It’s exactly as you might expect. You learn the “sexy walk” (walking around the pole with a sensual sway); the fireman (climbing up the pole); the ballerina (spinning–oh, did I forget to mention the pole spins–sideways with one leg extended); and what I’ll refer to as knee hikes because I don’t remember what they were called, but you basically let your legs drop, then pull your bent knees toward your chest, drop them again, and pull them up on the other side of the pole. It’s a lot like an ab exercise I’ve done at the gym, except you’re on a spinning pole.
I’d really recommend a group of friends get together to try it. It was a fun, comfortable space, and the teacher, who went by Holli Wood, was good at explaining what we should do. After some simple instruction it all became a matter of trust in our own bodies. That’s really what I liked best about it. To let go and spin on the pole meant I had to trust myself not to drop straight to the floor. If you’re not prone to motion sickness, spinning on a pole is a lot of fun–even if you don’t look half as good as the instructor who happens to be a champion at international pole dancing competitions.
Here is where I’d caution people. I would not pole dance if I had any kind of shoulder injury (or back injury). I was sore for about four days afterwards in muscles I have rarely felt. It did not feel like I’d hurt myself; it was a good sore, but more intense than I remember my muscles hurting after starting field hockey practice and spending two hours in a swat position for the first time in a year. Many muscles in the shoulder are tiny, so they can get exhausted quickly. My back muscles had also felt like they’d worked hard.
They ask you to bring heels. I didn’t wear mine because, having a bunion, I knew I’d suffer later. It didn’t matter though because Pilates came to the rescue. I was able to stand on the balls of my feet for each exercise.
So my overall assessment? I had a lot of fun and I’d try it again with friends. Going with friends seems like the best way to do it, but you must know your limitations. If you don’t feel comfortable trying something, you may not be ready to try it yet. So, go with a group of friends you can trust and will feel comfortable saying, “I’d like to sit this one out.”
I’ve posted some pictures as proof that was actually went. They didn’t all come out very good but I thought I’d post them anyway so you can see that we were spinning (and so you can see when we all hit the floor at different parts of the ballerina). Then of course, Holli Wood showed us where we can eventually advance to.