Exercise in Disguise: Pole dancing isn’t just for strippers
By Wendy Binns and Elizabeth Holmes
Excuse us, please. We hate to interrupt your routine. Perhaps you’re pedaling away on the stationary bike or sweating through another hill on the treadmill as you read this. But, we’re back and we must ask again: when was the last time you tried one of the latest Intown fitness trends?
If you made it out for a hula-hooping class after our article last month (you can still read it at atlantaintownpaper.com), then bravo to you! This month Elizabeth Holmes and I return to explain another exercise in disguise: pole dancing. We heard that this is a good way to get fit, increase flexibility, build confidence and vary the routine.
So, this is where Elizabeth steps – or shimmies – into the research. She said, “My 5-year-old takes a hip-hop class at Dance 411 and they offer so many really cool classes, pole dancing being one of them. I just had to check it out!” She geared-up, headed over to the neighborhood pole dancing class and learned some things on behalf of all us wondering about this workout.
Like me, you might first wonder what to wear. Elizabeth says you can wear anything from stiletto thigh-high boots to bare feet and sweats. You should wear what makes you comfortable. Elizabeth wore jeans and a t-shirt, which was fine for her.
She says it was really “freeing” to take the class and will probably take more. “The class is more about having and finding confidence in yourself, whatever your size or shape or age,” she said. “I think the main thing that was refreshing and different was the amount of encouragement you are given to be yourself, to toss away all the worries you may have about your appearance and just be free and you’ll feel sexy no matter what.”
The class instructor, Ninja, encourages her students while conducting a tough class and teaching new moves. And, the students get results. Elizabeth spoke to a 28-year-old woman named L.J., who’s been taking classes since 2008. L.J had tried everything to get into and help her stay in shape, but she often got bored and couldn’t find the fellowship she craved – until she found pole dancing at 411.
L.J. said, “By staying consistent with attendance, I’ve been able to maintain strength and toning in my abs and lower body for the first time. I started going 5-6 times a week, starting with the drop-in class.” Then, she advanced to the cardio-pole, which is good for toning if you stay consistent. She added, “It’s really been fun and you get in shape without realizing it.” Ahhh, now that’s the best way to exercise.
Dance 411 is located at 475 Moreland Ave. in East Atlanta. Check out dance411studios.com or call (404) 622-4110.