“Okay everyone, we’re gonna get a little raunchy tonight—but that’s okay. We won’t judge one another,” said my dance instructor in one of my first Intro to Pole classes. That evening was filled with twerking, spins, and sexy movement. I left the class feeling ready to audition for the next Nicki Minaj tour.
Exotic dance classes became my fun alternative to joining a gym. In the past few months I’ve taken spinning and static pole dancing, video vixen dancing, and twerkout classes. I’ve learned tons of spins, pole climbing, and a few moves from Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” video (Actually, one of my instructors is featured in that video).
Other than learning to move like a vixen, there are several other perks to taking these classes. Here’s why everyone should try pole dancing:
You’ll finally stick with a workout plan
I’ve made New Year’s resolutions, promises to myself, and bets with friends, and yet I still couldn’t commit to a workout routine longer than two weeks. I’ve been pole dancing for nearly three months now, and it’s the only consistent workout I’ve been able to maintain in the last five years. Instead of constantly trying to talk myself into going for a run, I gladly spend the majority of my free time on the pole or twerking on the dance floor.
The studio will become your body-positive sanctuary
Unlike the lovely internet commenters on my feminist blog who call me a whore and exclaim that my short shorts lead people away from their faith, pole dancers don’t mind me showing a bit of skin. The studios where I dance provide oases of body-loving peace. The classes include women of all walks of life, who are free to wear workout clothes, bikinis, underwear, or whatever they please.
Also, at the studios our bodies aren’t treated as if they must be changed. Unlike instructors I’ve had for other styles of dance, my pole teachers don’t tell us we need to lose weight or that we need abs to try out certain moves. The students don’t size up one another like people do at the gym. We support one another and clap when someone learns a new move. The studios give students an opportunity to appreciate our bodies as they are, while at the same time, allowing us to practice often so the moves become easier. Building upper body strength and increased flexibility is an added bonus.
Stripper shoes are EVERYTHING!
Who would’ve thought that clear plastic, 6-8 inch heels would solve my shoe dilemma. I love heels, but refuse to wear anything uncomfortable. Yet, some of the cutest shoes at my favorite stores make my toes very unhappy. Stripper shoes, on the contrary, are both cute and comfortable. Since they’re made for dancing, they have a soft sole, a non-slip base, and a platform that puts your foot at the perfect angle so you’re not standing uncomfortably on the balls of your feet. My new silver and clear, 6-inch platform stilettos are first of my future collection of stripper heels (Yeah, I’m a shoe girl). Some folks will have opinions about my shoes, similar to the blog comments about my short shorts, but I’ll let the haters hate when I walk into the club with the sexiest, most comfortable pair of heels in the room.
You’ll learn to be sexy on your own terms
Although I’ve been dancing for a few months now, I won’t be putting in applications at my local strip clubs anytime soon. If anyone was unfortunate enough to have me as their stripper, they’d be thoroughly disappointed—considering I’m a beginner, I twerk off-beat, and sometimes look like a new born giraffe struggling to take her first steps. I’m awkward as hell—especially when it comes to learning the smooth and sexy moves.
You can’t force sexy. Even when my teacher shouts “make it sexy,” “play with your clothes,” or “touch your body,” the sexiness still doesn’t show up. If I’m not comfortable doing a move because it’s not my style, her comments are futile. Certain moves are a matter of preference. I don’t like flipping my hair a certain way because I have a buzzed cut. I don’t like playing with my clothes while I dance because it feels silly to me. I can’t be sexy when someone commands me to do so; I have to be sexy in my own way.
Also, while I’m learning, being sexy is sometimes the furthest thing from my mind. It may take several tries to learn a new move, and until I get it right, I won’t be sexy. My sexiness comes when I feel confident and when I accomplish a new move.
So far, it’s been a positive challenge learning to pole dance. I’m always excited to get back to the studio. After long days of sitting in an office, my exotic dance classes provide a sexy, healthy, and stress-relieving outlet throughout my week.