The first thought that comes to mind when we think of pole dancing, is of the art of seduction, typified by scantily-clad women in glittering outfits. In truth, that is an image of the old that comes nothing close to what pole dancing as a sport has evolved into now. It is a now a popular sport that is full of grace and sophistication, since it requires the combination of so many elements, like strength, coordination and body awareness.
Good Workout Burn
Aside from how visually appealing pole dancing looks, most look to the sport as the perfect gateway to a lifetime of fitness — considering how the constant movement on the pole requires muscles in the entire body, you will have to build strength in your body, before you are able to take charge of the pole. But look on the bright side, once you get over this initial hump, think about how many calories you will burn and how much lean muscle you would develop with just half an hour on the pole. In just an hour on the pole, you are expected to burn as many as 350 calories — the perfect way to build strength and help you burn fat at escalated rates.
But… Pole Dancing Looks Scary
As intimidating as it might look, pole dancing as a sport asks that you approach your first few sessions with a pinch of salt (and perhaps a sense of humour as well). As with other sports, you are not going to achieve perfection on your first try, so take it easy! For the other participants in your class, they might have spent years dancing across the board, but it could be their first experience interacting with a pole. There really is nothing wrong with embarrassing yourself on your first day.
This leads us to our next point. If you are asking a friend to tag along, choose your companion wisely, as having the wrong company could just hold you back from expressing yourself fully. Otherwise, you can dip your toes into the waters alone, where there’s no chance of your embarrassing pictures surfacing among your pool of friends.
What Do They Learn in Class?
Most people think that pole dancing focuses just on the arms and pectorals, but it is so much more than that. Even in a simple move, you would require strength from your core, your arms to climb and your quadriceps and butt muscles to arch. Aside from that, it also requires flexibility, movements, grips and holds that are seldom used in common everyday activities. From each session, practitioners are able to determine the limitations to their body and figure out the areas that they have to work and improve on.
Physicality aside, it is also the mental sphere that is built on. Since much of the sport is made to look effortlessly done, practitioners are required to display self-confidence, focus and mental fortitude by detaching themselves from their emotions on the pole. For those who are always knocking into things and have been called a ‘klutz’, it would mean that you have very little kinaesthetic sense — that is your brain’s capacity to be aware of your own movements and what is around you. We are not joking when we say pole dancing can drastically help you steer clear of accidents, like falling down and knocking objects over a counter.
What Happens in the First Session?
For a start, the introductory class doesn’t ask of you to fulfil any of the fancy stuff that comes up when you run a Google search on pole dancing. In the beginner class, the focus is mainly on the rudimentals, like building up your strength and some simple moves on the pole. Feeling apprehensive about your first class? If we are being incredibly honest, most pole dancing studios focus their introductory class around having a good time, interacting with the pole and learning simple exercises to work your hips.
At the beginner class, it is a great opportunity for you to determine if pole dancing is the sport for you. It is only after a few sessions, will you transition gradually into the advanced techniques, like hip holds, inversions and handstands, subsequently turning into a full-body workout.
Face Your Fears
For most pole-dancing practitioners, the best bit about the sport is that it doesn’t feel quite like a workout — unlike the gym, which may wind up as a boring routine, pole dancing encourages them to face their fears and attempt the impossible, like a Russian Split that asks the body to perform a 180-degree inverted split parallel to the ground.
Of course, the convenience is just another positive, as well. Most of the time, you can just rock up to class in a tank top and shorts with some liquid chalk to get a good grip on the pole.
Perhaps the best bit of it is observing what you and your body are capable of. After all, who wouldn’t like looking in the mirror at their sexy self, accomplishing a move you thought was physically impossible in the past? Once you get the hang of it, you will be raring to go.