The pros and cons of going for pole dancing lessons
Does the idea of sweating it out on a treadmill that takes you nowhere abhor you? Does getting up at 5 am five times a week to jog around the same route bore you? Or maybe you just want to get fitter and healthier but want to take a different path in achieving that goal?
How about exercising to beautiful music in to-die-for heels and comfortable clothing? Yes, pole dancing, with all the possibilities of falling head on to the floor, pole dancing is actually a pretty safe sport to engage in. You can harness your inner acrobat, learn moves you never knew you could master, enjoy a full body workout with each session, and gain so much confidence in the process.
Pole dancing, according to Class Pass 101, is “a workout that involves dancing, spinning and swinging on a vertical pole. A combination of strength training, choreographed dance and flexibility, pole dancing challenges multiple muscle groups.”
Now that you’re all geared up to try a pole dancing class, the following are a few things to remember for an excellent experience.
It may seem like common sense, but for those who put lotion habitually will need to remember to skip any body or hand lotion before class. It is close to impossible to get a grip on the pole and maintain with products like lotion, which acts as a lubricant.
Another tip to remember is to let your last meal fully digest for a few hours before going to class because pole dancing is a challenging workout that engages the core. We don’t want our stomachs to feel uncomfortable and queasy during the session. Furthermore, it is equally important to stay well-hydrated.
It’s your first class, and you’re anxious and nervous. You can try listening to some upbeat music to hype yourself up and let the party continue during the course. Prepare for much fun, laughs, and new friends.
When you’re in the class, expect to be placed in a room with others who are at higher levels of pole. It’s all right to feel envious, although, with continued practice, you will get to where they’re at. Compare only to motivate yourself to be better, instead of being disheartened and discouraged.
The Pole Dancing Attire
Your first class will not immediately include tights and heels yet so you can take a short breather. Pole dancing, however, needs a lot of skin to be exposed because it serves as your grip on the pole. You can forget coming into class in your full-length yoga pants or a sweater. Because you need to keep your legs, knees, calves, ankles, and arms exposed, try going for yoga or cycling shorts and a short-sleeved shirt or a sports bra. No need for footwear in a pole dancing class because going barefoot achieves the best grip on the floor and pole, especially for beginners.
If you have sensitive skin, legwarmers or leggings are advised to avoid pole burns. You can also opt to use kneepads to protect your knees from the floor because you will be doing a lot of floor work in class. Don’t worry about looking silly, your body will get accustomed to the impact, and soon enough you can remove the protective gear and expose more skin.
The Pole Dancing Expectations
Preparation and attire, check. Now, what are some of the things you can expect for your first class?
- To be on the floor – a lot
- To make new friends
- To start easy and simple
- To do typical exercises like lunges, twists, stretches, crunches, leg raises, pull-ups and running
- To have your muscles sore a day or two after the class.
- To get some “pole kisses” (bruises)
- To have fun!
The Actual Pole Dancing Class
Pole dance classes typically start with warm-ups with some lunges, twisting, running and stretching. Because this class relies on the core, you will also be doing some core and leg strengthening exercises like side crunches, pull-ups, and leg raises.
Beginners are taught basic tricks and spins which the instructor will demonstrate for the rest to follow.
At the end of the lesson, there is a cool down portion which lets your muscles rest and recover.
Things to remember:
- Be on time so that you can change your outfit if needed, make some new friends, and fill out any forms.
- Clean the pole after the session with the cloth provided by the instructor.
- Fully engage in the warm-up exercises to loosen your muscles and avoid major muscle aches post session.
- Keep your phone away while the class is ongoing.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
The Next Step
So, you survived your first pole dancing class. Congratulations! It would be best to brace yourself for the muscle pain because it will come, and you feel the ache for a couple of days. However, it’s the good kind of pain because you know you’re getting stronger as your body adapts to this new form of exercise.
Get plenty of rest, stretch, drink lots of water, eat a balanced diet, and prepare for the next lesson!
The Benefits of going Pole Dancing
Aside from the adrenaline rush, the enjoyment and sense of fulfillment, pole dancing has many health benefits.
1. Increased strength
Pole dancing is a full body workout that is on an intense level. Your core, upper body, and thighs are always engaged. As you repeatedly lift your own body weight for extended periods, you gain so much strength. It may seem impossible at first, doing the moves of professionals in shows; however, you will get there because you are continuously increasing in strength.
2. Increased flexibility
Another great benefit of pole dancing is increased flexibility. It may seem like a trivial thing, but flexibility is crucial in reducing the risk of muscle injury and soreness – so you can engage in more activities and movements minus the risks! Not to mention box splits and the likes, look so amazing.
3. Better cardiovascular health
Who doesn’t want a healthy and strong heart with low risk for heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks? The intensity of pole dancing keeps your heart pumping and the blood flowing, making it a great cardio workout.
This is an especially important counter activity for those with office jobs and sit for long periods. Pole dancing can combat the adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle, such as bad posture.
4. Weight loss
All of that movement and muscle engagement will burn calories, and weight loss will naturally follow. The beauty with pole dancing is sustainable weight loss, unlike a fad diet with a high chance of rebounding back to your original weight or more. As long as you stay committed to your pole dancing, the weight loss is continuous.
5. Improved coordination and rhythm
This is the added perk of all the fun you experience in pole dancing. The catchy songs and alluring moves will turn even the clumsiest two-left-footed person into a graceful dancer.
6. Boosted confidence
As your coordination and rhythm improve, you gain confidence. After a few months of pole dancing, you are stronger, with firmer muscles, less fatigued, and exuding in confidence.
7. Reduced stress and anxiety
A great workout that boosts confidence also releases good hormones called endorphins, which work at lowering stress and anxiety levels. The thought may seem illogical to tire yourself out after a long day at work, but the complete opposite happens once you do. After your pole dance workout and the adrenaline has subsided, you will be calmer and more relaxed.
8. Healthier sleep
Pole dancers share that they sleep better. Maybe it’s the effect of activating every part of our bodies that make us fall into sleep the minute our heads touch the pillows, or it could be the sense of achievement that helps us relax better; either way, healthier sleep is an excellent benefit of engaging in a workout like pole dancing.
9. Part of a community
Lastly, there is a knitted community of pole dancers that you immediately become a part of once you start. There is no such thing as a hierarchy. No judgments, only support and care in the pole dancing community. Regardless of your location, Google or do a Facebook search of pole dancing in your area and you will discover these groups.