Monday, June 13, 2011

Did I Shave My Legs for This?

Pole Dancing.  Another thing to check on my list of weird things I've done.  Yep, I did it.

I've always understood that exotic dancers and pole dancers really do have to work while they are up there dancing on the stage.  That's how they stay in shape, duh.  I'm not afraid to say if my body were a little bigger, I might have wanted to be a dancer in vegas.  A showgirl who keeps her top on, but one who gets to wear the 30 pound headdress and do all the fancy dancing.

Alas, I'm too short even to be the shortest Rockette.

Over the winter, a girl opened a studio just down the road and called it Vertical Fitness.  I've been curious about the place because there's an air of mystique.  There are curtains so you can't see in the windows and it looks all pink. You might know how I feel about pink.  It lures me, I can't help it.  It's in a strip mall where you wouldn't expect it. I don't know anyone around here who has done it.

And I've been  certain that it's all skanky and nasty and just a cover for training pole dancers for strip clubs.

Still, I've wanted to see what it's all about.  I read funnoysnot's blog about her experience pole dancing at a place near here and I decided today was the day.  She said that though she works out and is training for a marathon, she is definitely sore and found out just how unflexible she is.  But she said it was fun and will go back.

So, I checked online and the vertical fitness place website was pretty impressive.  This person seems to have her act together and it sounds like a legitimate place.  They want you to make a reservation, so I did.  She has a variety of explanations about what to wear and why, but she said if you want to wear shorts at first, that's ok.

I know, nothing says pole dancer more than this outfit.  They were the shortest shorts I have and that wet mark, yeah that's from all the work I did!

So, I walked in and was greeted by a girl about my size who is about half my age.  I'm not one of those people who are like "oh I 'm so old" but she was noticeably not as old as me.  The good news is that she wasn't remarkably HOT and she was tiny, with no indication of any implants or anything.  She had on little boy shorts and a tank top, but I liked how she looked.  She wasn't in your face stripper, nor was she gorgeous and knew it.  She's just a girl who likes to swing around a pole and get paid for it.

There were only 2 other girls and it was the first time for all of us.  The instructor was nice and showed us several things and helped when needed.  Unlike funnyorsnot's experience, flexibility wasn't such a thing in this class. It was more about strength, upper body in particular, so you could get up on that damned pole!

I consider myself strong and very flexible, so I thought this class wouldn't be too hard.  It was hard in ways I wasn't expecting.

Like, that pole really pinches your skin!  They want you to wear the boy shorts so your upper thigh skin is exposed and you can grip with it.  My shorts were a little too long, so I kept sliding.  I pushed them up and my skin did grip, but it also hurt!  And you do a lot of wrapping your legs around the pole, so your ankles get red and I am sure mine will bruise.  She said you do in the beginning.

I also am not good about spinning.  I hate swings.  I hate spinning.  I never spun in circles as a kid because I got a kick out of it.  It makes me feel sick. Not throw up sick, just sick in my head.  I danced for many years and the one thing that I never could master was spinning.  I can spot, I can whip my head around as I do a turn so it looks like I am spotting, but the moving of my head just makes me feel sick.

That's why I am not a professional dancer.  Really.

It is.

Well, that and the fact that I am too short and not built like a dancer.

So, back to this class.  The poles spin.  Did you know that?  They can lock them so they dont' spin, but I chose to let it spin because a couple of moves look good when you spin.  And for a few of them, it wasn't bad.

But she taught us how to turn upside down and I get it, but I cannot get it completely because spinning upside down just really ruins my day.

And now I smell like a stripper.  Not that I have actually smelled one, but I imagine this is how they smell.  They use a thing on the poles called tac and I suspect it's like wax for a surfboard so you can get a grip.  It definitely let you get a grip with your hands, but it had a fragrance that has stuck with me since I've been home.

I originally wrote this the night I took the class and already felt  my arms being all jello like.  The next day, before I was even up and around, I was sore in places I'm never sore.  Usually, my body takes 24 hours from the point of exertion to feel the effect.

Not so with this class.  First of all, you're pushing your body onto a metal pole, repeatedly, you're hanging for dear life from your hands and you're squeezing this thing with your legs like you think you can bend it.  Not to mention the amount of pulling up you must to.

So the torso is pretty sore.  In a good way, but sore nonetheless.  My lats, the muscles running by the rib cage, my upper back, my triceps and my inner thighs feel it the most.  And my ankles are sore from the pressure but I dont' see any bruising yet. 

Gee, what a great time of the year to have bruised shins and ankles, just in time for shorts....

I think it's really funny that on their website they say they do special parties such as bachelorette parties.  I know if I got 10 of my girl friends together and made them swing around on these poles, they wouldn't call it a party and I might lose a friend or two along the way!

I really have to think about whether or not I will do it again.

If I do, I will wear ballet slippers.  On the website, they tell you it's a good idea, but none of them were wearing anything on their feet, so I felt silly,  At the end, she got out some slippery things so we could do splits, so I put my slippers on instead and she told me I should wear them next time.

I'm glad I tried it so I could quench my curiosity.  I didn't meet the owner, and it's clearly run by people who are not super business savvy.  The poles seems securely mounted, but the floor looks like a wooden floor just laid on top of the carpet.  And the bathroom needed cleaning.

If someone asked if I thought they should try it, I would say they should try it once.  And expect everything I mentioned above.  Especially if you don't currently work out.  I would also suggest bringing someone so you can laugh about your ineptitude together. 

She said the more you do it, the more you toughen up and don't get bruises or pinch the skin.  I don't know that I need one more activity that damages my body and makes me spin and feel kind of sick.  This may be one activity I check and am done with all at once.  We'll see.

Can you believe I didn't have to fill out any release forms?  This is seriously a dangerous class but I just walked in, paid cash, gave her my name and banged into a pole for an hour.  

1 comment:

  1. When I think about it, I probably wouldn't have had as much fun alone. I would have felt pretty intimidated going at it alone. Let me know how you feel tomorrow - I am still sore and I wasn't even close to hanging upside down!


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