This past Tuesday night, I took my first-ever pole dancing class at Crunch Fitness in West Hollywood. While I had taken my share of Cardio Striptease classes before, Iâ€™d never taken a hardcore, â€œswing-around-the-pole-in-your-platforms-and-pantiesâ€-class.
This was that kind of class.
Exhibitionism ruled, right down to the room we were inâ€”an enormous space with two huge glass walls, conveniently surrounded by weight machines. Because of its location and composition, everyone outside of the class had the voyeuristic pleasure of watching our every stripper-esque move while they challenged their bodies with military presses and tricep kick-backs.
The first thing I noticed about this class was the unusually large number of straight guys outside of it â€œworking on their bicepsâ€ while facing the room. (One guy even had a window seat at the pec machine right behind the glass!) Since Crunch is located on the edge of West Hollywood, itâ€™s typically filled with a plethora of highly attractive, buff, gay men. Apparently, Tuesday nights are the exception to that unofficial rule.
Our fairly crowded class started with a series of sexy warm-ups to the techno-version of Madonnaâ€™s â€œLove Profusionâ€ and George Michaelâ€™s â€œFather Figure.â€ We completed a few deep stretches, several sultry hip grinds, some floor-humping, a set of push-upsâ€¦and that one move where you lie on your back, place your arms behind you and support your weight with your elbows as you open and close your legs in front of you. Iâ€™m not sure of this moveâ€™s name, but itâ€™s probably called something like, â€œAiring Out the Cat.â€
â€œAlright girls, weâ€™re ready to work the poles,â€ said our cute, gay instructor, Jeff. â€œSlip into your stilettos and strip down to yourâ€¦um, what are those things that barely cover your ass called again?â€
â€œCheeky panties,â€ a perky blond answered.
And strip down, they did. These girls started taking everything off. A few were actually just in their underwearâ€”no joke! I felt like a schoolmarm in my yoga pants and fitted t-shirt. One super-skinny girl was in a pair of black, lace, low-rise hipster panties that barely covered her magic triangle. Another was in a hot pink pair with Victoriaâ€™s Secret spelled out on her butt in sequins. Our instructor even changed into to his â€œstripper outfitâ€â€”a black wife-beater, a black g-string with sheer, black boy shorts over it, knee socks, tall lace-up combat boots and a black baseball cap. I had a feeling that leading this Pole Dancing class wasnâ€™t his only job. You could see his ass-cheeks through his transparent shorts. And gauging from his profile, it appeared as though he brought a special package to class just for us.
â€œI donâ€™t think I can look him in the eyes anymore after seeing that!â€ I whispered to a nearby girl.
â€œAlright, letâ€™s work on our routine,â€ he snapped. â€œNo talking. Listen to me. I donâ€™t
have my mic tonight, so youâ€™ve got to stop talking so you can hear me. First of all, if youâ€™re new to this class, youâ€™re on this pole over here,â€ he said, as he pointed to the steel pole suspended from the ceiling on the far left side of the room. â€œEveryone else needs to line up at the other three poles.â€
I stood next to the other newbies near our pole. â€œThe first thing I want each of you to do is grab the pole and saunter around it. And donâ€™t be afraid to own it, girls.â€
Piece of cake. While Britney Spearsâ€™ â€œGimme Moreâ€ played, each of us rocked our best, â€œItâ€™s Britney, bitch!â€-attitude.
Next, we had to strut around the pole with another girl and look at each other like we were stripper-friends who possibly wanted to get on each otherâ€”or at least get on the pole. Jordan, a tall, gorgeous, slender brunette in short red â€˜80s track shorts, a wife-beater and black platforms walked with me.
Then, it was time to start making pole magic. Our first move on the pole was â€œThe Fireman.â€ We had to sashay around it a couple of times, gain momentum then grab the pole with both hands and swing around it with our knees hugging it. I nailed this move my first time. I was psyched!
Wow, I must be a natural, I thought. Waitâ€¦why was I excited?
I tried it again and didnâ€™t have the same luck. I still spun, but I my calf sort of stuck to the metal.
â€œI think I left some skin on the pole that time,â€ I told my newbie friends.
I did â€œThe Firemanâ€ a third time, and it was a little better. However, all that spinning on the pole was making me a little dizzy!
I saw another girl grab the pole and extend her legs in a wide, spread-eagle â€œVâ€ in front of her. Now that looks like my kind of move! No spinning. No risk of leaving skin on the pole. I didnâ€™t know what that move was called, but I thought it should be named something like, â€œLooky Here At My Big â€˜V.â€™â€
I grabbed the pole and tried it. Ahhhâ€¦much better. â€œThatâ€™s good!â€ The teacher said. â€œYou have upper arm and leg strengthâ€”so you can do moves like that.â€
Our next move was â€œThe Firefly.â€ This seemed easier because our legs didnâ€™t actually touch the poleâ€”soâ€¦no risk of chafing. We had to grab the pole with both hands and swing around it againâ€”only this time, we were supposed to bend our legs at the knees, form two diamonds and then glide effortlessly into a dismounted position. Midway through this move, the newbies and I discovered that a screw at the bottom of our pole was loose. And no one wants a loose pole. We split up and joined the three other groups.
Unfortunately, the pole I moved to was a spinning poleâ€”which meant, while it was bolted to the ground, the actual pole-part could rotate. And once you started to spin on it, your momentum maintained the spinning motion. I did The Firefly, and the pole kept spinning and spinning and spinning. As you may have guessed, it sort of intensified the dizziness.
Next move: The Hook. You had to strut around the pole, latch onto it with both hands, then hook the back of your leg around it at the knee and swing around until you gracefully glided to the bottom.
There was one stationary pole move in the mix. Iâ€™m not sure what it was called. â€œThe Hang-Out?â€ To complete this move, you had to grab onto the pole and climb up it as high as you could, then extend your legs in front of you, keeping them close to the pole. Once you did that, you were just supposed to sort of hang out. You could let go of the pole, and give a flirty wave to your audience. You could make â€œdevil-hornsâ€ with both of your hands while your Motley CrÃ¼e stripper song played. You could even seductively unhook your bra and twirl it aroundâ€”your choice.
I reached high up on the pole to start my climb, but it was too greasy and I slid down. So I reached for a towel instead and wiped off the pole slime. Nothingâ€™s worse than a slippery pole.
â€œAlright, ladies. Who remembers our newest routine?â€ Jeff asked our group. Several girls raised their hands. He walked to the corner of the room, turned on Timbalandâ€™s â€œThe Way I Areâ€ and asked four of the girls who knew the latest routine to get on a pole, while everyone else watched.
Each of the four pole-dancers began their performance. They straddled the pole, strutted around it and gyrated in front of it. Then, they wrapped one leg around it, leaned back, peeled off their shirts and flipped them aside. Yes, folks, they were down to their bras. Oddly, more boys began doing bicep curls near the windows.
Upon shirt removal, the girls did The Fireman, The Firefly, The Hook, The Hang-Out and other enticing pole moves.
As a curvier girl spun around on the far right pole in only her orange swimsuit, one of her plump boobs popped out of her bikini top. She quickly pulled the triangle back over it, only to have it pop back out again. Of course, everyone saw it.
â€œThatâ€™s the first surprise titty of the year!â€ Jeff quipped.
As I glanced at the other three dancers, I noticed the girl on the center pole was really good. â€œShe has to be a stripper,â€ I whispered somewhat jealously to Jordan, my pole-prancing friend.
Each of the four dancers finished the routine in their own unique style: One rolled on the floor until she was in a graceful, arched-back pose. Another collapsed into the middle splits. One landed delicately on her feet from the pole and took a bow. And I canâ€™t remember how the last girl ended her routine because I was still laughing at the fact that her ta-ta popped out of her top.
â€œOkay, letâ€™s all spread out again across the room for our final stretching.â€
In the last five minutes of class, we did a series of provocative shoulder rolls, hand twirls, backbends and toe-touches to Prince. As we writhed around on the floor and the last few notes of Princeâ€™s slow-jam played, I wondered these things:
Are all pole dancers strong enough to hoist themselves up and around the pole into various effortless-looking poses?
Do pole dancers get dizzy?
Why was the center pole so greasy?
Does our instructor moonlight as a pole dancer at Rage or Motherlode?
Wouldnâ€™t â€œSo You Think You Can Pole Danceâ€ be a great reality show for FOX?
Our 90-minute class was over. The girls put their clothes back on, and I chuckled to myself about the whole experience.
As I exited Crunch, I decided that this was definitely like no other class Iâ€™d ever taken. Hmmmâ€¦ Would I return for another round on the poles? Possibly. But I decided that I liked Cardio Striptease better. Yeahâ€¦I think Iâ€™m more of a chair-humper than a pole-spinner.
WORLD - AN EDGE IN MY VOICE
Copyright © 2010 thermos62000
Once Upon A Pole...
Copyright © 2010 thermos62000
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