When I tell people I pole dance, I’m usually met with either a gasp and a hushed “So you’re a stripper?”, or astonishment followed by them begging for me to give them a private lesson; there is quite literally NO in between. About a year ago, after finally giving in to my friend who had been begging me to join her in trying a class for months, I took my first pole dancing for fitness class. Not thinking that anything would come out of it, I showed up nonchalantly in leggings and a sports bra, ready to bust my ass in the least sexiest way possible around a pole.
While I was right about the last part (and genuinely surprised that I didn’t leave class that day without a concussion), I was hooked and immediately signed up for another class a week later. Fast forward one year later, I can now say that I am a proud home pole owner who spends most of my free time hanging upside down on a pole.
Despite the lame negative stigma associated with the dance (shout out to all the pole dancers who hustle for their money at strip clubs), pole dancing is a legitimate, acrobatic sport, that is finally gaining grounds for being a competitive form of fitness like gymnastics or figure skating. This sport has quite literally changed my physique and my overall physical health in ways that the gym could never do, so read on to hear about the 5 ways that pole dancing for fitness has impacted my life!
1. You’ll Gain A Sh*t Ton of Upper Body Strength
The dancers I have met throughout my journey are some of the strongest people that I know. You have to have an immense amount of upper body strength to do virtually anything on a pole. Climbing the pole for most newbies takes about a month to learn, and being able to invert (go upside down) takes even longer. I got my invert about a month into my journey (shout out to Blink and their abdominal crunch machines), but I know dancers who didn’t get their invert until a year into their pole journey. It’s seriously the most fascinating thing, because aside from the obvious physical changes in my body, I’m also constantly reminded of how much I’ve actually changed whenever I’m getting dressed. I’ve had to give away a lot of crop tops and bras from last year that just don’t fit me anymore because of the muscle I’ve gained in my arms and back. Not to mention, I’ve lost 12 pounds between the time I took my first class and now. And that’s still with me eating mac and cheese bites and mochi ice cream every week.
2. Your Hands Will Permanently Feel Like Brillo Pads
You will get callouses…A LOT of them. And they won’t go away. Also, say bye to any manicures and pedicures that you want to last more than 3 days.
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“First you start slow walking you start slowly down . You going back to simplicity. After this you are going to learn how to drink water … for maybe half an hour….” . Art institute project devoted to experimentation and simple acts done with mindful attention . . Marina Abramovic . #guru #mindfulattention #detailscount #lessismore #marinaabramovic . 👁 . @kado_handmade @lupitpole @verticalfit.girona @ibeyi2
3. You’ll Become Crazy Flexible
My flexibility before starting pole dancing was pitiful, at best. I could barely touch my toes, and I had to use a flexibility strap just to get into some of the most basic stretches during our warm ups in class. Even though now, by pole dancer standards, I’m still not considered flexible, my range has increased DRAMATICALLY. We’re talking inches away from the splits and being able to put my palms on the floor in a forward fold.
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Some weird split. 2d part of this combo @majapirc_poledancestudiom did on my workshop 😍 she is so amazing. And I got inspired to try it and did a split 😍. . Constant learning, constant inspiration from different people ❤️ it is amazing what we can create all together. . . Using the app @songseen_app At @poleflystudio. . . #poledancer #poledance #poledancing #poleart #poletrick #polecombo #anastasiaskukhtorova #poleflystudio #cerea
4. You’ll Get Really, Really Ugly Bruises All Over Your Body
The not so sexy side of pole dancing that people don’t talk about. Newbies, be warned that you WILL get horrifying, off-putting bruises all over your body when you’re first starting out. Did I mention how painful pole dancing is? The contact between your skin and the pole is a sure recipe for gut-wrenching pain, discomfort, and terrifying looking bruises. Anytime you learn a new trick, you will bruise. The more you practice though, the more your body will become accustomed to the stabbing pain of your skin gripping on a pole, and eventually, you won’t bruise as easily as you did when you first started.
5. You Will Definitely Become Obsessed
It’s rare to meet a pole dancer who’s been seriously doing the sport for months on end and hasn’t become totally obsessed with it. Every dancer I know has a secret pole Instagram vlog to track their progress, and most move on from the studio to installing an actual pole in their homes. So definitely know that coming into your first class, that you will probably get hooked on the sport for good.
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Check out The Colors of Ashley Fox interview w/@poletryinmotion! Working on this #pdpowerspinclimb in super cute @winkdesigns! 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖Going to be in ATL & LA! Judging and available for privates @georgiapolefitnessclassic Oct 6-7 💖 Best of Both Worlds Pole Intensive firstname.lastname@example.org Oct 27-28! Privates also available 💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖 #pole #polefitness #polesport #polenyc #polenj #beautybeast #foxyfitnessandpole #ashleyfox #foxyfitness #pdinvert #pdnolegclimb #poledancenation #poledancersofig #polepassion @polesport_poletricks #fitgirls #bodybuilding #bodystrength #strongwomen #drake #travisscott #sickomode #pdgripswitch #ashleyfoxpole #pdstatic #staticpole #pdshouldermount