In honour of the current Winter Olympics, my fitness adventure this week is dedicated to a sport that maybe (they are trying) a new addition to the 2016 Olympic Games- Pole Dancing.
In the last few years, pole dancing seemed to have broken barriers and preconceptions and became a recognized sport and fitness method. More and more dance studios and gyms are offering pole fitness classes as an alternative to the usual workout routines. In Vancouver, I returned to Tantra Fitness to try out Intro to Pole.
Knowing I have very weak arm muscles (I’m working on them), I checked out Tantra’s website to learn about pole fitness prior to class. There were over a dozen pole classes, ranging from beginners to advanced levels- which wasn’t surprising since Tantra trains “every day people from beginners to National and International Champions.”
Our Intro instructor for the Sunday class was Melanie, who began by teaching us the correct way to hold the pole, and how to align the wrist. Each of us got our own pole – with 15 in total in the studio – and with the music pumping, we began to learn some basic foundations and spins.
Even with both feet on the ground, these spins are much tougher than they look. Just the amount of upper body and core strength involved in the first class proved that this is an intense workout. And the sexiness associated with pole dancing (along with spins called “the Fireman”), well those are just bonuses.
“I believe pole dancing is gaining popularity because you get a great workout while having fun at the same time,” said Melanie, who has been teaching fitness since 1998 and a pole dancer for 12 years. “In pole dancing, you can progress quite quickly, and participants have a real sense of accomplishment after just one class. It is a also constant mental stimulation as opposed to some other repetitive types of exercises.”
After the Intro class, fitness enthusiasts are able to take any of the beginner pole classes. Some of the advanced classes include Polefit, Exotic Dance, and Partner Pole. Although I haven’t mastered pole fitness after one class, I do have the urge to do “The Fireman” spin every time I see a pole. Overall, pole dancing is a great body workout for all fitness levels, especially if you’re looking for gym alternatives with a side of sexy.
Tantra Fitness currently has a two-week trail Intro to Pole for $35, or an individual Intro class for $15.