What It’s Like to Take a Pole Dance Class

I know you’re thinking one of three things right now:

1. She takes off all her clothes and swings around on a pole. How could anyone talking about such an inappropriate subject on a blog?

2. Pole dancing is so cool. I wish I had the courage to take a class like that.

3. I want to take a pole dance class but I don’t know what they do in the class and if it would be appropriate for me.

To start with the clothes do stay on. However, I do wear a leotard and a short pair of workout shorts. You really need your skin to help you stick to the pole to do anything basic. You don’t have to wear a midriff top to start however the more advanced you get it would definitely be helpful. If you have a problem wearing shorts and a tank-style top then I wouldn’t recommend a pole dance class.

Now to address the inappropriate subject: I get a lot of reactions when I tell people I’m taking a pole dance class. It’s like they think pole isn’t real dancing. I’m here to tell you that it is. It requires a lot of athleticism, core and overall body strength plus grace. You need to be strong to climb up the pole and have a strong core to do the aerial tricks and the grace and knowledge of dance helps with body awareness. You need to know where your body is and where all the parts of your body are at one time when you’re taking a pole dance class.

Now the best part of taking: it’s so fun! Don’t be embarrassed to take this class by yourself ladies. Get some confidence. No one in my class knows another person in the class yet we’ve all made friends and encourage each other along the way. So the excuse of “I can’t sign up because my friends won’t sign up with me” is bullshit. Sign up and go. You’ll regret not signing up. You’ll get a great workout and work muscles you never knew existed.

Here’s what we do in the class: we start with a warm up (crunches, shoulder and neck rolls, etc.) to get our muscles and core warmed up. Then we stretch to get everything loose. Next we do our warm-ups on the pole itself to get our forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders and back warmed up. Then we usually practice our spins on the pole like the fireman spin, the carousel, etc. After spins we usually practice climbing the pole to get up to the top. I’m can only do one climb so far. The goal is to do the crucifix where you do one climb, wrap your legs around the pole to hug it and let go with both hands so you and the pole are vertical and you are hugging the pole. After climbing we will practice handstands and inversions. Then we usually work on our pole dance routine to put everything together. Any dancer will tell you that an amalgamation is a great way to practice everything you’ve been working on the class. The repetitiveness reinforces everything you’ve been learning to memory. Routines are very helpful for any student. When I leave class I’m sore and have had a great time.

Will your significant other think this is sexy? Yes. Pete thinks this is sexy. It sure doesn’t feel sexy being covered in bruises and looking at myself in the mirror struggle to climb up the pole!

I’ve learned from taking this class that I really do still love dance. It’s nice to get back into it in a way that’s vegan (no suede shoes) and is a totally different workout than what I’m used to. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of going to the gym or going for your daily run. It’s a great way to break out your shell. You’ll even get marks or bruises to show your right of passage into the pole world as you break your skin in on new pole moves.

Remember…what happens on the pole stays on the pole…and the bruises will show up tomorrow morning!

Sara Sawochka