Pole Dancing Class: The Anti-Charm School

Jenny Denton

Loud music… scratch that, loud bad music. Like Britney Spears, Christina, Beyonce and all of those other girls who refuse to have names that are easy to spell without using Google. Luckily, there was no Nickelback or I wouldn’t be writing this…

Twenty girls share the floor with me, most of whom are in better shape than I would ever even want to be. Of course, all of them are scantily clad and also dancing with far more rhythm than I will ever possess. Even when I’ve had too much tequila and am sadly mistaken that I have something that resembles a coherent understanding of how to move to a beat, I could have been Navin Johnson in a past life.

There’s also yoga, an activity that always comes down to me trying not to fall down, fart or giggle. And inevitably, one of those things will happen and set off the other two. It’s so guaranteed that I should be able to make money off of it somehow. Following that less than graceful adventure is belly dancing and swinging around a pole much like a sloth on acid. Yes, that is the best comparison if you take the time to allow the imagery to sink in.

If you had read this scenario to me a week ago, I would have had a pile of quippy things to say about it… most of them falling into the “Awww hell no” category.

Nice to meet you. I’m uncoordinated, gassy, prone to bursts of ill-timed giggle fits, and my dancing usually involves some sort of preemptive reference to the Muppets.

Git it!

I will try almost anything once. And to top it off, I will never apologize for any of these traits. I like them and we have become incredibly close friends, despite (and because of) the number of times I have felt like they have gotten me into awkward predicaments (which I also like to call “this is going to make a great story later!” moments).

More to the point, however, I just experienced my introduction at a school/ gym with classes such as pole dancing, belly dancing, goddess yoga (pausing for smirks), tissue dancing (like in Cirque), and burlesque-chair dancing among many other things. And I have to say, it beats the typical gym experiences like your grandmom with a wooden spoon right after she’s taken the cookies out of the oven.

The work-out room was perfectly dark so all you could really see was my instructor. So no one can see me as I, say, fell down, boofered (screw you, that is a word), or went into a seizure of snortles. Or when I did it again. Also, no one cared. It was a tremendously non-judgey group of broads!

The yoga segment had a load of options for each maneuver, depending on how complicated of a knot each member of the class would have liked to twist themselves into. All of them were demonstrated in a way that I could attempt the next downward-facing-NOPE-I-can’t-do-that and easily revert into the previous rising-now-my-spine-is-not-in-danger.

Me at work where I dance around egos

And nobody, not once, referred to “sitting bones” or “standing bones.” Which helped me stave off my frequently betraying giggles.

The belly dancing was rather brief, to the point, and my stomach is surprisingly sore today. There was even an opportunity to put my musical Muppets move to use. The best part was that the rest of the class was doing the same thing!

Imagine… A room full of pretty ladies all dancing with bells around their midsections and looks of mild amusement on their faces… like bat-shit Muppets! Oh the glory!

Lastly, kids, we had the pole acrobatics. I won’t call it dancing due to the point I’m sure I’ve over-made already. I stood in the back of my line (out of the two offered) and observed each lady as she went through the set up.

Basically, the room is put together in a way so two groups of people can go through about six poles after being shown a new way to assault the bejeezus out of their shins, in a line moving from one end of the room to the other. You move to the next pole when the girl in front of you is done, which is essentially enough time to attempt the maneuver twice, once with your left side leading and then the right.

I will either be this lady soon or I’ll bruise trying

Not only does this help prevent you from getting tired too quickly or too used to using one arm/leg more than the other, but it also really helps to keep you from getting dizzy. I discovered this aspect in the most graceful way, I assure you.

Again, our wonderfully British instructor kept the lights dark throughout most of this part, except when she thankfully dimmed things up to explain the next move we were going to try. And then we proceed with the bear-hugging march of the poles.

Side note: I think this would make an excellent Christmas song.

Over all, it was a very unique and entertaining way to excercise. Unlike the typical trip to the gym, I didn’t have to worry about where to put my bag, towel, water, stuffed teddy bear, etc because we plopped our piles of belongings on our own chairs that line one side of the room.

Our instructor was as supportive as a special needs teacher. “You walked around the pole! That was gorgeous! Your vagina just got into a jousting match with the pole and you won’t be able to have sex for two days! GORGEOUS!” I luf her.

And, again, everyone was the opposite of douchey. After class, some folks even stuck around to revisit a few moves and were more than happy to share pointers. The most valuable of which was information regarding an item called Arnicare. It’s a gel that you can rub on bruises to make them disappear more quickly.

As an individual who practices the art of clumsiness more frequently than I change my underwear (and I am a very hygienic person) this discovery was a gold mine in itself.

So here I sit, bruised and feeling like I just got into a drunken brawl with a dumpster on a flight of stairs. And I’m a little stoked that I signed up for a membership. I’m sure I’ll be more gleeful after I unplug my wedgie with a pair of surgical tongs.