Pole Princess: Getting Fit and Debunking the Stereotypes.

When somebody mentions pole dancing, everybody immediately seems to jump to the image of scantily clad ladies manoeuvring their bodies around a piece of stainless steel. Hence why I kind of got laughed at when I told people I signed up for pole dancing classes.

“Oh yeah, have you already thought of a stripper name?!” seemed to be the general reply, or, “who are you going with?” As if I a girl can’t twirl around a pole by herself!

My personal association with pole dancing isn’t raunchy music videos but instead, super athletic girls who must have thighs and arms of steel in order to hold themselves up and not crush to death. In my on-going quest to find some sort of exercise that I don’t hate with every fibre of my being, I’ve been to yoga, hip-hop dancing, and even hula-hooping. Now it was time to give pole dancing a try.

Let me clear something up first: I have pole danced in the past, so my associations are well founded. And not in a shady, obscure past, filled with liquor and dingy nightclubs either. No, I’d briefly tried pole dancing at university and enjoyed it thoroughly! Although I must say, when you’re sharing one pole between yourself and five other giggling exchange girls you don’t really get to practice much and things get pretty slippery pretty quickly. This time, I decided to go about things professionally and sign up for actual pole dancing classes at the West End Pole Academy.

A clothing crisis hit me again because, honestly, what on earth does one wear to pole dancing? Do you go super naked or is there an informal rule along the lines of “legs oot means chebs covered”? I wish I had a boyfriend who would buy me sexy mesh sportswear because I would never buy anything like that for myself. Instead, whenever I do something sporty I have to dig out stuff to wear from the pyjama drawer.

I overcame my wardrobe problem and on the following Monday night there I was scantily pyjama-ed and ready to pole! The warm-up already proved quite the challenge for me with all sorts of push-ups and crunches. My abs have been hibernating ever since I left high school so they were like “HELL NO GIRL!” My body’s initial refusal to work with me was very disheartening and I had lost all hope of ever becoming Instagram famous fit girl, until it was time to get on the pole. Guess what!? I’m actually quite good at pole dancing! With newfound courage, I tackled the ‘reach for the stars’, ‘the clenched fireman’ and the ‘hang tough’, beaming at the teacher, who was dutifully watching over me and speaking words of encouragement.

I left the class envisioning myself visibly more toned and mentally deciding on a stripper name (Galaxy). I felt pretty high, excited about the three lessons to follow.

That I wouldn’t be able to lift my arms the next day I had yet to discover.

So for all the preconceptions people may or may not have about pole dancing, don’t underestimate its strength. Pole dancing is undoubtedly hard work and pretty extreme exercise. I think this one might even stick.