I'll give you three hints: spins, pirouettes, and body rolls.
Did you figure it out yet?
I've spent the month of August taking pole dancing classes. Yep, you read that right. Pole dancing.
So, how does a devout LDS (read that as Christian for you non-LDS peeps) stay-at-home mom end up at pole dancing classes?
With three things: a desire to have fun while getting fit, a streak of daring and a Groupon.
I can't stand to be bored while working out. If it's boring, I'm not going to stick with it. I have a dance background and I like workouts that incorporate that. They are fun for me. I'm a fan of movies that feature dancing, like Hairspray and Burlesque. Whenever I watch them, I'm totally energized to get up, dance and get fit. Which reminds me, I need to buy Just Dance for the Wii.
(Mom's heads up, even though Burlesque is PG 13, I probably wouldn't let anyone under 18 watch it. Not because of language or gratuitous sex or anything, but simply the impressions it might give without the proper historical perspective of what burlesque was and I'm just not up for having males watch women dance around in Victoria Secret outfits even though the movie to me in no way objectifies women. Just giving you my two cents worth.)
I have a great friend that I've joked around with about how fun it would be to learn chair dancing routines and other forms of dance, like Zumba, for fun. She had recently seen a Groupon for pole dancing in her city and I suggested she give it a whirl. She passed on it. In July, at the beach, I noticed a Groupon for pole dancing in my very own town of Frederick and I clicked on it. I read the offer and then checked out the website. Which you can do here:
or check out their Facebook page here:
As it seemed a pefectly legitimate enterprise and I was looking for a way to pull out of my fitness slump, I clicked on the groupon and bought unlimited pole dancing for a month. I then filled my calendar with as many classes as I could. The only week I didn't attend was when we were at Deep Creek Lake.
The first day I went to class I wondered, What will it be like? What kind of women will be there? What will my instructor be like? (No offense to the guys, but pole dancing is currently a decidedly female trend, although there is discussion about including men if there is enough interest. Until then, it's a girl thing.) I fully expected to be sore in my arms, shoulders and core after the first class. Nope. That first week/week and a half, it was my legs. I used and stretched muscles that had been neglected in my bike and swim summer routine. The first week I took 3 classes. The second week, I took 5. The third week I took 2. The last week I took 2. My arms and core never felt all that sore. In fact, I was surprised at how quickly my muscles adjusted and strengthened. It is a serious workout that requires all of your body and mind. Remember you're holding all your body weight off of the floor and spinning around a pole. No easy feat, but way fun.
So, let's answer those questions I had on the way to my first class.
What will it be like?
The toughest workout you've ever had and probably the most fun too.
What kind of women will be there?
Other women and moms just like me and you who want to get fit and have fun doing it. I will say that the women are all on the younger to middle age part of the spectrum. I haven't seen a single grandma age woman there yet. Also, there are all body types. Some women are built like me, some smaller and some are what I fondly refer to as curvy. In one of my classes was a very curvy woman just starting on her fitness journey. She was wise and went to her doctor first before attending classes to see if she could take them and at our first class she informed our instructor that she has bad knees. Our instructor gave her modified moves to do until she becomes stronger and her knees become a non issue.
What will my instructor be like?
My instructors are women like anyone else and I had three different instructors over the course of the month who gave me insight into the techniques used that helped me get the hang of each move. Two are mothers. Watching an instructor invert on a pole gave me far more appreciation for this type of fitness. Also, there are both competitions and conferences for pole dancing. I was impressed that they really stressed proper technique to prevent injury. They are very conscientious about that aspect. Learn it right and you can grow stronger.
So, perhaps I have helped you give up the stereotype you may be harboring about what kind of woman takes pole dancing classes. She's a woman like you and me who wants to get fit and have fun doing it. So, go ahead, unleash your inner diva and sign up to spin around the pole. I know I'm looking forward to taking more classes as soon a my life allows again. It's the first time I've ever wanted to join any kind of gym workout type thing. I'm hoping next time to take beginning chair dance. That sounds like my kind of fun, as does Zumba, yogalates, and a few other classes they offer.
Take a chance on this underground movement in fitness. There are exotic fitness studios all over the country. You'll be glad you did. I know I am.
So, here's the part you've been waiting for, THE CHALLENGE & GIVE AWAY.
Sign up and take pole dancing classes. As proof, send me a picture of you with your instructor standing next to the pole. Use the e-mail address on the side bar to send me your pic.
The Give Away:
A fluffy feather boa.
Halloween. Send the picture to me by Oct. 31. If there are mulitple entries then I will do a drawing. I will announce the winner on Nov. 1.
Ready, Set, Pole!
What new kind of fitness did you try this year? Did you like it or not?