Courtesy of Polestars
What: Pole dancing, as in what you may have always associated with shady gentleman's clubs, or more recently with Marisa Tomei's character in The Wrestler, has taken the exercise world by storm. Although it tends to be a fairly popular option for hen parties, we reckon that if practiced on a regular basis (and perhaps without a bottle of wine), it could prove to be an excellent muscle building workout.
The Rundown: Participants are recommended to wear shorts or hot pants (oh my!) and to bring along both a set of trainers and high heels. A typical class will begin with a warm-up, during which the class will stretch, get those hips moving, and begin to jump about.
Initial encounters with the pole may be a bit awkward but are not overly challenging. The first moves involve sliding down the pole with arms outstretched, knees spread apart, and heels together. Getting back up from the ground should be handled in a composed and (of course) sexy manner, with the bum leading the way for the rest of the body to follow. Other moves include spins around the pole, with feet on and off the ground, and hooks-where one leg does the job of keeping the body attached to the pole.
In part, pole dancing is a performance art, which means that dancers will also learn sexy walks such as the 'Show Pony', a maneuver that shows off a fair bit (or a whole lot) of leg, as well as routines on the ground. Don't be afraid to throw a wink in your classmate's direction.
Is it the right fit for you: If the idea of a sexy workout appeals to you, or if your parents had a hard time pulling you away from the playground when you were you a child, then you'll probably find pole dancing to be a lot of fun. You should expect your arms and abs to hurt for a couple of days afterwards and should also accept the fact that there will be bruises. This is definitely a great option for anyone who loves a challenge.
Where and When: We took a class with Polestars, which we greatly enjoyed. They offer courses throughout London and have a new six week course starting 16 March. They are also hosting tasters on 15 and 31 March for anyone who happens to be curious. Check their website for booking information. Other companies include Polepeople, the Pole Dancing School, and the London Academy of Poledancing.
See other entries from our Alternative London Workouts series.