Last week I got invited by some dance class friends to attend a casual pole dancing, just for kicks. I had always wanted to try pole dancing so I agreed to join them at The Pole Gym on Friday night for a fun new experience.
Step one: dress appropriately
If you look on the website of any pole dancing class, they ask you to wear as little as possible to the class. Skin sticks to the pole when fabric does not, making it easier for you to do the moves and less likely to fall in a cottony, messy heap at the base of your exercise stick. Suggested attire is shorts; short shorts. Hot pants-like short shorts.
Now, I don’t own any short shorts. At least not ones I can wear around people. I have one pair that are like thick cotton high-waisted knickers, the kind you wear around the house on hot days when you really want to be in underwear but you live with a housemate, not someone who regularly sees you naked.
So off to Target I went to buy cheap exercise short shorts to pose in when dancing around a pole. Unfortunately, boring shops like target don't offer much choice for exercise knickers. It was teenagers' shorts, which were short enough, and had sequins!
or cut off leggings:
I opted instead for ghastly but cheap cotton shorts that could be tucked up. Now I was prepared.
Step two: the class
After work and a potentially injudicious glass of punch at Bacchus, I drove all the way to Lawnton for the class at the Pole Gym. This small but high space contained a forest of poles, mirrors and a rack of clothes for sale blazoned with 'Invert Your Thinking' and 'Live Fast Pole Hard'. The Pole Gym holds classes in pole dancing or pole fitness, aerial hoop and aerial silks. There was a class on when I arrived, pole sculpt, which I was informed by a girl in the later class was 'torture'.
The pole sculpt class. No photos of my class, firstly because I was in it, secondly because it's generally considered objectionable to take photos of pole dancing women.
The casual Pole Mania class was not quite what I was expecting. I was expecting a fitness class and to be taught a few moves. Instead, after a good warm up, our instructor got straight into teaching us a routine to Michael Jackson's Dirty Diana.
It was great fun! Easy, sexy and comfortable, not strange or awkward at all. Right up until the moment our instructor choreographed a 'climb' which everyone could do except for us newbies. The instructor kindly took the time to show us and we got some helpful hints from the girls around us, like 'get your bits right up against the pole, it's easier'. hen she called for a swing, that was a slightly different matter. She showed us a simple twist around the pole but it was a damn side harder than it looked! I have a bad fear of falling. Though I am happy to throw myself around a soccer field or on a dance floor, anything involving heights and I am a complete chicken. This includes spinning myself around a pole and potentially crashing to the ground a few feet away. Try as I might I could not get up the confidence or the skill to make a swing. Instead I just banged my legs on the pole and got a fine collection of bumps and aches.
This casual class was an excellent taster for someone like me who has never tried pole dancing but keen to give it a go. It would be better suited for women who have done the 6 week course, learnt the moves and now wanted to do the fun part – learn a routine. The climb and the swing were a little intimidating for a novice like me but I'd definitely go back, do the course and then have some fun learning the routines.
If you've ever wanted to try pole dancing I would recommend it. Even just this casual class was a fun taster to see if it's for you. The Pole Gym has classes in Brisbane as well as in the far north of Lawnton. It only cost $10 for the casual class and it was a fun experience.
The aerial silks teacher warming up.