Romancing the pole: Bollywood shows how
If Bollywood’s leading ladies have many fans, they themselves are the fans of a particular thing: the pole. Stars such as Jacqueline Fernandez, Yami Gautam, and Esha Gupta have all fallen for it. Surprised? Don’t be. The gravity-defying act of a pole dancer is not only spectacular, but it’s also a fantastic workout for enhancing strength and flexibility.
Actor Yami Gautam recently posted a very short Instagram video, in which she’s exuberantly pole dancing, and captioned it: “In firsts of so many firsts ... pole dancing !! #neversaynever #dancelikeitsyourlife.”
As for what pole dancing does for one’s mental and physical health, Yami has said in a media statement, “The whole idea came because of my love for fitness and dance. Pole dancing challenges the fitness level a lot more.”
Jacqueline had a stunning slo-mo pole dancing scene in the song Chandralekha from the film A Gentleman, and you bet pulling that off didn’t come without a lot of practice. She also keeps treating her fans to her pole dance fitness routine on her social media profile. That, in turn, is fuelling more interest in this workout.
“Every day, I get more requests from girls regarding pole dancing classes. Celebrities have developed a great interest in pole dancing,” says trainer Roksolana Chubenko, who has taught Jacqueline.
For actor Smilie Suri, who has dabbled in every form of dance — salsa, ballroom, jazz — pole dancing is “empowering”. It helped her come out of a low phase related to work and a personal loss. Rejuvenated, Smilie has begun teaching pole dancing. “And I feel sexy,” she says, “Pole dancing is hard on the core. You are anti-gravity, and have to be focused. It gives you a lot of grit.”
“Poling is like a hardcore sport that works every muscle in your body and invigorates the mind,” explains Mumbaibased professional pole dancer Aarifa Bhinderwala, who has taught the likes of Yami. She adds, “A poler is essentially an athlete. My students are powerful women from every walk of life, and on the pole, each one is a boss.”
Actor Esha Gupta, also a poler for the purpose of keeping fit, says, “It’s great for the core and upper body strength.”
Actor Jacqueline Fernandez
Actor Smilie Suri
Actor Yami Gautam