My right wrist is killing me and the insides of my upper thighs are chaffed. Those strippers make it look so easy and sexy but I tell you what; nothing about the way I climbed up that pole and held on for dear life in my Sit position would be considered sexy. To move to the next level I'd have to learn to hold myself there for at least 30 seconds without using my hands. You have to press your crotch into the pole, wind your legs around it tight as you can and use your foot to anchor yourself in place. In level two you learn how to do it upside down and it simply would not do to fall on your head. I placed my hands in my lap and tried to ignore the pain in my thighs as I slowly slipped down centimeter by centimeter. This is Pole Fitness class at Sumara Pole Fitness and Dance Studio. My arms are tired, my hands hurt, I'm feeling like a clod and I'm barely half way through the 50 minute class. Oh crap. What have I gotten myself into.
It looks just like a typical ballet studio except there is no barre and the room is filled with floor to ceiling poles. In the newbie class we learned how to clean our poles and do three spins. My favorite was the Fireman. You always start with your inside leg and you walk North, South and East around your pole and then hook your legs around it and go into a spin. I was a little tentative but I managed the moves pretty well for my first time. After the Newbie class I was allowed to take a Level One which is where this whole pole dancing thing got really hard. I showed up in my short shorts and tank just like I was told. The pole needs skin to help you stick so yoga pants and sleeves don't cut it. I used to be a gymnast. I have a strong core and I have never done girl push ups in my life so I like to think I have a little bit of upper body strength but I just barely managed the Tuck, Pike and Straddle lifts. Then it was time for spins. I did really good on the Forward Chair Spin. My sexy up was a little unsexy but I made it work. I got the Stag spin down but because you basically spin your way onto the floor my knees took a beating. The back hook spin was the toughest. This one requires four steps around the pole and a backwards fall while while hooking the back of your knee around the pole arching your back and then falling into the spin. I had to wrap my brain around doing it in the other direction when my body was confused about doing it in just the one. I was the only one in class so it was basically a private lesson which made it even tougher.
This studio does offer a Sexy Silhouettes class with mood lighting where you can learn sexy little routines. You can wear platforms or bare feet and knee pads are not required but recommended. The prerequisites for that class are Newbie and Level 1. The Level 1 through 4 pole fitness classes center around learning skills and technique. No clear heels or lingerie required. It's a work out. Anyone who doesn't believe that pole dancing requires athleticism and strength need only sign up for an introductory pole class and they will probably change their tune. My stomach started to feel a little upset on the way home. Spinning around in circles affects me a lot differently then it did when I was a kid. Pole dancing is so much harder then it looks. And it's painful. I felt a little beat up after wards. I could feel callouses forming on my hands right away and the next day my knees and wrists were bruised. My arms and shoulders were so sore! Class was on a Tuesday and on Friday I was still feeling it.
Pole dancing has moved way beyond the strip club. It's a sport now. This studio has a Performance Team. There is an International Pole Dancing Fitness Association and US and World Pole Fitness Championships. If anyone is curious about what these pole dancers are capable of here is a link to photos of various Pole Dancing spins and skills. Most of which I could probably never do no matter how hard I tried. Mj sent me to two classes on a Groupon. He may have been hoping I'd come back with a sexy routine to do for him at home but I had to take my prerequisites. So if I do go back I'll try Sexy Silhouettes; and I'll wear knee pads.