Pole dancing is way harder than you think
By Jillian McMullen, Staff Writer
When one of my best friends moved out on her own a few months ago, I couldn’t wait to see her new apartment, and, after about a week of getting settled in, she held the customary housewarming party. With wine and potted plant in hand, I knocked on her front door, excited to see how she had decorated. By friend swung open the door, and the first thing I saw, right in the middle of the living room, was a dance pole.
My friend explained that the couple who lived in the apartment before her left it and that she wasn’t bothered by it, so it would stay almost as a kind of talking piece for people. After my initial shock, we continued with our evening, warming my friend’s new home the best we could. But, after a glass or two of wine, my interest began to drift again to the enigmatic silver pole in my best friend’s living room. I had watched some pole competitions online in the past, in awe of the dancer’s graceful movements, and hoped that maybe I’d be a natural.
When I walked up to the pole, I realized I had no clue on how to attack it. Rather conveniently however, one of the other women there had taken a few pole classes in the past and could walk me through some of the basic movements and grips.
Bracing my hands and forearms the way she had shown me, I swung my legs around the pole, lifting them up and attempting to get them into the placement I needed. I was immediately shocked by the strength required not only climb the pole, but also even just to fight the momentum of the slow spin I was moving at. As I slowly slid down, unable to keep myself up, I felt my skin catch on the metal and let out a whelp.
“Yeah, that happens a lot in the beginning. I remember being covered in bruises,” my unofficial instructor admitted.
After few more attempts and several developing contusions later, I decided I wasn’t the natural pole artist I had hoped to be and gave up for the evening. Despite this defeat, there was something really fun about throwing myself around and having my girlfriends in the background laughing and cheering me on. My friend assured me the classes she had taken were equally as supportive, and I’ve been looking into taking proper lessons so that I can conquer some more difficult movements.
If you are likewise interested in developing your strength and flexibility or just want to try something different, there’s studios all over the city offering introductory packages that work out around $15 a class. Many, like AVA Fitness here in New Westminster, also offer student discounts.