32 New Things: Take A Pole Dancing Class

I know you’ve probably mistaken me for a professional stripper in these photos because
I give good ‘sexy face’ and my dress shorts are extremely alluring.

I danced on my high school’s dance team.  I’ve taken hip hop, tap, belly and salsa dancing classes.  I have actually taken part in dance-offs.  In clubs.  With strangers.

Despite this, it took me three years to work up the nerve to take a pole-dancing class.
  And even then, I had to go with a friend and engage in that mental trickery where you tell everyone you’re doing it, so you can’t back out.Here are the things I learned from 90 minutes of clinging to a pole with my thighs* No one cares about your thighs
I know you care about your upper thighs (I certainly care about mine). But I’d estimate that 2% of the female population has cellulite-free upper thighs.  We’re all so busy worry about our own thighs, we’re not going to look at yours.  It doesn’t matter.  Nobody’s looking.

* Having a good teacher makes all the difference
It’s totally unnerving and intimidating to try new things – especially physically challenging or sexy things. Not surprisingly, having a patient, sweet, frank teacher makes all the difference.  I cannot recommend Amy at Polaris in Wellington highly enough.  She’s lovely and funny and she’ll teach you the difference between sexy vs. hootchie.  (Though it’s up to you what you want to do with that information.)  Also: she does not have six pack abs which makes her 1 million times more approachable.

* Hoiking yourself around a pole is hard work
There will be bruising.  There will be grunting with effort and strain.  Maybe your arm skin will stick to the pole, twist around and give your those red burn marks like third grade.  Sometimes you’ll start spinning too high up on the pole and lose momentum with your knees dangling three anti-climatic inches above the floor.

* When in doubt, prance around your pole while winking

This is probably a metaphor for life, right?

After I got over the embarrassment of sucking, I enjoyed myself – even if I did burst blood vessels in my knee.  I’m not sure I’ll go back, mostly because there are other dance forms I enjoy more, but I’m glad I tried it.  Maybe I’ll integrate some of those moves into my next dance-off.

Have you ever taken a pole dancing or burlesque dance class?  What’d you think of it?

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  1. Pull Your Socks Up!

    Haha this is great! I'd love to be your dance-off opponent at your next club outing, just to see what pole-style moves you'll come up with. I wanted to give it a go, but like you, I feel it's one of those things that's more fun with a friend and none of mine are game. You look like you're having a ball and I love your tips – esp the one about thighs – so true!!

  2. Jasmine

    I took burlesque classes for a couple of years and ended up performing around Melbourne a few times. It was AWESOME and totally changed the way I feel about myself, my body, and concepts of sexiness. I'd spent a couple of years wallowing in post-pregnancy-body-hatred, but all that disappeared after about … oh, a month of burlesque classes? My burlesque school also did pole classes, and the girls in there always looked like they were having fabulous fun. For bonus points, the oldest student in the pole classes was a Grandma in her late 60s!

  3. Sophiegoose

    The closest thing I've ever done to this is Carmen Electra's strip tease workout video. I have to say, its a lot less embarrassing to do a video in your room without anyone looking. Until you accidentally leave it at home after a long weekend and your mom seems "intrigued"

  4. The Remarkable Redhead

    Sounds like so much fun! I've always been curious about trying pole dancing!

  5. Sarahf

    That's great! The teacher is really important. One of the instructors at my gym takes a women only class, and she's totally the right person for it. She's in good shape, but curvy good shape, so she's toally approachable.

  6. Sarah

    Took a class for a bachelorette party and had the best time!! While we were sore for days after, we had a great time and it was way better than any other bachelorette party I've been to.I highly recomend it to any one. It's a great out side the comfort zone activity. Ang a great night with the girls laughing and having fun.

  7. Anonymous

    actually, your 32 before 32 inspired my 30 before 30 list- and I just crossed pole dancing off two days ago!
    I thought my teacher wasn't the best (she laughed at me in front of the others and I think 8 students are way to much for a beginners class but I had fun and am glad I went

  8. Haley

    It is SO cool that you actually worked up the courage to try it! This is such a brave thing to do (to me, at least). I do hear that it's a great way to work out, by the way you're describing all the bumps & bruises, I'd say it's a fantastic work out! 🙂

  9. The Curious Cat

    Just for medical reasons I wouldn't mind shedding some weight from my thighs – never heard about the bruising before though! xxx

  10. The Dame

    I trained as a pole dancer under the current Miss Pole Dance Australia (if you want to know who taught her, Youtube Felix Miss Pole Dance Australia 2006 and prepare to be amazed! Or search Allegra)

    Pole dancing is really hard and I gained many bruises and cuts (kicking yourself with high heels on is not fun!) but I also gained mad arm muscles and stamina!

    I can now hang upside down and throw myself around fairly well while at the top of a pole which is empowering!

    Im glad you took the class, its so fantastic to get in touch with your feminine power! 😀

    The Dame

  11. The Naked Redhead

    Yup…never felt more beautiful in my life. Our teacher was FANTASTIC.

  12. Leanne

    I've always wanted to try pole dancing! Seems hard but fun, and also a place where cellulite-free upper thighs might actually help … for the other 98% of us : )

  13. Kim @ Life Analytical

    I really want to try it! There's a studio a block from my house. I'm the kind of person who only likes to do things I know I'm going to be good at, and I don't think I quite have the strength required, but I need to suck it up and just go it. I'm putting it on the 26 before 26 list I'm making.

  14. Shannon

    Took a lap dance class in Dallas with a group of girls for a bachelorette party, SUPER fun!!!!! I am a plus sized girl, so at first I was like ehhhhh not sure about this….but once I got into it I was having so much fun I forgot about any body issues or worrying about other dumb stuff, so I would def recommend it for everybody!

  15. Leah

    For a friend's bachelorette party weekend last year, a group of girls and I took a pole dancing class and it was a lot of fun but I'm not so sure I'll do it again. Like you said, it's a lot of work and honestly I didn't feel sexy at all! Haha Our instructor was amazing and watching her do her thing on the pole was very cool but I personally lack those skills! Good for you for getting out there and doing it though! Every girl should try it at least once!

  16. DaniellaBella

    I hung out with a friend of a friend recently who is a pole dancing teacher. She held a party with a tons of women I'd never met. And it was fun. Strangely enough to combat the awkwardness that always comes with trying to be overtly sexy, we decided to dress up in skin-tight spandex modern dance costumes which were utterly hideous. And hilarious. And it was awesome.

  17. Laurie Safari

    Never taken a pole dancing class, but I've certainly thought about it! I have, however, taken several hula hoop dance classes. I highly recommend it, but there will be bruising in this arena as well. The first time I tried to thigh-hoop, it looked like I'd been to nunchuck practice.

  18. Darcie

    okay, i'm going to do this:

    * When in doubt, prance around your pole while winking


  19. Nina

    i've done hula hooping, i do aerial silks and pole at the moment and i love them.

    i was a bit wary about pole because of all the connotations but i realised that it's less prancing and more amazing tricks.

    it's such a fun special skill and builds loads of muscle. i'm not particularly thin but it doesn't matter there. i hate regular sport so these more unusual classes are how i've fixed my back injury.

    burlesque next on my list

  20. McKella

    I'd love to try a pole dancing class! The only dance class I've ever done is Zumba, and some dance classes in high school that counted as PE credits. I'd love to learn to dance though, and I think pole dancing looks like a blast, and a great way to gain upper body strength.

  21. Anonymous

    Never done Pole dancing but I am doing a burlesque class at the moment which is so-so and I believe that is due to the teacher.
    I also do Ceroc which I love! and am doing the burlesque to help with my "Ladies Play" in my ceroc!

  22. Shelby

    Rarely do I comment. This I loved! Every word of it! I don't know that I can quite put my finger on it yet, but this article just made me feel so full of joy and inspiration!

  23. Kelly L

    You know, this is the sort of thing that I would normally be too intimidated to try, but this post makes me want to give it a shot… hmmm….

  24. Jessica

    Oh burlesque classes! Women taking it seems to come away with another sense of self esteem around their bodies and body images.

  25. WNZ

    Great! You're so inspiring 🙂 I've decided to prepare my own list 3(1) of new things i wanna do 😀

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