Each week Louise Barnes tries a new activity, and brings you suggestions for when you just don’t know what to do. This week is all about pole dancing.
I know what you’re thinking, “PoLe daCiNg iS fOr StRipPerS”, so let me just clarify one thing. This. Is. A. Sport. And a beautiful one at that. Pole dancing is unique in the sense of its association to the sex industry and because of it, has unfortunately earned itself a dirty reputation. But times are changing, and fortunately attitudes are too.
Last year I sat in the crowd of a competition called the New Zealand Amateur Pole Performer (NZAPP). This was the first time I had ever heard of such competition in New Zealand and was blown away. The sheer skill of these women (and 1 man) is just admirable, and knowing that some of them only had 3 years’ experience within the expert category highlighted the possibility of personal achievement.
I attended the show soon after I joined a studio, and the inspiration was desperately needed. At that point, I was an acute beginner with sad excuses for arm muscle and plenty of bruises to show for it. But hey, you have to start somewhere.
I’m now coming into one year of pole dancing and despite my lack of continuity of attendance between work and Uni, I am amazed at how far I’ve come. The best thing is being able to see your improvement weekly and the satisfaction that comes from completing a move is exhilarating. This acts as great motivation itself and honestly, I can’t wait to see myself in another years’ time and see what else I can do.
However, all things come with a price, and here are some recommendations to give you a taste before you truly commit.
City Fitness: This is to remind everyone with a City Fitness Gym membership that there is a pole room at the gym on Queen St. Aside from this, that’s all I know. Take it upon yourself to find out more.
Swing360: The studio sits above McDonalds Queen St and they offer a nice 10 classes for $80 for all first timers. After that, the cost raises but fortunately they offer discounts with proof of student ID. This studio is super flexible in terms of its classes, being able to attend whenever you like before they expire. Definitely a bonus for when exams roll around.
Altitude Pole: This company has studios all around the country and has proven to be a popular choice with budding performers. Unfortunately, there are no signs of student discounts but you pay for what you get, attending a minimum of 2 classes per week.
Treat this like a gym membership. Sure, it doesn’t have all the same equipment but you get the strength and the stamina alongside incredible skills. This is something everyone can do, no matter your size, shape or gender, and experience isn’t needed. All you need is just the desire to learn and the results will quickly follow.