I’ve been dying to try a pole fitness class for a couple of years now. I have a friend who is a pole fitness enthusiast & she’s in amazing shape. Also, the classes look like a lot of fun! So, when Brass Vixens in Toronto invited me to come try one of their classes for free I was tickled pink. Brass Vixens is one of Toronto’s leading destinations for poledancing, aerialfitness, twerk, burlesque & all things awesome. The problem? I no longer live in Toronto. So, I decided to send my friend Vendredi Mounsey to check out one of their classes and report back. So, for those of you who are curious, here’s what it’s like to attend your first pole fitness class!Maybe you’re like I was – you’ve heard of pole fitness, and you find it intriguing, but you have no idea what to expect out of a “pole dance” class. When Brass Vixens invited me to pay a visit to one of their three downtown Toronto studios, I was a little skeptical at first as I’m not the greatest dancer. I definitely do not have moves like Jagger. In fact when I do dance I often get asked if I’m in pain… as it most certainly looks as if I am. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to be deterred by my lack of dance skills…and so this week off I went to Brass Vixens’ Yonge St. studio.
I took Pole Beginner 1 with instructor Lady Kori – a great class for beginners where expert dance skills aren’t required. The warm up playlist started with “Get that Dirt Off Your Shoulders” by Jay-Z and “Drunken Love” from Beyoncé – and I knew this was going to be a different kind of fitness class. I am used to warm ups that consist of high intensity cardio to upbeat music; not gyrating to slow jams. The dynamic routine included squats and flexibility stretches from yoga and Pilates to get our muscles and core warmed before hitting the pole. We were told that we would be learning four basic pole moves which are critical to building a routine: how to work the pole, the flamingo, ballerina and the fan spin/windmill.
Working the pole I found to be relatively easy. I did learn, however, that there is a lot more to it than just walking around in circles (who knew?!). Maintaining proper form (which includes keeping your body at a 90 degree angle from the pole) is crucial as it’s the foundation for all basic moves It’s also a killer tri and bicep workout – no wonder exotic dancers all have amazing guns! The small class size and basic moves (which were admittedly much more difficult than I had anticipated) left me feeling sexy and sore, and challenged muscle groups I would have never expected were going to be used.
All moves really honed in on upper body and core strength in a way that is much different from simply lifting weights and doing crunches. And because the moves got progressively harder, it was a bonus to have the class move at a relatively slow place. This allowed time for Lady Kori to focus on teaching us proper mechanics: breaking down each move and ensuring everyone was doing the moves properly. She even demonstrated modifications to meet differentiating skill levels and fitness levels. Even though it was my very first class, I felt like I got the help I needed to keep up, and to really enjoy myself.
One quick word of warning to the pole dance virgins: pole fitness isn’t for the shy or bashful. If sultry moves like hip gyration and twerking make you feel more self-conscious than empowered, this may not be the best fitness option for you. That being said, I’d still suggest giving it a try at least once – a good attitude and a sense of humour will see you through any uneasy moments. I’ll admit I had to laugh a couple of times when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror looking rather awkward. My classmates, though, didn’t seem to notice and everyone I met was friendly and inclusive, and more than happy to help me out when I couldn’t get the flamingo quite right.
In summary – you don’t have to be an exotic dancer to take a pole fitness class. Whether you’re looking to try a new fitness routine, or maybe you’re trying to make sexy time with your partner more fun – all you need is an open mind and a willingness to try. And although I haven’t mastered any of the moves as of yet (despite Kori’s patient coaching), I still had a ton of fun, and left feeling confident, sexy and sweaty. Would I go back? Absolutely! And with all of my girlfriends in tow.
About Vendredi –
I wrote and illustrated my first book at the age of eight for a writing assignment for Mrs. Trevor, my Grade 3 teacher. Since then, my artistry has sadly not improved, but my storytelling ability has. After completing my diploma in Public Relations from Durham College and a degree in International Studies from Glendon College at York University, I now work as a Marketing Specialist by day and juggle several part time jobs and freelance writing gigs at night.
A country girl to the core, I reside in a rural community just outside of downtown Toronto with my family. When I’m not busy writing, I can be found backpacking, camping or travelling around the globe while listening to 90s dance music and drinking Heineken.
To contact Vendredi please email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Brass Vixens