Learn the basics, then add the sexy

There is a huge stigma attached to pole dancing. Most see the pole and immediately think of dollar bills and G-strings rather than the intense body-sculpting workout that it can be.

I recently hosted a Pole Dancing Workshop at the 12th Street Gym. Following the workshop, it was brought to my attention that there were a number of people interested in attending, but they were under the horrible misconception that they were signing up for a “stripping class.” The reality of things was that everyone kept their clothes on, and we focused on basic pole spins and acrobatic floor work. As a competitive pole artist and instructor, these are the essentials that I try to convey in my beginner-level classes and workshops.

Pole dancing, by definition, is the combination of dance and gymnastics moves performed on or around a vertical pole in a graceful, fluid routine. When used for fitness purposes, pole dancing can improve flexibility, muscle tone, bodily awareness and posture — as well as upper-body and core strength. Simply spinning around the pole and raising your knees to your chest activates muscles literally from your head to your toes! Perform these simple spins in conjunction with other inversions, add a few rolls on the floor, and you’ve got yourself a fat-burning workout produced by only your body weight and a metal pole. Sounds pretty easy, right?

The hardest part is taking your first beginner’s class. The only thing you need to do is locate a local studio and some gyms that offer pole dance. If you are feeling nervous, bring a friend and snap a picture together at the end for your Instagram! If you are afraid that you will not have the best upper-body strength, or that you won’t be very flexible — that’s OK! We all need goals in order to get better. If you are looking to start a new workout routine that will improve your overall body performance, as well as increase your confidence, then you should definitely give pole dance a “spin”!