The ratty workout clothes, the worn out shoes from clocking in miles on the treadmill, and worse, the mad scramble to be the next person to lie down on that bench after that sweaty dude who looks like heâ€™s about to blow up with his ripped muscles is done with his perpetual bench press. Totally, â€śEw!â€ť
Now, think of being in a room with women of all shapes, sizes, and even ages, all looking confident and comfortable in their tank tops and shirts. They sway and dance using a polished steel pole as a prop. Itâ€™s obvious these women are having fun as an occasional burst of laughter or giggle is heard as the teacher gives her gentle instructions.
Pole dancing, once thought of only as an erotic attraction in bars, has gone mainstream and become an alternative exercise especially among women. In the Philippines, thanks goes to celebrity Ciarra Sotto and the Pole Dance Fitness Association of the Philippines who have been promoting pole dancing as a great core fitness activity.
Pole-dancing instructor Karla Maria Cecilia Deles of Movement Dance Studio (http://site.movementdancestudio.com) had no dancing experience and was trained in tae kwon do before she took up the activity. Pole dancing has helped her gain more strength and toned her muscles.Â ”Well, it’s more of strength for me. That’s the biggest benefit I gained in pole dancing,â€ť she shared.
In more than two years of pole dancing, she has seen a lot of positive results in her body, â€śI became stronger. Pole dancing targets different musclesÂ such as the arms, legs and abs. It’s somewhat an all-around routine,” Teacher Karla, as she is called in class, added.
Itâ€™s also a good cardio interval workout as dance movements from the floor to transitions on the pole will surely leave a student burning as much as 400 calories per hour. Definitely, the intense workout helps build stamina.
And yes, pole dancing is not an easy routine.
It takes time and patience to master the basics of pole dancing, said Teacher Karla, â€śThere are tricks that will challenge you. It depends on the person. Some people find it easy to do an inverted position while some are weak when it comes to arm routines. Itâ€™s the same with me, I have tricks that I consider my Achilles heel but with repetition and practice, I got to improve and do it. You really need to work at it.â€ť
In any case, as each class has about 10 or less students, Teacher Karla always guides each student on the pole to ensure safety in oneâ€™s movements.
If prospective students worry about the fact that they cannot dance or do no have any background in dancing, here’s what Teacher Karla has to say: â€śFirst time students would apologize because they couldnâ€™t keep up (with the pace and movements) but that’s okay.
There is an advantage if someone has a prior physical workout. If youâ€™re into sports, if you dance or have a ballet background, usually it is an advantage. But even without such training, you can develop your strength and become a good pole dancer.â€ť
Besides fitness, pole dancing also raises self-confidence as a student slowly masters the complex routine as well as allows her to indulge in some free dance movements. Pole dancing is also considered as a performance art because of the combination of acrobatic tricks and dance movements.