Twirling around on a pole looks easy, so when a couple of friends wanted to test pole dancing fitness, I tagged along with the only apprehension that I wouldn’t be flexible enough for the workout. Although I had enough enthusiasm, I’d seriously misjudged the skill and strength required to pull off the moves.
Our instructor taught us just three moves but it was enough to leave all of us with marks on our arms and legs as well as aching limbs for the days to come (hold the jokes please!). She got us to place our stronger hand up high on the bar and our other hand across our body at a 90 degree angle. From there we were supposed to tuck our outer leg around the bar and then push off so as to spin ourselves around the bar in a seamless movement. Unfortunately this didn’t go to plan and mostly resulted in fits of laughter. After overcoming the guaranteed embarrassment of this activity, all of us were just about able to pull this move off… well my friends did; I’m not quite sure I managed it.
As the only beginners in the class we were in awe of those who’d been practising for a while who were climbing the bar, tipping upside down and showing off their pole dancing brilliance. It was with a pang that we realised how our former expectations of the exercise were completely off the mark and that to ever reach the pole dancing echelons, we’d be training for what would feel like years, despite our instructor encouraging us that we can achieve as much in just three months. (Clearly she’s not taught an awkward trio of Brits before!)
There’s no doubt about it that pole dancing is a fantastic way to gain core and upper body strength so if perchance you are committed to the cause and have endless hours to practice, in time you may even be able to show off like pole dancing champ Oona Kivela… if not, I guess you’ll be stuck in the admiration camp, with me!