Welcome to the first in the series of Fitness Focus posts. Being active in your life is so important in maintaining a healthful balance. Personally I just cannot hack gym workouts. They bore me and I hate waiting around for machines. I prefer more ‘fun’ types of exercise, that doesn’t feel like you’re ‘in training.’
Today I am introducing you to Pole Dancing or Pole Fitness. It is so much fun and an awesome all body workout. I know the term Pole Dancing conjures up visuals of sleazy men’s clubs, sticky floors, naked dancers and dollar bills. Participating in Pole dancing for fitness you get to keep your clothes on. Until you voluntarily strip down after a few sessions when you’re very sweaty after the warm up and figure out the smaller the shorts = all the better to grip with.
I’m so excited to share this interview with you staring my own ‘pole-spiration’ and friend Helgi. After seeing these amazing photos pop up on Facebook I was super inspired to give Pole a go and booked into a six-week beginner course. Enjoy!
How did you discover Pole Dancing & what inspired you too give it a try?
– I had a few friends who were doing it, and they couldn’t stop raving about how much fun they were having while getting a great workout.
Tell us about your first class? Was it love at first spin or a battle to go back?
– I was hooked instantly! As soon as I saw some of the more advanced girls practice, I couldn’t wait to learn those tricks and dance like them.
How long have you been dancing for now & how often do you practice?
– About a year now. Our studio closed down in December, so I haven’t been practicing as often as I used to. Ideally I try to practice several times a week on the pole, and have 1 or 2 good stretch sessions as well.
What is your favourite move & how long did it take you to master it?
– Probably my Gemini to Scorpio leg switches. It only took a few sessions to get it down, but now the challenge is doing it with the pole in spinning mode!
What is your most challenging move?
– Right now either my Aisha/ Candlestick ( it takes a lot of shoulder strength!) Or my Jade splits- Still working on flexibility!
How does pole dancing make you feel, what makes you keep coming back for more?
– Pole dancing makes me feel strong, powerful, graceful, sexy, inspired, sometimes frustrated, but always wanting to learn more, get better and master that next move.
Have you noticed a difference to you health, body shape, mental wellbeing since making Pole Dancing a regular part of your fitness routine?
Absolutely! Pole dancing is so much fun, you don’t realize how much of a workout you are getting at the time, but I have noticed a huge difference in my upper body, leg and core strength, overall body shape and flexibility. It is also a great stress reliever, which I’m sure is true for any type of dance, but you can really put all your emotions into it, it’s very cathartic.
Do you do any other sports or activities? Has your performance been improved since you started pole dancing?
I have been horseback riding since I was 8 or 9 years old, and I had previously considered myself to be a pretty fit person, but Pole has made me stronger and fitter than I ever thought possible. The flexibility needed has also really helped improve my riding, as horseback riders can tend to get pretty stuck, especially through their hips and back.
What are your future plans for pole dancing?
Keep learning and improving, taking online lessons with my coach, Kristy, who lives in LA. Continue trying to get together with friends for regular Pole Jams, and keep trying to get those damn splits!
What advice would you give to a pole newbie interested in taking a class/beginners course?
- Check out a few places before you decide where to enroll. There are lots of different teaching styles out there, and you should feel comfortable with the teacher, and the studio. Ask about what moves you will be learning and if the teacher is certified through a pole organization. Pole can be dangerous if the teacher does not take the time to give you good solid basics before moving on to harder moves. If they are expecting you to invert ( go upside down) in the first few classes, you could hurt yourself. On the flip side, if you are only learning one or 2 moves per class, you might find yourself getting bored. Find a studio/ teacher that seems right for you.
- Expect to feel a little silly the first time you try. Once you get comfortable that awkwardness will go away and you will be feeling strong and sexy in no time!
- Be prepared for bruises. The pole is metal. You are not. Expect some pain and bruising to happen as you learn new moves. You will learn to wear you bruises with pride, as they are evidence you mastered that new trick.
- You may get hooked. Many start out thinking pole will be a once- per –week addition to their fitness routine. Next thing they know, they have a pole in their living room, and have given up their day job to open a studio. Once you realise how amazing pole makes you feel, it must become a very important part of you life, I know it did for me.
Thank you for sharing Helgi! Who wants to get their spin on now? Hot pants optional.
Anyone in Perth, WA looking to give Pole a whirl I completed the six weeks beginners course at the She Moves studio in Joondalup (3 studios in total across the city). A very professional set up, safety cues & injury check up’s at the start of each class, great instructors and as Helgi mentions there are no inversions until the Intermediate course. This can only be taken after the Beginners. On completion of the course you qualify to join in the weekly casual ‘Smoulder and Spin’ class that incorporates most of the beginner spins in a one-hour, pre choreographed class. Be prepared for bruising and feeling totally silly to start out, with moves like ‘stripper push ups’ & ‘the sexy frog’ you can’t but laugh (& twirl) you’re way to fitness.
Love & light,