POLE DANC­ING revo­lu­tion

Pole fit­ness is the new fit­ness craze – and it is no longer re­lated to strip clubs, gen­tle­men’s clubs or hen’s nights. Pole danc­ing / for fit­ness has come into its own

New Zealand Fitness - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Court­ney Dev­ereux

Pole fit­ness has held its place as one of the best con­fi­dent boost­ing, core strength­en­ing, and car­dio work­outs out there. With over ten stu­dios ded­i­cated to pole fit­ness in Auck­land alone, its no won­der this multi-di­men­sional work­out is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly more pop­u­lar.

Pole is dif­fer­ent to most sport as is it a type of body pace train­ing – peo­ple can work at their own pace. It’s dif­fer­ent to weight train­ing be­cause you’re al­ways at the right level for you. A com­mon mis­con­cep­tion of pole fit­ness is its ex­clu­sive­ness. How­ever, pole fit­ness is for ev­ery­one, no mat­ter height, weight, age, or gen­der – in fact, the only thing com­pul­sory is a good at­ti­tude and a very, very short pair of pants.

One such stu­dio in Welling­ton that makes sure all are in­cluded is the Stu­dio L’amour Dance Academy. Ca­rina Trem­blay, a pole in­struc­tor at Stu­dio L’amour, is a firm be­liever in the wel­com­ing at­ti­tude. She be­lieves: “Pole is for ev­ery­body and ev­ery­body is wel­come.”

Her out­look is that pole is ac­cept­ing of all body types, no mat­ter your strength or your size; you will al­ways be wel­come into the class. It is a work­out that in­spires more ac­cept­abil­ity than any other, ac­quir­ing praise and mo­ti­va­tion from those in the class with you. Not only are you less judg­men­tal on oth­ers in the class, you’re less judg­men­tal on your­self.

A huge part of why pole be­gan and how it mor­phed into such a craze is its abil­ity to in­spire con­fi­dence in any­one. The work­out is not based around how good you look –it’s based around how much ef­fort you put into do­ing your best.

One Auck­land stu­dio that ac­knowl­edges con­fi­dence build­ing is a huge part is Viva Dance Stu­dios. With sev­eral dif­fer­ent pole classes avail­able at all dif­fer­ent lev­els, this stu­dio is known for its en­cour­ag­ing and un­der­stand­ing in­struc­tors, who re­al­ize the im­por­tance of keep­ing stu­dents’ con­fi­dence lev­els up. Pratik­sha [Tisha] Pa­tel, a previous stu­dent of the stu­dio who has now been an in­struc­tor for two years, claims con­fi­dence was a big part in her de­ci­sion to be­gin pole fit­ness. She claims ev­ery­one comes in ap­pre­hen­sive of the class, but af­ter the eight weeks, they built up a con­fi­dence they didn’t have be­fore­hand.

“You can see how peo­ple change,” says Tisha, “af­ter they start work­ing through and see­ing re­sults. There’s a huge con­fi­dence boost, which is so im­por­tant.”

The courage and de­ter­mi­na­tion that drives stu­dents to mas­ter their classes is some­thing that fol­lows them out of the stu­dio. It’s im­por­tant to re­al­ize pole fit­ness is not sex­u­al­ized. Have you ever tried to hold your­self up on a pole with only the in­sides of your thighs whilst smil­ing and throw­ing your hands into the air in hap­pi­ness?

Pole fit­ness is about build­ing co­or­di­na­tion and strength and gain­ing con­fi­dence from be­ing able to do some­thing new and chal­leng­ing.

The main rea­son peo­ple don’t try pole fit­ness isn’t be­cause of the lack of con­fi­dence, usu­ally it’s the pre­sump­tion that its not safe – although it’s quite the op­po­site. Pole fit­ness and the stu­dios that hold it take many safety pre­cau­tions to en­sure no one is hurt.

Karry Sum­mers of Al­ti­tude Pole in Christchurch ad­vises: “Safety is a ma­jor part of our stu­dio. Pole is such a new and grow­ing sport, a big call for safety is so im­por­tant.” Her stu­dio is a very safety cau­tious zone, tak­ing ex­tra care to make sure pole fit­ness classes are taken re­spon­si­bly.

“All of our train­ers are trained un­der ex­pert in­ter­na­tional train­ing and re­ceive reg­u­lar train­ing up­dates and re­views.” She adds the safety re­lies a lot on the in­di­vid­ual. If the per­son does more than they’re ready too, that’s when ac­ci­dents may oc­cur. How­ever, with the safety mea­sures that all stu­dios take, in­clud­ing mats, spot­ters and buddy sys­tems, it is in fact a very safe sport.

From con­fi­dence build­ing, safety reg­u­la­tions and ac­cept­abil­ity there is no won­der pole fit­ness is in­creas­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. The gen­eral stand on body pos­i­tiv­ity en­cour­ages women (and men) of all shapes, ages and sizes to feel bet­ter about their bod­ies, no mat­ter what their skill level. Pole fit­ness is not ex­actly a dance style you can take to par­ties, but it’s a frame of mind you can take ev­ery­where.

Ca­rina Trem­blay from Stu­dio L’amour in Welling­ton.

Tisha Pa­tel and stu­dent Amanda Sweeney show their strength at Viva Dance Stu­dios in Auck­land.

Stu­dents from Stu­dio L’amour be­gin­ner class, learn to mas­ter dif­fer­ent po­si­tions.

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