experience, I already had the fabulously high pole dancing stilettos in my arsenal. You know, the ones that make your legs look as long as a Victoria's Secret model strutting down the catwalk! And I also knew that when it came to clothing, less is definitely more, but don't fret ladies the lighting is extremely flattering and you do actually need your bare skin to make contact with the pole for grip (but more on that later).
Fortunately, it was a 35 degree day so trotting off to the Pole Divas studio in booty shorts and a singlet was not at all out of place. When I arrived, the reception was buzzing with girls waiting for the next series of classes to start. I quickly take in the group around me, in every single shape and size, all so gloriously relaxed in an assortment of crop tops, cheeky booty revealing undies, shorty shorts and bras. You see this is safe space, a place to be confident in who you are, an empowering female dominated arena to get fit, be strong, bask in your sexuality and generally kick ass. And that's what we were about to do.
I meet my instructor for the class, Mischka. A gorgeous ball of energy and one crazy talented pole dancer...you have to see her Instagram! As the class assembles, she get's us started with a fun warm up that fully gears our bodies up for what's ahead..um that would be a total butt kicking!
As I've come mid term for my drop in class, the other girls in the class start practising and perfecting their impressive moves. While I attempt to navigate the spinning pole, which happens to go very fast if you hold on too close. Mischka is quick to come over and give me some tips and get me trying some basic grips.
Now, before I go any further, let me just state fully for the record that under no circumstances is pole dancing easy. You don't just swan around the pole looking all sexy and seductive...hell no! Pole is a full body workout that challenges each and every muscle in your body. Your core will be on fire, your arms will burn, your skin will pinch gripping the pole, your legs will quiver from holding on. But you will feel sensual. You will feel athletic. You will feel alive! Cue action shots...
There's no doubt that it takes real strength and dedication to make it look effortless, this is evident when Mischka demonstrates our next move. It's bloody mesmerising...and no I did not execute it the same way haha! But that is why she is the teacher and I am the student. And we all need to start somewhere.
So as I fight through the pinchy pain of the pole gripping my inner thighs...you do get used to this btw..I also feel the layers of insecurity peel away. As I sashay and spin around the pole, we are taught how to finish each movement with a sensual polish. I've never felt more feminine doing something so hard core!
It's here where I can see the benefit in signing up for an entire term, especially for a beginner. Each week you develop so much in your flexibility, poise, strength and technique. I even noticed I'd improved from the beginning of the class to the end.
After playing with some more movements, some of which I could do...others I could not! Mischka taught us some dance choreography. The chorey was more about using the pole to perform and it was oh so seductive and fun! Lots of hip swinging, booty popping and pony tail flicking...ah all my favourite things! It was such a fun way to round out the class, just letting us lose ourselves in the music and release our inner sassy diva.
We finish with a nice stretch and cool down, and I can already feel my hamstrings cursing me.
But I left renewed and refreshed from having been physically challenged and tested once again.
My verdict: Leave your inhibitions at the very pretty pink door and give it a go.
So, do you think you can Find Your Fit with Pole Dance?
Well here's what I think...if you are looking for a way to get fit and strong that's also got a cheeky little twist to it, than this is for you. Oh and if we're talking bod goals, there's some pretty strong evidence to say that a body by pole is a body worth having...think dancer meets gymnast.
As a complete newbie I would recommend signing on for a whole term of Beginner Classes at Pole Divas. Each week, you will learn and add onto the basics, gain confidence and see changes in your body. Also the instructors are incredible in taking you on a baby steps journey into Pole.
Why not check out the Pole Divas website here for everything you need to know on locations, prices, timetables and so much more.
Do you know someone in the fitness game who is super motivating and inspiring?
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