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
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.