Mention pole dancing to anyone over a certain age and you are bound to be told that it is something tied in with lap dancing clubs, stripping and the sex trade, and certainly not the kind of thing a nice girl would get involved in. But throw it out to the â€˜youthâ€™ or people with a keen interest in fitness and youâ€™ll probably start to see a different picture.
See, pole dancing isnâ€™t just something that happens in For Your Eyes Only to wheedle high denomination notes from groups of businessmen, itâ€™s a sport. With competitions, regulations and stars just like any other sport, albeit one you can do in a glittery bikini and glossy red lipstick.
Pole dancing has roots which go back as far as the 12th century, when women would dance around a phallic wooden pole as a way to increase fertility, but the kind of pole dancing we are used to today dates back to 1950â€™s burlesque. Pole dancing was, until the 1990â€™s, very much a way for women to seduce men, until a Canadian woman called Fawnia Mondey started to teach the dance as a legitimate dance form, even releasing an instructional video, which brought pole dancing to the masses.
What is Pole Fitness?
â€˜Pole fitnessâ€™ (a nice way of setting the sport side from the lap dancey side) is a mix of gymnastics and ballet performed around a pole dancing pole. It requires incredible strength and flexibility and can look absolutely breathtaking when performed. Search for videos on Youtube of pole fitness competitions and you can see some of the most complex and jaw-dropping moves played out, completely putting to rest the idea of pole dancing being in any way sleazy. Or easy, in fact, watching a woman hold her entire body horizontal from a pole using just her hands, or grip the dance pole between her thighs with her arms spread out each side of her truly shows these women for what they are – performers, gymnasts and really really strong!
The Benefits of Pole Fitness?
Pole dancing improves your core muscles and your flexibility. It requires strength predominantly from your hands and legs, but for some moves works areas as generally un-exercised as your underarm or hip! It doesnâ€™t need to be completely unsexy to bring in the sport side of it, and is almost definitely one of the very sexiest sports you can be involved in, requiring you to move your body in a very feminine and elegant way to get from one move to another.
Pole fitness is also difficult, even brutal in some ways. What have come to be known as â€˜pole bruisesâ€™ are common, as angry-looking bruises spring up all over the body in the most unlikely of places (and itâ€™s always fun trying to work out which move caused them!).
When starting out in pole fitness, you will frequently find yourself having to test your pain barriers time and time again to perfect a move, or even make it possible. It may take a number of sessions to even get used to the idea of dancing with a pole in the way, and the first few times you practice it can feel odd and uncomfortable. Once you are in the swing of it, though, itâ€™s one sport that is almost impossible to give up as the addiction takes hold. Your body will improve, your strength and posture will get better and you will feel sexier than ever before. With national competitions springing up all the time, you can even get recognition for your achievements!
Pole Fitness Classes
To get started with pole fitness you can join one of many classes available (a number of gyms now have pole fitness classes available to members, and dedicated pole academies are more and more common), or even set up your own pole at home. Search for portable dance poles online that you can easily put up. Removable poles such as the x-pole range can be taken down when you are not using it. You can start to learn from instructional videos or online tutorials. Make sure you wear as little as possible (one of the key elements of pole fitness is skin to pole friction, plus it means you are free to move about easier), avoid moisturisers and creams (this one is just obvious!) and just enjoy getting used to the pole.
Classes are available at all levels and with the help and encouragement of other beginners and the pole instructors, any woman (or man, for that matter), of any size, age and fitness level, can quickly pick up the basics of pole fitness. And have fun with it as well!
[box]This article was written by Caitlin a writer forÂ www.poledancingpoles.infoÂ who loves all kinds of dancing and is a pole fitness nut. When she is not busy blogging she can often be found spinning round, upside down on her dance pole.[/box]