I have always wanted to try pole dancing, but the right time never came. I wanted my first time to be special, ya’ know? So when I was invited to a Scandal season premiere viewing party at a pole dancing venue here in NYC, my first reaction was, “Hell yeah!”
Opened in 2010 by owner Carmen Victorino, entering La Femme Suite is like walking into another world, one that's hidden behind privacy curtains and that caters to all women of all ages.
After a quick change into pole fitness-friendly attire (shorts and a tank top) and sipping some Champagne, we assumed positions to learn from our amazing (and really, really limber) instructor for the night, Gigi Maguire.
Here are a few things I learned about how pole dancing is beneficial to body, soul, and mind.
1. The Obvious Health and Fitness Benefits
Over time, pole dancing routines (and the sport of learning them) can help you build upper body strength, tone and tighten muscles, define your core, tighten forearms, gain flexibility and strength, burn calories, boost metabolism, and of course, lose weight. It can also improve your posture: walking tall is key to owning the pole.
2. It Builds Confidence and Increases Self-Esteem
I have many strengths--dance, bike riding, and I can do a mean butterfly on ice skates--but upper body power isn't on the list. So when I finally nailed the hardest move I was taught, I felt like I'd just won a gold medal and the lottery at the same time. It was one of the best feelings I have ever had. Honestly. It felt amazing because it required stamina, strength, and flexibility.
3. It Can Empower You In Other Areas Of Your Life
From cancer survivors, to new mothers trying to lose the baby weight or feel sexy again, to newly divorced or single women going through a bad breakup, pole dancing is about supporting one another as women. Speak on it or don’t, when you are in that room, the woman to your right or to your left will not judge you but help you overcome whatever it is you are going through and celebrate whatever it is you have conquered in life.
4. It Creates Instant Bonding
Bachelorette party? Divorce party? Girls' night out just for the heck of it? The intimate setting of a pole dancing class will bring women closer together at any of the above. Can’t conquer a move? Girl, we will try until you nail it and I am here to lend a hand. You laugh, you try, and you whip your hair back and forth and make the most of the experience.
5. It’s Fun!
I definitely felt the sultry side of myself come out when I touched the pole. But every woman went at her own pace: some were struggling (but still laughing at themselves), while others were literally upside down spread eagle like a pro. And let us not forget about Instagram posts! Photo shoots galore! And honey, did you get video, too?! Because you gotta do it for the ‘Gram! From bonding and sharing stories to laughing, dancing, and rooting each other on, it was a fun time with amazing women and definitely an activity I will do in the future.
Who has tried this? Would the rest of you guys try pole dancing as a confidence-boosting empowering workout?