Welcome back to another wellness and studio experience by me! This time around I went to PoleFit Carolinas. Now this was not my first rodeo with them. I went on January 2nd and again more recently on March 7th. The reason for the second visit is because I didn’t type up my experience when it was clear in my mind, so I decided another class would give me a fresh set of eyes. So, here goes nothing!
This is a performance arts based fitness journey; very similar to Aerial. You take part of this for something fun that allows you to strength build but also gives you a unique way to ‘workout’ with actually going to the gym. This place is membership based meaning you sign on for $100 a month to come unlimited or try paying a la carte = $20 - $30 per class or $160 class punch cards. You have to be willing to commit to this type of performance art to really feel like you’re getting anywhere. In addition, just like Aerial, it will benefit you tremendously to cross train by doing other cardio and muscle building workouts if you want to see steadily improvement.
The instructors are great, as soon as you walk in they’re friendly from the start. They explain everything and help you get situated. They give light and naughty humor throughout the class, and give backgrounds as to how they got started in this and what they’re like outside of class for their regular 9-5 jobs. As far as I know, they aren’t actually strippers but Mica did say that she’s taught some strippers. I don’t find the moves to be hard. You just need to trust yourself and go with it. Pretend you’re the only one in the room, and instructors give you ’free time’ after learning a new move so that you can practice it and they can come around and give you feedback.
Lastly, I loved it and if it were in my budget I’d continue but I do enough between Aerial, Kickboxing, and now Bungee.
Alright you guys, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. So every fitness class in the world as you know starts off with some stretching a warmup routine. Some side to side hip motions, arms circles, shoulder stretches, side stretches ya know. The typical. This lasts all of like 8 minutes.
Warning: I go into detail in this part on each move and it’s mechanics on how to do them. Look through the headings and feel free to skip over any of them or just get a grand idea of the types of techniques I learned without all the jargon.
Next up is the basic ‘Sexy Walk’. Mica shows us how to sexily walk around the pole with your inner arm up, which depends on whatever side you’re walking on. This is a perfect time to do some ‘body apparition’ — basically playing with your hair and sensually felling along your body with your free hand. Toying with you shirt if you have one on and etc. The main takeaway here is to stay on your tiptoes — it’s your bodies way of walking like you’re in heels and makes you take more elongated and sexy steps, dragging your other foot behind as you continuously step around the pole.
Next up Mica went over ‘Body Rolls’ which is simply like doing the worm but standing up; not the same as humping the pole. Your moves should be slow and flow not forced. But if you’re like me and not used to any of this you just have to force yourself until it feels comfortable and you’ve figured it out for yourself. We also practice this ‘Leg Pointe’ from the same ‘Body Roll’ position. Essentially taking your left leg, pointing it forward with pointed feet (flexed feet are not welcome here like in aerial), then bring it back behind you before pointing it again. If I’m being honest, the best visual I can give is that stupid horse neighing thing you do with your leg as a kid, just more slow and controlled in this context.
‘Outside Step/Clover Spin’
Now we move on to our first real move ‘Outside Step’. Here you place the right hand above your head on the pole with your left hand on the pole at chest level — this is the basis for a lot of spins. With your arms outstretched you plant your right foot close to the pole, bend your knee and lift your left leg up. With momentum step around the pole to the left replacing where your right foot was planted with your left. If you continue this move you step, wrap your left leg around the pole as you come down in a seated position mating the number ‘4’ with your legs.
Next up we take what we just learned and now we pick up both legs. First we review how to ‘Flamengo’ the pole. Same arm positions from before, now we lift our left legs up with the pole in the pit of the ankle for a nice grip. As before you let momentum take you, but as you’re leaning into it you life your right leg up to meet the pole. The key here is to let your feet meet the floor on their own as you slowly spin down and you wind up in a squatting position holding the pole. To get back up in a sexy many you can do a nice body roll.
‘Sexy Floor Routine’
Instead of waiting until the end I appreciate Mica showing us a small yet simple floor routine to combine with the spins we just learned. After the spins we come up and twirl around so that our back is to the pole. We do some cute ‘Hip Dips’ and then a ‘Back Slide’ all the way to the floor. We continue with some sexy moves on the floor one of which is called a ‘Speed Bump’ where you lift your butt up in the air and slide your body up into a seated position on your knees.
So here’s another spin we went over. Both arms on the pole with your left leg wrapped around the pole. You lean to the left and at the same time lift your right leg up straight out; similar to the way the ‘Fireman Spin’ is done. You end up in a backwards ‘4’ with your legs seated on the ground.
Now for all the previous spins we’ve always started on the left side of the pole. On this particular spin we start on the left side of the pole. Hands on the pole at shoulder height. Standing on our tiptoes we bend our legs and then stick our butt out until we’re in this awkward greater than (>) sign figure. Mica tells us the only way to really do this spin is to close our eyes. Reason being is because your body doesn’t not like knowing where it’s going and so it throws the move off course when your eyes are open. So as you lean back and let gravity take you, your legs naturally wrap around the pole until you're seated like a pretty little mermaid.
Put It All Together!
It’s the end of class and it’s time to showcase all the moves listed above! So she doesn’t even walk us through what the finished product should look like. Nope, she tells us to set our cameras up if we’re trying to record — be mindful not to get those around you. Again, it’s dark so you can’t see anyone too clearly. I did record myself, but there is no way I’m posting it on here.
Arrive early so you can find the studio. It’s a little hidden in the plaza so you may have to park a ways and then walk depending on how busy it is.
Wear clothes you are confident in, sports bra, tank, shorts, yoga pants... it’s your pick. (I went with a sports bra and compression shorts based on my first experience)
Beware: the more skin the better because you want to friction created between your skin and the pole to help you master the techniques.
Don’t lotion up! I learned that this time because my feet were sliding across the floor the whole time and I almost fell coming up out of a move.
You can’t wear shoes and socks will be your enemy so don’t bother
It’s dark inside so don’t expect to get great video; plus there’s no place to really set up your phone unless you bring a stand or don’t care if it‘s a floor angle.
It’s pretty small since it‘s a top floor studio. When you walk in you have to walk right up a flight of stairs and you run into the reception desk. After that you can simply turn 360 degrees to get the lay of the land.
reception desk with a small wall of brand merchandise
turn left and keep turning you’ll see a small alcove of windows with a table and cubbies up against the walls
then the mirrors start around the wall for about 3/4ths of the room with wood linoleum as the main floor with about 14 poles strategically placed
small corner with two bathrooms and way more cubbies for personal items
lastly, a small seating area with two couches until you’re right back to staring at the stairs you just climbed
Footnote: I could shoot something right now. I wrote about half of this blog post and then randomly I clicked some button on my keyboard and it deleted everything, and I couldn’t get it back.
How are you finding happiness in the ordinary? Have you gone #BeyondYourWindow in terms of adventure, travel, or perspective recently? Feel free to share your journey by engaging with the blog on social media or using the hashtag. As always, happy seeking!