Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pole Dancing: Yes, I Did It!

Pole dancing has been gaining popularity in the media lately as a form of exercise because a lot of celebrities are beginning to be interested, and a lot of women are beginning to see it as empowering. As you are aware, it has been pretty much associated with strip clubs in the past, and so it is still sort of a "taboo" topic in some circles. But pole dancing is more than just shaking your bum and grinding in a man's lap.

In fact, in places like China and India, they have different forms of pole dancing that is predominantly performed by men, and is a very intense sport. In many other countries, including the US and the UK, pole dancing was a competitive sport before it became the thing you did in strip joints. However, most pole dancing fitness classes offered to women incorporate a lot of the sexy bit as well.

Why did I give you a little of that history? To lead into my next point. Pole dancing is not easy. You require a ton of upper body strength, flexibility, and the ability to endure pain. Why the last bit? Because you need that to use various parts of your body to grip the pole.

Usually, you start by learning basic little teasing moves, and then it gets a little harder as you learn strength moves, and how to grip the pole to hold yourself steady. At my first class, for a beginner like me, it was a little confusing to focus a lot on strength moves before the class started, mostly because I didn't know how much upper body work was required. But I followed on anyway, secretly wondering if we were going to ever touch the pole.

And then the instructor showed us the first spin. My mind was blown at something so basic. How was I supposed to spin around the pole without my legs touching the floor? This was the first class, no? But after trying and trying, I realized that just like any exercise, the bulk of the process is getting comfortable doing it. So after a few tries, I did the basic spin well.


We did a few other kinds of spins as she showed us how to place our hands and feet to make it easier, and not to hurt ourselves. By the end of my first class, I thought I was getting the hang of it, and my arms and core were starting to feel the burn, until the instructor said "Okay, it's time to climb the pole". Huh? I thought I was in a beginner class? I seriously did not believe there was any way I was climbing a slippery pole without falling on my butt. But I was determined to give it a shot. 

So I lifted my right knee so that my foot was on one side of the pole, and my knee was on the other (pressing my shin against the pole and grabbing it with the upper part of my foot). And then as the instructor said, I jumped up and put my other leg on the front of the pole so that I was cross-legged and the pole was now between my knees and ankles. And then I gripped the pole with both hands. And then she said to climb up the pole like a caterpillar. So basically, you grip with your knees and slither up one step at a time. And yes, I did it! That was probably my proudest moment in her class :)

Oh, but that wasn't all. Once we were up, we had to figure out how to stay up and then slide down sexily. We had to grab the pole between our inner thighs and just sit there that way. It may sound easy, but this is probably the part of all the classes I've taken that hurts the most. Gripping on to a steel pole with your inner thighs is not easy at all. Imagine the friction!

I'm smiling but it hurts!

I must admit, the funnest part of class is the humor of the pole dancing instructors. They are a lot of fun. I couldn't believe it when my instructor was training us to the "My Neck, My Back" song. A couple of us couldn't stop laughing. And then when they do some poses and you see how flexible they are, you come back down to planet earth.

Pole dancing has been a great experience and I will definitely be doing more. If you haven't tried it, you should. It is a good strength workout. You may not sweat too much because there is not too much cardio involved, but you build a lot of upper body strength, core strength, leg strength, and endurance. There are several classes being offered in different cities now so use Google, Groupon, Living Social, or one of those sites, and you'd be sure to find one near you.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photos by Oby Enyia


  1. Kudos to you, I probably won;t be able to try that :)

  2. Lmao @ i`m Smiling but it hurts.. you are brave,simple.

    1. Ah... the pain in my thighs was not funny. But I was like 'just smile', 'just smile'

  3. Omo mehn... this requires great effort.. kudos.

    - LDP

  4. Thanks so much for sharing! looks like fun! i hope i can try it soon!
    P.s. hope you're doing great it's been a while :) best wishes!

    1. Hello love. Yes, it has been a while. I'm glad you're back checking the blog out :) How have you been?


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