We’ve all been to classes at the gym, maybe yoga or dance classes. You turn up, jostle for a place and go through the motions, often in a quite impersonal and anonymous manner. There is usually pretty limited interaction between you and the instructor. If you’ve come with a friend you may have someone to chat with, or there may be a familiar face in the class that you share a few words with. Then you head off, same routine each week.
A pole dancing class is quite different. Firstly, it’s for women only. No sweaty guys to perve at you. Secondly the classes are smaller. Everyone needs to have a pole to use, so most classes only have around ten students. Thirdly, your teacher knows your name and engages with you. The teacher-student bond in a pole class is far closer than other fitness classes. When you advance to the higher levels you will need to be “spotted” on the pole. This means that the teacher will actually support you when you’re upside down, for your security and safety.
I clearly remember my first pole lessons, at one of Sydneys original pole dancing studios. I was so nervous, shaking like a leaf, and thinking “What on earth am I doing here?” However, that initial uncertainty soon passed and I was hooked! I haven’t taken a break from dance pole for more than 2 weeks since – and that was 7 years ago.
In our classes at Miss Fit Dance Studio, we encourage the students to share a bit of information about themselves, and it’s amazing how frequently students realize that they know people in common, or work in the same company or profession. This helps to develop a sense of camaraderie and trust in the classes. We are all there trying to make ourselves stronger and more capable on a dance pole. It is non-competitive, it’s not a race, and there’s no room for prima donnas. Most importantly we all support each other. There are great moments of triumph when a problem move is finally mastered and the class acknowledges that achievement. There are also lots of laughs in the class, sometimes we just stuff up a move, and it’s pretty hilarious. We’ve all done that!
Each week is different. In a choreography class, not only are you learning how to spin around a pole with grace and elegance, but the pole moves are incorporated into a dance routine. Each class you’re learning something new as you progress through and perfect that routine. At Miss Fit we want everyone to feel that they have the option to perform. Other studios only have their senior students or teachers performing publicly. We know that we’re not all going to be world champions – it doesn’t matter. If you enjoy doing something and want to grasp that opportunity we feel that you should be able to perform. We love the fact that students of all ages shapes and sizes are confident enough to participate in a Grad performance. However, it’s also a great motivator to make sure that you’ve got it all mastered! Also a public performance is an excuse to buy a new outfit and dress up. At Miss Fit it’s not a test, it’s all voluntary and purely for fun. At the same time, you also prove to yourself that you really can do it!
Pole dancing classes are primarily pole fitness classes, so you wear exercise gear. Shorts and a top are fine. You need to have the skin exposed from your knees down, so no full length leggings. Also, don’t drape yourself in jewelry, rings especially can get in the way. Heels are optional, and generally only appear after a few weeks of classes, but bare feet are easier. As we’re gripping on to a slippery pole it’s also important to not apply moisturiser to your hands or legs just before a class. We provide moisturizer in the studio so you can soften your hands after each class.
For many of us, pole dancing becomes an addiction, a lifestyle. The classes are the highlight of our week. We really look forward to catching up with our class mates. Some of the friendships have developed into shared living arrangements, overseas travel, and lots of get togethers for Friday night drinks. We all share something special – pole dancing.
Come visit our Facebook page Miss Fit Pole Dancing and see what our teachers and students get up to.
Tell us a little about your classes.
(AKA Sarah T)