So one problem with taking pole dancing classes at a studio is not having a way to show off the new moves at home! That’s where a lot of the fun in pole dancing comes from: the ability to show off. My husband and I won a novelty pole years ago at a party and it’s been collecting dust under our bed ever since because of the warning against putting much body weight on it (um…isn’t going up in the air the whole POINT?)
But Ron called Melanie (one of DollHouse’s owners) to ask about pole construction in the studio. She directed him to a web site where you can buy the poles and told him that her own husband is the one who installed everything in the studio. Ron took a look and it turns out that a pole for our house would be relatively affordable. In the meantime though, we decided to experiment with the novelty pole just to see what it could handle.
It held up surprisingly well! It only slipped on me once and I was in the middle of an aerial spin with a fair amount of lateral movement, so it wasn’t a big shock. But I was SO happy to have a way to practice the moves I’d learned! I put on one of the DirecTV music channels and just started dancing. This is where the dance background comes in pretty handy; you can kind of fill in the empty spaces in your skill with general dancing. I was really having a blast while Ron was in the backyard mowing the lawn.
Pole dancing IS dancing, and it is physical work; I got sweaty in a short amount of time. I debated going upstairs to put on workout clothes and then had a “duh” moment. Um…it’s a stripper pole. Bra and underwear (and high heels for the kicker) work just fine, thank you very much. When Ron finally did come in, he was pretty amused. “I love it,” he said. “I’m out mowing the lawn and my wife is inside pole dancing.” Yeah…
So I danced until my arms and shoulders ached. I am in really good shape; I have tremendous lower body strength and almost unending endurance, but full-on, hardcore upper body strength? Not so much. There are pole pull-ups involved. And turns. And spins. And sliding! It’s a real challenge.
This morning I headed into Booty Camp for Dolls; it’s the strengthening workout that gets you stronger for actual pole dancing. The workout is a combination of high intensity — barefoot — cardio and strengthening moves for your lower body, abs, and upper body. I got lost in a world of generalized pain as we moved past the warm up and into the pull ups. When done with proper body mechanics, you’re unlikely to cause injury, but no one said anything about burning pain in my shoulders! Then, just when I thought we were done with the pull-ups, we did more pull-ups combined with knee pull-ins to work our abs. This workout is NOT for the faint of heart. We did somewhere in the vicinity of a million squats after that and then Melanie destroyed our abs. Aside from the crazy hard upper body, these moves aren’t really anything I wouldn’t do in the Strength and Tone classes I teach, but strung together, they got pretty difficult.
I had signed up for Pole Level 1-2 right after Booty Camp. This is where you really start dancing. Melanie taught us several different moves that she strung into a routine throughout the class. I loved it! Something I could take home and not have to improvise. We learned the Girl on Top Spin, the Fireman Spin, and several other pretty — and pretty fancy looking — moves. All of it was really fun and really friendly. With all women in the class you can let go of your hang-ups and just enjoy yourself.
I can’t wait for my shoulders to feel better so I can show Ron what I learned!