Fitness

Should you try pole dancing?

Author: Canadian Living

Fitness

Should you try pole dancing?

Jane Wilson is probably not what you'd expect when you think of a pole dance instructor. This suburban mother of two and former early childhood educator is the first to tell you she was reluctant and apprehensive about even going to a pole dancing class.

“I was dragged in by friends and I thought it would be slutty, distasteful and degrading, but it was actually extremely empowering,” she says. “By the end of the class, they had to drag me off the pole. I felt awesome, beautiful and confident.”

Should you try pole dancing?
It all began back in 2007, after Wilson had her second baby. She had initially lost the pregnancy weight, but quickly gained it all back along with some extra. “I didn’t feel like a sensual, sexy person,” she remembers. “My mom was overweight, so I figured this is the way it’s supposed to be. You reach a certain age and that’s it.”

As Wilson went back for more classes she realized something: “I’m a woman and I deserve to feel sexy,” she says.

At first, Wilson was reluctant to be open about her new hobby. “It was tough for me, because we women have rules we place on ourselves of what’s proper and what’s not,” Wilson explains. “Good mommies don’t pole dance and respectable women aren’t supposed to do this. I had to turn the rules around and say I have a right to feel sensual, sexy and great.”

In fact, the classes had such an impact on her that she opened her own studio and now has a thriving business. Talk about getting your swagger back and then some!

What is pole dancing
Pole dancing is essentially gymnastics, taking place on a vertical pole instead of a balance beam. It’s quite balletic, very aerobic and certainly works your core to the, well, core.

What’s interesting is that while it’s great for fitness, it also builds self-esteem and confidence. “Most women come in to get fit,” says Wilson. “Then they realize that the changes in your body, as you get stronger, also come into your emotional state.”

A confidence booster
It’s really about empowering women. Most of them do not bring the moves back to their husbands or partners, but what they do bring back is a new level of confidence and a self-esteem boost that radiates through every part of their lives.

Women in the classes come from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds and range in age from their early 20s to their late 60s. The classes build a sense of camaraderie and a support network for these women, not often found in a traditional gym environment.

Mastering a new move, Wilson explains, is extremely empowering. One of her clients, who is a high powered executive, was in a meeting one day when she looked around the conference table and thought: I can go upside down on a pole. What can you do? It was a boost of confidence and made her feel good about herself.


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