I’m fashionably late to the pole-dancing-for-fitness party, but I’ve at last arrived.
That I’m able to blog about my experience right now is both a miracle and a testament to the quality of the workout this activity provides. In short, I have a newfound respect for strippers.
I took my Beginner Pole Dancing class in a studio at the Hard Rock’s new Reliquary Spa. (As an aside, the spa is gorgeous–it’s modern and serene. I was somewhat befuddled by its Roman bath area, as I thought this was Caesar’s forte, but I was too drawn in by the rest of my surroundings to pay that anachronism much attention.)
The instructor kicked off the class with a lesson in lap dancing; a warm up, if you will. Now, I’m a fairly outgoing, try-anything-once (that doesn’t involve heights) kind of girl, so I happily attempted to give my empty chair the thrill of its life. Admittedly, though, I felt patently ridiculous and could scarcely make it a beat without cracking a “I can’t believe I’m really doing this” grin. Here’s the thing, though: guys are easy. So easy. Too easy. Way easier than a lifeless black folding chair. The fact is that if any of the girls who took this class with me busted out just one of the moves we did in swift combination tonight, she’d have male putty on her hands. In fact, I’m not sure the average guy could handle much more than that (though I’m sure they would all love to try). And, while I’m unlikely to attempt the whole routine outside of the classroom for fear of crumbling under my own ridiculousness, I do have it–and all its one-off killer moves–in my back pocket should I need to dance my way into or out of some future situation.
After our seductive warm up, we took to the poles. For me, this part of the class was less about being sexy and more about getting a good workout. I thought I’d be flipping around that pole in no time flat getting in some great cardio to make up for the elliptical session I skipped this morning. I could not have been more wrong.
I am fairly strong. Not like body-builder strong, but I can do my share of heavy-lifting. Unless, apparently, that lifting happens to involve my moving my body around a floor-to-ceiling brass pole. Then, well, no dice. This ranked among the best upper-body workouts I’ve ever had. You know that disorienting feeling of a flash bulb going off in your face in a dimly-lit room? That’s what my biceps, delts and lats are currently experiencing. I did actually feel myself getting stronger during the course of the hour, however–by the end of the class, I felt much more coordinated and was swinging around with some proficiency. This is versus the beginning of the class, where I wasn’t sure my hands were in the right position and I could barely lift myself off the ground.
The whole thing required quite a bit of coordination, too. I could actually feel my brain building new neurons trying to figure out the moves I was attempting. What really helped me was to stand back for a moment and visualize what I was trying to do–that seemed to help my brain get the hang of things.
I have no idea if any part of what I did tonight was the least bit sexy–I was too focused on trying to conquer the pole to notice myself in the mirror. I’ll make a point of tuning into that more next time. Yes, there will be a next time. Sometime soon. After I regain feeling in my arms.