So my girl Lisa and I went to pole dancing class last night: fully clothed, women only. We didn’t know the damn difference either way, but in this particular class, the pole spun. Apparently a little screw lives in the bottom and if you take it out the pole spins, and holy crotch-shot does that muthafucker spin fast?!We arrived a little early and signed our lives away in a questionably enforceable release form. A class was finishing up before ours and the waiting area looks on to the dance floor, so we watched to see what to expect – booty shorts, leg warmers, and bedhead is what we got, in case you were wondering.The instructor introduced herself and gave a vague introductory spiel which could pretty much be summed up with these closing words of wisdom: “If you aren’t comfortable with sexy, go for graceful.”The class began with a weird wall warm up where we placed our shoulders against the wall, ass away from the wall, students in a line, staring at the mirror. Cue a series of hip gyrating, sexy wall sits and body rolls. Awkward. We giggled our way through and couldn’t really muster the sexy self-thigh touching urged by the teacher. From the wall we moved to the floor starting on all fours and moving through some rounding and arching of the spine, rib cage rolls, and booty pops topped off with frequent encouragement to whip our hair. I didn’t watch the clock, but I’d guess we did about 20 minutes of floor work total, including abs. The instructor let out random “whoots” and “you’re sexy!”Next the instructor broke us into groups 1) über beginners (us) + 2 others, 2) 3-4 intermediates, and 3) 2-3 more advanced. Each group gathered around one pole in the front row. There were other poles unavailable in the back row that were unused, but for some reason we grouped up and shared. Not a plus in my opinion because who wants an audience when you are new at something and suck? Let me endure my humiliation in semi-private with my own pole in the back row. But alas it was not to be. The Pole Professor gave each group a move to work on; ours was the most basic, the fireman. We took turns giving it a whirl. It is a standard move, you’ve all seen it. Walk around, twirl, you get it. The pole spins though, so you start going and at first you don’t know how to slow down. Think merry-go-round on meth.One girl in the group, we’ll call her the ringer, obviously had quite a pole dancing history and broke out a series of advanced moves. Bitch this is the beginner group; go play with the intermediates.We clapped for one another, but Lisa and my expressions on the pole read more “clinging for life” than seductive. The ringer had on short-shorts and showed a substantial slice of cooch splaying her legs like a profesh pole paper chaser.The standing around waiting for a turn pretty much plummeted any sort of physical fitness benefits. It would have been nice if they had played music so we could dance in between. The workout itself wasn’t very challenging. The pole dancing does require specific strengths, and I’m sure we’ll be sore, but how much of that is from whipping our heads around like Tawny Kitaen?I don’t regret going, but I’m not sure I’m dying to perfect the art of pole dancing. For what? I’m not hitting amateur night. I’d sooner die than install a pole in my home, so the potential for growth is rather limited.That said, I’d go again if another friend wanted to check it out. After another several sessions, I might be able to do a trick or two. But you will never catch my ass in a booty short.And on that note, the bodies of the instructors were decent, but not spectacular, which gives the impression that pole dancing isn’t going to provide miraculous changes in body shape.In sum, like most things in life pole dancing is worth a go at least once. Would I add it to my regular work out regime? No? Do I think some of the moves are potentially dangerous – like the whipping of the head and neck? Yes.Ultimately this pole-dancing fitness craze is worth a try, but it is not an ideal long term fitness plan. Sprinkle it in like you do visits to the strip club – sparingly and not without some shame.
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